Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction is Sami Schalk’s first monograph, published by Duke University Press in March 2018. The cover art below is by Tahir Carl Karmali. It is a very detailed image, so please see these separate links for an image description and a link for a high resolution download of the cover image.
Publisher’s blurb: “In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women’s speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre’s political potential lies in the authors’ creation of bodyminds that transcend reality’s limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slavery narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K.Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability’s centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through non-realist contexts.”
Read and listen to interviews with Dr. Schalk about the book:
- Black Perspectives Blog Interview
- Black Agenda Report New Book Forum Interview
- New Books Network Podcast Interview
- Imagine Otherwise Podcast Interview
Read the reviews:
“Schalk’s Bodyminds Reimagined is a trailblazing book” – Grace Gipson in Black Perspectives
“…the much-needed intervention in disability studies and black feminist theory that it promises to be…Bodyminds Reimagined is the book for our moment” – Anna Hinton in ASAP Journal
“What I appreciate most about the text is that it offers a novel way to look at Black women science fiction writers and makes their work legible as literature that should be taken seriously not only because of the beautiful worldmaking in the texts but also because of the kinds of theoretical contributions that are only discernible through the intersectional theoretical framework applied by Schalk.” -Moya Bailey in Feminist Formations Review
- Public Books
- Women’s Studies Quarterly
- Transformative Works and Cultures
- American Quarterly
- American Literary History
- Journal of Science Fiction
You can read the book’s introduction here. Plus, you can get the book at 30% off by visiting Duke University Press and entering coupon code E18BODYM during checkout. Once you’ve read the book, please support it further by adding reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!
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