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Wednesday, May 26 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Powerful Voices

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Emily Duru The Representation of Black Womanhood in Paul Marshall’s /Daughters/
The inaccurate portrayal of Black women in literature works to further perpetuate stereotypes of Black women as caretakers, burden-carries, and “mammies”, without consideration of our individuality. It is especially important to keep these portrayals in mind when discussing the antebellum construction of race and gender. By examining the novel Daughters by author Paule Marshall, we can see how diverse representation is not only important, but vital when telling the stories of Black women. The presentation will explore the themes of sexuality, motherhood, the construction of body, and learned gender-dynamics. Theoretical texts on intersectionality and Black feminism, from activists and authors, such as Hazel V. Carby and Toni Morrison, will further contextualize the novel and provide insight into how Marshall manages to challenge stereotypes and reframe the role of Black women in American literature—and more largely, in the eyes of American readers as well.

Mary Green A Woman's Secret Language of Horror in The Tale of Genji
While most may not think of horror when they conjure images of Japanese women of the Heian court, Mursaki Shikibu’s iconic novel from the early 11th century, The Tale of Genji, contains threads of horror woven through both the original plot as well as in the numerous adaptations throughout the ages. Some such elements of horror include confinement, spirit possession, and an oedipal complex of the titular character which leads to the misfortune of a number of female characters. In this presentation of my Japanese Honors Thesis I argue that these elements of horror resonate in such a way with a female audience that it becomes like a secret language in which to communicate and commiserate. To do so, I have conducted close readings of both the Royal Tyler translation of the original text as well as the well-known manga adaption Asakiyumemishi by Waki Yamato. I also engage with previously published scholarly discourse surrounding this topic, such as a feminist re-reading of the original text by Komashaku Kimi and Tomiko Yoda, an interesting take on an infamous spirit possession scene as a means to female empowerment by Doris G. Bargen, and a look into a possibly intentional reference to Japanese horror already lying within the original text as explored by Takehiko Noguchi. In making my argument, I hope to expose and embrace the ways that women’s voices have been shared over time through the surprising mode of horror in The Tale of Genji.

Wednesday May 26, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am PDT