Self-Reflexivity and Generic Change in 21st-Century Black British Women’s Literature

Project Details

Description

This project critically engages with the poetics and politics of selfreflexivity in 21st-century Black British literature. Drawing on theories
concerning genre, metafiction and postcolonialism, it studies, firstly,
the political functions of postcolonial metafiction and, thus, refines
existing literary theories, which all too often have dissociated selfreflexivity from realism and political engagement. The project also
investigates the cultural functions of metafiction as a reading strategy
through its shifting currency and (possibly gendered) de-/appreciation
in literary criticism. Thirdly, and most notably, however, the project
centres on metafiction’s aesthetic functions. Conceptualising
metafiction as a catalyst for generic change, it explores how postmillennial self-reflexive fiction by British women of African and
African-Caribbean descent has 1) broadened Black British literature’s
subject matter (i.e. topical invention), 2) revitalized existing genres
through variation, hybridization and mixing (i.e. genre development)
and 3) led to the creation of new subgenres (i.e. genre multiplication).
Tracing an alternative self-reflexive tradition, the project will not just
revise histories of Black British literature but also existing theories of
metafiction, which have predominantly focussed on white male
writers. Thus, it helps to better understand the political, cultural and
aesthetic dynamics of genre evolution today in and through the Black
British field
AcronymFWOAL1007
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/24

Keywords

  • metafiction
  • genre development
  • 21st-century Black British women's writing

Flemish discipline codes

  • Contemporary literature
  • Literary theory
  • Literatures in English
  • Narratology
  • Postcolonial studies