Racial Binaries, Murky Waters: Interrogating Stereotypes and the 'Nature' of Nature in Kara Walker's After the Deluge.

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Racial Binaries, Murky Waters: Interrogating Stereotypes and the 'Nature' of Nature in Kara Walker's After the Deluge.

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Racial Binaries, Murky Waters: Interrogating Stereotypes and the 'Nature' of Nature in Kara Walker's After the Deluge.
Author: Ferwerda, Susanne
Issue Date: 2014-08-29
Keywords: Kara Walker
New Materialism
Narrativity
Hurricane Katrina
Muck
Matter
Silhouettes
Entanglement
Abstract: This thesis intends to follow Walker in her quest of opening up discussions toward a renegotiation of history; its pasts and presents; ambiguities and openendedness. The main question of this thesis is how Walker's book rendition of After the Deluge connects discussions on racial inequalities and the visualization of narratives with a reworking of the divide between the socio-cultural and natural realm through the use of 'muck'. One of the most important aspects of Walker’s work is an interrogation - through art - of the ways in which we tell and visualize our histories; stories which are entanglements of fact and fiction, of desire and shame. In After the Deluge specifically, this is combined with a renegotiation of how we look at the divide between the socio-cultural and the natural realm. In witnessing a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, it becomes apparent that there is no such divide. The messiness of life as both social, cultural and natural, is explored in Kara Walker’s work in ways that also rematerialize notions such as race, sexuality and history.
Supervisor: Westgeest, Helen
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Kunstgeschiedenis (Bachelor)
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/28298
 

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