Trope of the Tragic Mulatta

By Elizabeth Cali The figure or trope of the “tragic mulatta/o” appears in African American literature as a character with mixed race ancestry. In light of US racial politics, the one-drop rule, and white supremacist political and social adherence to the fallacies of the “color-line,” this ancestry places a mixed-race or bi-racial character’s identity in Trope of the Tragic Mulatta

The Flying African

By Elizabeth Cali The trope or figure of the flying African has its roots in African American folklore and refers to the lore that African peoples who had been enslaved and forcibly moved across the Atlantic and Indian oceans to the Americas could fly back to Africa as a form of resistance to slavery. There The Flying African

Racial Passing

By Elizabeth Cali Racial passing refers to occasions when a person of one racial identity group employs their ability to be regarded as part of another racial identity group. In African American social and political history, this has most commonly applied to African American individuals who can be perceived as white/ Caucasian presenting themselves as Racial Passing

Contemporary Narratives of Slavery

By Elizabeth Cali Given the debates about what genre conventions define the neo-slave narrative tradition, some scholars – most notably Arlene Keizer – have adopted the nomenclature of “contemporary narratives of slavery” to include a broader range of novels representing racial slavery across the globe. This is an expansive novelistic genre by African American and Contemporary Narratives of Slavery

Neo-Slave Narrative

By Elizabeth Cali The neo-slave narrative is a literary genre that focuses on novelistic representations and explorations of slavery which emerged in the latter half of the 20th century and were written by Black authors who had not personally experienced enslavement. These narratives are distinct in that they take the experience of enslavement and slavery’s Neo-Slave Narrative

Multiperspective Novels

By Elizabeth Cali Multiperspective novels are structured to represent the perspectives of various key characters in a novel. Often, chapters in multiperspective novels shift from one character perspective to another, allowing for the insight that third person narrative offers while providing various individual and occasionally even first person perspectives. While this structure is not distinct Multiperspective Novels

Multigenerational Novels

By Elizabeth Cali Multigenerational novels foreground the storylines of multiple generations of family and/or community members as a primary narrative structure of the work. Margaret Walker’s neo-slave narrative Jubilee (1966) serves as a touchstone example of multigenerational novels in African American literature. This structure is especially crucial in African American literary studies as themes of Multigenerational Novels

Antebellum Slave Narrative

By Elizabeth Cali Slave narratives are a genre of autobiographical literature composed by African American writers representing their experiences of enslavement and their pathways to freedom before slavery was outlawed. Their express rhetorical purpose was to advocate for the abolition of slavery. But for African American writers, they are part of the larger genre of Antebellum Slave Narrative

The Processes of Literary Data Work

By Howard Rambsy II One reason we call what we’ve been doing “literary data work” concerns our processes of moving from literary study to the collection and organization of data to the production of data sheets, charts, visualizations, and other compositions. Our studies of literature do not always involve the uses of spreadsheets and data The Processes of Literary Data Work