A genetic fallacy : monstrous allegories of mixed-race in Gothic and contemporary literature

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Spenrath, Rylan
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of English
My thesis examines the similar intersections of hybridity that are embodied in both representations of monstrosity and the politics surrounding people of mixed-race. Drawing from Robert J.C. Young’s text Colonial Desire, I argue that monstrosity and mixed-race present diachronically parallel embodiments of hybridity. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen views monsters as “disturbing hybrids whose externally incoherent bodies resist attempts to include them in any systematic structuration” (loc 226); however, monsters and multiracial people do not inherently disturb category. Gothic representation of monstrosity in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde confirms that hybridity can be exploited in order to strengthen colonial categories of Self and Other. Postmodern monstrosity in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Octavia Butler’s Imago, complicate ostensibly rigid categories of identity only for the Gothic binary to resurface beneath the masks of superheroes and supervillains.
Hybridity , Race , Colorblind , Mixed-Race , Monster , Multiculturalism , Monstrous , Superhero , Drag , Gothic , Gender