Seminar Series | Dr Nicole King: "War and the destabilising effect of Black girlhood"

Iontas Sky
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 17:00 to 18:30

"War and the destabilising effect of Black girlhood in Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones and Danzy Senna's Caucasia": research talk.About this Event

To launch our seminar series on Humanities & Human Rights, and to mark Black History month in Ireland and the UK, Dr Nicole King will deliver a talk on "War and the destabilising effect of Black girlhood in Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959) and Danzy Senna's Caucasia (1998)."

This talk is hosted by the English Department at Maynooth University and CRISES (Critical Research In States, Ecologies, and Societies).

This presentation argues for a reading of Brown Girl, Brownstones and Caucasia as novels which share a commitment to complex representations of black girlhood. Dr King examines how black girlhood functions as a destabilising force within adult-world conflicts and how black girls question the structures of the world they inhabit. Engaging theories of childhood, racialisation, and feminism, Dr King concludes that these texts accomplish two representational feats: they centre black girlhood in narratives of U.S. identities, and they capture the agency of children in actively shaping their worlds before their own adulthood arrives.

This event will take place remotely, via Microsoft Teams. Registered attendees will be sent a secure link the day before the talk.

Speaker biography:

Dr Nicole King is the author of C. L. R. James and creolization: circles of influence (University of Mississippi Press, 2001), and lectures at Goldsmiths University, London, where her current research is concerned with the literary representations of children, young adults, blackness and modernity in the United States and the Americas.

She also writes about the literature of the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora and on Black British literature. Her primary focus is on the 20th and 21st centuries but, as with her teaching, she relies on earlier texts and historical contexts for her work.

Her current book project, Black Childhood in Modern African American Fiction, offers a comparative historical analysis of racialisation and young people in novels and short stories from the mid-20th century onwards.

She has contributed essays concerning women and the black transatlantic, focused on Ida B. Wells and Zadie Smith respectively, to Black Victorians/Black Victoriana (2003) and to a special issue of Women: A Cultural Review (2009). Pedagogical theory and how literature is taught is an additional research interest for Dr King that developed during her time at the English Subject Centre (Royal Holloway (2006-2011)) and the Higher Education Academy (York, 2011-2014).

She regularly presents on teaching topics and has contributed an essay on teaching African American crime fiction to Teaching 21st Century Genres (Palgrave 2016) and an essay on teaching African American literature and critical thinking to Teaching Literature (Palgrave 2017).