Author: Sean McAneny

Negation and Identity

The growing anticipation surrounding Ta Nehisi Coates’s new book, We Were Eight Years in Power, prompted me to go back and read his essay from The Atlantic “The First White President,” a selection from the book about the ways in which Donald Trump used his whiteness to reach the presidency. Coates’s main argument is that Trump’s rise to power had everything to do with his being the negation of a black president. As I looked at the selection a second time, I recalled the language of negation worked to categorize humans and otherwise in Clay’s Ark and Fledgling. 

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“What’s in a Name?” Categorization in Butler’s Fiction and Romeo+Juliet

In an interview with Randall Kenan, Octavia Butler spends a great deal of time resisting the labels Kenan presents to her. Immediately, she is contrary to the idea that her writing might be “speculative fiction” rather than science fiction or fantasy (Francis, 27). While reading “Bloodchild,” select interviews with Butler, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet I considered the ways language categorizes people and what the resistance to such labels says about those people. In this post, I tried to reconcile my readings with what Butler talks about in her interviews. Read more