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André M. Carrington (Harvard University / Drexal University)
February 8 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
My current research on African American literature and the cultural politics of genre focuses on the preparation of a manuscript for my second scholarly monograph, Audiofuturism. The book will examine racial discourse in radio plays adapted from works of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) principally authored by Black authors in the United States and United Kingdom. As a demonstration of the textual material and reading methods I am employing in this project, I will preview the subjects of two chapters in the manuscript. Following a brief overview of my research on a radio play based on Octavia E. Butler’s novel, Kindred, I will share my analysis of The Star-Pit: a radio play adapted from the 1967 novella of the same title by Samuel R. Delany. This presentation highlights the features of Delany’s work that lend credence to my critical priorities: constructing dialogue between literary studies and the interdisciplinary endeavors of Black feminist inquiry and disability studies, articulating the shifting cultural significance of texts that undergo adaptation, cultivating attention to the interrelated meaning-making processes of different media, and learning from the operation of genre as an organizing principle in knowledge production. The Star-Pit deploys figurative devices in text and sound that expand the repertoire of possible meanings for existing categories of identity and social relations.