|Institution:||University of Pittsburgh|
|Full text PDF:||http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/28251/1/HallAshleyR_etd2016.pdf|
This dissertation considers the ways that Black women navigate the anti-black violence that constrains them, creating social life within social death via their (re)production. The narratives of racial difference embedded within cultural pathology criminalizing Black women’s attempts to “produce properly” has meant that they have had to find creative ways to mother and empower themselves. In de-centering a concern for mothering as biological, this study primarily focuses on the ways Black women mother self via their strategies of self-care. Ashley draws from and speak to the history of Black women’s particular (re)productive struggles to imagine a different kind of rhetorical framework, Black Maternal Futurism (BMF). Black Feminist Studies, Black Queer Studies, and Afro-pessimism & Afro-futurism constitute the theoretical landscape in which she positions this project on Black mothering, sexual expression, and (re)production. In imagining rhetoric as “something different,” this project analyzes rhetorics produced by Black women about their mothering to gain a deeper understanding as to how they negotiate a violent, anti-black world.