Who Speaks for the Enslaved? Authorship and Reclamation in Octavia Butler's Kindred
Hayden, Antoinette Daineyell
AdvisorShaffer, Donald M.
CommitteeHanshaw, Shirley A.
Atkinson, Theodore B.
Octavia Butler’s Kindred is often looked at as a historical science fiction novel. While there are critics who have discussed the slave narrative aspects of the novel, the way Butler tackles authorship and what it means to re-write history has been overlooked. By examining the way Butler uses authorship to question authorial authority, one can see the way Butler uses her protagonist to revise history and reclaim historical figures. This process of reclamation and revision enables Butler to examine the historical gaps that have been created and the way enslaved blacks have been caricatured and further dehumanized. Through her protagonist, Butler is able to endow these historical figures with complex identities and emotions and challenges what it means to be a viable authorial voice.