Hush, somebody's calling my name : the Haint elegy and Black women's poetry

dc.contributor.advisorMoore, Lisa L. (Lisa Lynne)
dc.contributor.advisorThompson, Lisa B., 1965-
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJones, Omi Osun Joni L
dc.contributor.committeeMemberOlstein, Lisa
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSmith, Cherise
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWilks, Jennifer M
dc.creatorBrown, Andrea Nicole
dc.date.accessioned2024-05-21T02:41:29Z
dc.date.available2024-05-21T02:41:29Z
dc.date.issued2017-05
dc.date.submittedMay 2017
dc.date.updated2024-05-21T02:41:29Z
dc.description.abstract“Hush Somebody’s Calling My Name: The Haint Elegy and Black Women’s Poetry,” examines haunting as an epistemological structure that makes a distinctive contribution to elegy, the poetry of loss and mourning. I posit that as categorically marginal figures, black women appear in elegies as both the haunted and the ghost, a liminal position I call the haint. By reckoning with haints in these poems, black women rework the genre of elegy, challenging canonical ideas about who lives and who dies, who mourns and who remembers. As Avery Gordon suggests, haunting “registers the harm inflicted or the loss sustained by a social violence done in the past or in the present.” It is not always obvious to those outside its reach. Similarly, black women’s elegies are not always overt; the haint must be witnessed to be meaningful. A signifier of harm and unjust absence, it also signifies what remains; black women’s elegies are sites of social death and subjective resurrection. Using a black feminist methodology I apply close readings and formal analysis that takes into account lived experience, and social, emotional and spiritual climates as conditions of lyric construction. The introduction grounds Phillis Wheatley as the archetypal haint, a conduit for understanding the nature of haunting in the tradition of the American elegy and to navigate the work of three contemporary poets, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Akilah Oliver, and Claudia Rankine. Across the dissertation, I consider the haint as a figure of the erotic, ancestral and sacred, as a casualty of soul murder, and as an absent-presence, made invisible and hyper-visible. I conclude with an epilogue that ruminates on the haunted house as a mnemonic trigger across all of the texts in my study, and show how the poets’ use of form functions as a means of “housing” the haint.
dc.description.departmentAfrican and African Diaspora Studies
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.uri
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/125364
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.26153/tsw/51955
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectBlack women
dc.subjectBlack literary traditions
dc.subjectPoetry
dc.subjectBlack feminism
dc.subjectGrief
dc.subjectElegy
dc.subjectHaunting
dc.subjectMemory
dc.titleHush, somebody's calling my name : the Haint elegy and Black women's poetry
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentAfrican and African Diaspora Studies
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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