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“I Mean to Survive”: Feminist Disability Theory and Womanist Survival Ethics in Octavia Butler’s Parables

  • Esther L. Jones
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)

Abstract

For all of these authors, challenging mainstream notions of racial, gendered and cultural/epistemological differences imposed on black women and how society’s medical ethical conundrums are played out on the black female body prove paramount in their fiction. This trend continues in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower (1992) and Parable of the Talents (1996). In the Parable series, Butler’s critique of medical discourse is best examined through the lens of disability studies, an emergent field that researches how human bodies that are construed as other, deviant and nonnormative in actuality reflect how every body exists along a spectrum of difference. As Kathryn Allan points out, “Disability scholars are careful to distinguish the difference between physical impairment and the social construction of disability,”1 a distinction that underscores the ways an impairment such as lacking an arm or a leg becomes a disability by applying a negative valuation and creating barriers to access.2

Keywords

Black Woman Ethical System Disability Study Street Poor Intersectional Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Esther L. Jones 2015

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  • Esther L. Jones

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