Specters and Spooks: Developing A Hauntology of The Black Body Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Powell, Kashif
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
Abstract
  • This dissertation utilizes theories of embodiment and performance to develop a "hauntology of blackness," which investigates imaginative sites of death constructed through the historical, social, and performative facets of institutional slavery in the United States to theorize notions of blackness and the black body. I argue that the relationship between the black body and death have conjured a death-driven specter that manifest historically, performatively, visually, and phenomenally as blackness. The rise and continual return of this "specter of blackness" positions the black body in the United States as a body "haunted" by its own biological and phenotypical disposition. Placing the theory of Jacques Derrida and Frantz Fanon in conversation with scholars such as Avery Gordon, Saidiya Hartman, Toni Morrison, and others, I evoke the language of haunting to consider the profound effect the relationship between the black body and death has had on ontological, psychoanalytic, and phenomenological understandings of blackness within post-modernity.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Watts, Eric
  • Lucas, Ashley
  • Alexander Craft, Renee
  • Pollock, Della
  • Reyes, Alvaro
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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