Mixed-Race Identity Politics in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

30 November 2015, 18:00 - 20:00
Cambridge campus

Guest lecturer: Dr Julia Hoydis, Cologne University, Germany

Contemporary popular fantasy and SF writing for young adults often perpetuates rather than challenges conservative identity politics, especially with regard to race and sexual orientation. A counter-example and a text which consciously writes against this is the 2012 novel The Chaos by Caribbean-Canadian author Nalo Hopkinson.

Dealing explicitly with the identity crisis of the teen-aged protagonist Scotch, daughter of a black Afro-American mother and a white Jamaican father, it presents a fusion of sci-fi, fantasy, and Caribbean folklore, and thus raises the issue of "mixed-ness' on many levels. The text allows for a critical investigation of the literary motif of "passing" and stipulates discussion of the complexities of multi-raciality, a rapidly increasing phenomenon that calls for new approaches to the conception of racial identity in theory and practice.

Event Details

30 November 2015, 18:00 - 20:00
Cambridge campus
Hel 209