Author (Your Name)

Whitney Glockner, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. English Dept.


Bryant, Cedric Gael

Second Advisor

Charles Walker Bassett

Third Advisor

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes


African American women writers define aesthetics through their negotiation of identity in the politicized loci of space, place and voice. In the balkanization of such issues of voice and space, we can see the ways that the emergent selfis embodied and aestheticized in literature. To do so creates a more tactile and "artfull" representation of the self rather than a representation of identity as a mere abstract concept. To use written language to express the self is to carry processes of selfdefinition for black women into the realm of creative production. For women, especially black women, who are a politically and socially compromised element of society, the written word is a way of expressing the politically and the socially critical voice that is suppressed in other forums of expression. Using theories on "writing in difference" as a skeleton key, this project seeks to outline some of the ways that black women writers use aesthetic elements in their art to express the potential for self-examination, discovery, and emancipation.


American fiction -- African American authors -- History and criticism, American fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism, African American women authors