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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5169-555X

Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Afro-American Studies

Year Degree Awarded

2020

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

James Smethurst

Second Advisor

Steven Tracy

Third Advisor

Britt Rusert

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Young

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Africana Studies | American Literature | Literature in English, North America | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Other American Studies

Abstract

Although historically placed in binary opposition, the Double within the African American Gothic connects whiteness to Blackness not just as foils, but as uncanny Doubles connected by abject, and psychological manifestations. The Eurocentric Gothic and the African American Gothic handle race in purposeful and distinct ways. While dealing with themes that are similar to the African American Gothic, such as battles of morality, oppression, and tyrannical patriarchs, the Eurocentric Gothic reinforces racist stereotypes and reduces Black pain to just another trope. Meanwhile, writing within a Eurocentric genre that reinforces racial binaries, African American authors transpose the Gothic idea of race with the use of the Double to blur racial binaries. By blurring the binary, African American authors evaluate Black double consciousness while examining the perception of the fragmented white mind. The blurred binary demonstrates that whiteness is dependent upon Blackness for its existence.

By transposing race with the use of the Gothic double, the African American Gothic reveals that the white oppressor is the true monster and definitions of Blackness (created by white sociological constructions of race) function as projections of a monstrous Self onto the Other. The transpositions of these projections demonstrate that whiteness is not free from race because it is dependent upon definitions of Blackness to purify illusions of white supremacy. The African American Gothic Double evaluates these transposed racial binaries and concepts of twoness that exist within the African American Gothic to demonstrate that the Gothic idea of race is a side effect of the moral apathy that exists in the white imagination.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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