Browsing by Author "Solomon, Asali"
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- Item"A Broken Wall of Books, Imperfectly Shelved": Constructing and Deconstructing Race and Gender in Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus(2013) Hawkins, Lauren; Solomon, Asali
- ItemAdvanced Fiction Writing(2017-01) Solomon, AsaliStudents in the Advanced Fiction Workshop will not only continue to hone the basic elements of their fiction, including character development, dialogue,plot and prose style, but will focus much of their efforts on revision and the process of "finishing" a story.
- ItemAn Exploration of Racial Identity and Performance in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man(2017) Bowles, Jamauri; Solomon, AsaliThe Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man was published at the start of the 20th century, and the story’s setting is the post-Reconstruction era in the United States. The novel focuses on racial identity, but it also prominently features the theme of performance. This paper will investigate how performance creates a disruption in how the main character of the book looks at his racial identity, and how he attempts to re-establish his understanding of it and the comfort that it affords him, to no avail. It will also look at how the main character’s life experiences illuminate ideas of double-consciousness and passing. In this paper, the presence of performance in the novel will be explored through the main character’s relationships with his parents, his interactions with music, and locations and travels to different cities. By the conclusion of this paper, it will be seen that performance illustrates both subtle and obvious ways to see how blackness is marginalized in society, and that the main character’s feelings of alienation and isolation, which arise from his struggle with his racial identity, indicate a perceived inferiority of blackness to whiteness in America.
- Item“And She Aches Just Like a Woman, But She Breaks Like a Little Girl": The Implications of the Lack of Community-Accepted Outlets for Female Self-Creation in Toni Morrison’s Sula(2013) Winick, Gabrielle; Solomon, AsaliIn Sula, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel and Sula’s relationship as they go from girlhood friends to enemies when their friendship falls apart in adulthood. Morrison uses the girls’ friendship and the subsequent dissolution of their friendship to demonstrate the importance of the bonds formed between Black women and how these bonds are not encouraged or accepted in adulthood. Through Nel and Sula’s friendship, Morrison argues that friendships between pre‐pubescent girls are the most rewarding and freeing relationships for Black women. These girlhood bonds provide the participants with a space to create their selves outside of the perceptions the community has for Black women. Nel and Sula’s friendship, however, does not exist completely outside of society’s judgmental gaze and expectations for Black women. In this essay, I use the contrast between Nel and Sula’s relatively emancipatory girlhood friendship where they are free to construct their individual sense of self and the experiences and relationships with adult Black women in Medallion to demonstrate how Morrison uses the freeing space of girlhood friendship to reveal the limitations and restrictions imposed upon adult Black women by the community.
- ItemBuilding a Plot of Belonging: The Poetics of Self and Space in Audre Lorde's The Black Unicorn(2013) Sacks, Susanna; Solomon, Asali
- ItemDorothy Allison and Eli Clare: Creating Counter-Discourse and Shaping the Body as Home in the Life-Narrative(2011) Bock, Emily; Solomon, AsaliThis project considers the role of discourse in the life-narratives of Dorothy Allison and Eli Clare, two authors who identify as queer authors from rural, white, working-class backgrounds. I argue that Allison and Clare use the life-narrative to locate and create a home for themselves in a world where there are many forces that are hostile to the understanding of identity and experience as complex and dynamic.
- ItemDrowning in Empathy: Rewriting Dominican Masculinity(2015) Franceschi, Kayla Marie; Solomon, Asali
- ItemEmpty Eggshells(2017) Codrington-White, Kamala; Solomon, AsaliA technologically-dependant village in a fantasy land use magic to summon new technicians. Unfortunately, there was a mistake in the spell and two people from “our” world were transported, instead of people from the fantasy land. The only way for this pair to return home is to collect dragon eggs, but there is none of the glory they expected in such work. After lives have been lost in battles with dragons, Nishat and Dahlia, our protagonists, must decide if returning home is what they truly want. A budding conspiracy embedded in this fantasy land complicate matters even further, making it impossible to tell if the two made the right decision in the end. The critical portion discusses the fantasy genre in this racialized world, and its place in academia. The European setting of many fantasy stories is brought into question, taking into consideration both the demographics of fantasy authorship and possible target audiences, as this changes the message of books set in such a place. Ultimately, the impact of racial diversity in media on people of color is examined, and the dangers of whitewashed escapism is delineated. I suggest that self-love in children is directly impacted by associations made in media, especially in terms of body image and beauty standards. Using anecdotes and hypothetical conjecture, the needlessness of exclusionary fantasies is implied, and alternatives briefly discussed.
- ItemGirlhood Love and Queer Sorrow in Toni Morrison's Sula(2016) Durante, Madeleine; Solomon, Asali
- Item"I'm a long way from home": Seeking Belonging in the Afterlives of Slavery in Octavia Butler's Kindred(2019) Viechweg, Seanna; Solomon, AsaliIn her 1978 neo-slave narrative Kindred, Octavia Butler utilizes the science-fiction trope of time travel to allow Dana, a Black woman from the 20th century, to travel to the antebellum South where she both witnesses and experiences trauma inflicted on slaves. While many scholars have recognized and lauded Kindred for its mediation on race and history through science fiction, they have not extensively considered how the text allegorically comments on the realities of African-Americans in a contemporary context. Throughout my project, I apply theoretical frameworks by scholars such as Christina Sharpe, Avery Gordon, bell hooks, and Rahul K. Gairola whose work investigate the consequences of slavery on African-Americans’ ability to forge a sense of safety and home in America. As intergenerational trauma theory has emphasized, slavery raises questions about the experiences of African-Americans whose unjust realities may be connected to the historical violence their ancestors endured. Despite the fact that critics of the novel have examined Dana’s experiences in the past considerably, it is just as crucial to analyze the long-term implications of Dana’s time travel in the present and future beyond the limits of the text itself. Exploring Dana’s struggle with belonging can suggest the implications of slavery in a modern society where African-Americans must grapple with surrounding forms of institutionalized racism such as mass incarceration and police brutality.
- ItemJames Baldwin's "Flesh and Blood" in No Name in the Street(2015) Nasim, Shahzeen; Solomon, Asali
- ItemLife Like Smoke: Stories(2013) Kearney, Lucia; Solomon, AsaliOur lives are like smoke. They weave and wend, blend and shred on the breeze, disperse; one moment vividly here, the next moment gone from sight. In a broad sense, the stories in Life Like Smoke explore the differentiations between self and other, the loneliness inherent to being a singular human subject, and the miraculous fact of connection and union that occur nonetheless. They are also stories that explore the nature of human narratives, first in the vast expanse of the Patagonian desert, where the overwhelming narrative of nature threatens to destroy the human narratives that arise within it, and then in the city of Buenos Aires, where the deluge of human narratives constantly compete, spitting sparks, coming together, breaking apart. And, of course, these stories are whatever you make of them, yours to map onto or make associations with, to analyze, to viscerally feel. Flannery O’Connor says it takes every word of a story to tell what that story is about. I would go further. Every word of a story comes together with you, the reader, to continually create itself. So if you want to know what the stories are about, you’re going to have to go ahead and read them.
- Item"Little Boys Don't Grow Up to Be Transformers": Assembling the Pieces of Chinese American Masculinity in American Born Chinese(2011) Toy, Gregory; Solomon, Asali
- ItemRai-ngan Prajum Pi 2562(2022) Cook, Nunnapat; Solomon, AsaliTwo points for big achievements. A single point for small ones. Five or ten points for exceptional accomplishments. When Peak, an architectural assistant from Bangkok, returns home to Chiang Mai for the New Year, he is determined to boast about his career gains. First contender for a promotion, he says. Super popular among his coworkers, he adds. Ma is firm on Peak impressing their grandfather, Taa, and matriarch, Khun Yai, to maintain the lead against her older brother, Na Bin. But when members of Na Bin's household – Peak's cousins, Somo and Ice – make their own career strides, Peak's and Ma's reputation is challenged. Can the two earn Khun Yai's approval, as they've had for many years during New Year's dinner, or will they lose to Na Bin, Somo, and Ice? Inspired by the disorienting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of young adults, Rai-ngan Prajum Pi 2562 is a short story about a family rivalry that masks the fight for love, the pressures of fulfilling expectations, and the chaos of life.