• Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction

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    Pages: 192
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-7073-4
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  • Prologue and Acknowledgments  vii
    Introduction  1
    1. Metaphor and Materiality: Disability and Neo-Slave Narratives  33
    2. Whose Reality Is It Anyway? Deconstructing Able-Mindedness  59
    3. The Future of Bodyminds, Bodyminds of the Future  85
    4. Defamiliarizing (Dis)ability, Race, Gender, and Sexuality  113
    Conclusion  137
    Notes  147
    Bibliography  159
    Index  175
  • "Bodyminds Reimagined is a clear read, not bogged down with academic jargon. . . . The author approached the subject matter with care and thoughtfulness."

    "It is now time to bring focus and attention to the works of Black women speculative writers and their subjects. Bodyminds Reimagined becomes the discovery that celebrates these writers and subjects, while challenging the status quo within speculative fiction and (dis)ability studies, and moves them from marginalized objects to realist representations."

    “Sami Schalk’s highly anticipated Bodyminds Reimagined is the most significant contribution to literary and cultural disability studies in years. Appeals to scholars in critical race studies, queer studies, and social justice activism.”

    "Sami Schalk’s book is an important bridge between Black women’s science fiction and disability theorizing. Her work requires a reconceptualization of the boundaries of disability studies and African American literature as well."

    "Bodyminds Reimagined boldly demonstrates the capacity of black speculation and experimentation to generate world-building visions that are inclusive and sustainable for multiply marginalized black subjects."

    "Bodyminds Reimagined is a compelling critical study . . . simultaneously accessible and complex, exhaustively sourced and fresh in its analysis. . . . Students, scholars, and fans of speculative fiction will be well served to familiarize themselves with this book."

    Reviews

  • "Bodyminds Reimagined is a clear read, not bogged down with academic jargon. . . . The author approached the subject matter with care and thoughtfulness."

    "It is now time to bring focus and attention to the works of Black women speculative writers and their subjects. Bodyminds Reimagined becomes the discovery that celebrates these writers and subjects, while challenging the status quo within speculative fiction and (dis)ability studies, and moves them from marginalized objects to realist representations."

    “Sami Schalk’s highly anticipated Bodyminds Reimagined is the most significant contribution to literary and cultural disability studies in years. Appeals to scholars in critical race studies, queer studies, and social justice activism.”

    "Sami Schalk’s book is an important bridge between Black women’s science fiction and disability theorizing. Her work requires a reconceptualization of the boundaries of disability studies and African American literature as well."

    "Bodyminds Reimagined boldly demonstrates the capacity of black speculation and experimentation to generate world-building visions that are inclusive and sustainable for multiply marginalized black subjects."

    "Bodyminds Reimagined is a compelling critical study . . . simultaneously accessible and complex, exhaustively sourced and fresh in its analysis. . . . Students, scholars, and fans of speculative fiction will be well served to familiarize themselves with this book."

  • “In this smart and necessary book, Sami Schalk persuasively argues that black women's speculative fiction offers a rich archive of alternate framings of (dis)ability, race, sexuality, and gender that move us closer toward justice. Bodyminds Reimagined reveals how nonrealist representations can defamiliarize categories assumed to be self-evident, opening up new ways of thinking about methodology, trauma, metaphor, and politics. Schalk's work pushes all of us in feminist studies, black studies, and disability studies to reimagine how we understand minds and bodies moving though the world.” — Alison Kafer, author of, Feminist, Queer, Crip

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  • Description

    In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women's speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre's political potential lies in the authors' creation of bodyminds that transcend reality's limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slave narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K. Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have obsessive-compulsive-disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability's centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through nonrealist contexts.

    About The Author(s)

    Sami Schalk is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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