The Transformative Power of Queer Kinship in N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series.

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
University of Idaho
contact email: 

Hello scholars,

 

I had an abstract submitted and accepted by "Kinship in the Fiction of N. K. Jemisin: Relations of Power and Resistance" to be published by Lexington Books in 2022, but just found out all chapters must have a PhD author, and as such, I am looking for a co-author. 

Please view my abstract below, and know we can switch it up if you are interested in this project. Please submit a paragraph about your interest, and what ideas you have to contribute to the chapter jeanam@uidaho.edu *MUST HAVE A PHD*

 

word limit is 7 000 words including endnotes and bibliography

 

Abstract:

The Transformative Power of Queer Kinship in N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series.

 

            In N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, we follow the story of a woman named Essun and her family formations. During the different sections of her life, she develops and cultivates queer kinship around her, often without meaning to, and sometimes even in spite of her resistance. This chapter will delve into the different types of bonds explored in these books, whether they are queer in form or romantic connection, or shaped and strengthened through shared trauma. Through feminist and queer theoretical lenses, this series can be read as an imagining of how these bonds create transformation and change.

Jemisin pushes the boundaries of family formations through the intentional death of a child, the murder of a father, and the conception of queer families. Queer kinship is not defined by those who share your blood or bloodline, nor by those who match or meet your romantic or sexual orientations, but rather by those who you intentionally choose as family. These novels work to denaturalize normative narratives of family, patriarchy, and heteronormativity in order to envision how queer kinship can be created, rejected, sustained, resisted and emboldened. While the entirety of the Broken Earth series is allegorical for a mother-daughter bond as Jemisin says on her blog, there are a myriad of other familial formations such as child and abuser, triad coupling, gay and lesbian relationships, and human/non-human love.

 

Jemisin ultimately constructs a queer kinship that not only channels effort collectively for survival, but also works to change the world. Audre Lorde said, “our power [is] to envision and to reconstruct, anger by painful anger, stone upon heavy stone, a future of pollinating difference and the earth to support our choices,” and Jemisin’s characters, through their fortitude and shared trauma of discrimination, move mountains to stake their queer kinship as transformative. 

 

References:

Lorde, Audre. Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Penguin Classics, 2020.

Jemisin, N. K. “On Family.” Epiphany 2.0, October 30, 2015. https://nkjemisin.com/2015/10/on-family/.

 

Bibliographical note:

Jeana Moody holds a master’s degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Oregon State University where she studied exclusionary language and its affective consequences for trans, queer and other minoritized populations. Currently she works as program coordinator at University of Idaho's Women's Center and teaches adjunct courses in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.