Event Title

Return to Nevèrÿork: Queer Time, Afrofuturism, and Radical Queer Politics In Delany’s Cyclical Cities

Presenter Information

Nadia Tivvis, Dickinson College

Location

Stern Center Great Room

Start Date

18-4-2019 5:30 PM

Description

Samuel R. Delany’s post-apocalyptic novel Dhalgren (1975) and his sword-and-sorcery series Return to Nevèrÿon (1979, 1983, 1985, 1987) use and subvert their respective genre conventions to deconstruct normative models of temporality which Jack Halberstam would later describe in his theory of Queer Time. By destabilizing infrastructures of order, hierarchy, and time in the imagined cities of Nevèrÿon and Dhalgren, Delany can model alternate temporal ideologies. The novels’ cyclical structures show how the present understands itself through the history that it also actively shapes. Specifically, his doubled narratives in Flight from Nevèrÿon connect questions about the constructed history of slavery to the emerging narratives of AIDS. While Dhalgren disrupts normalized time and exemplifies alternatives, Nevèrÿon analyzes the connection between the history and future of marginalized peoples by revealing the ways time is constructed by the majority to exclude the experiences of queer people.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Comments

Advisor: Associate Professor Claire Seiler

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Apr 18th, 5:30 PM

Return to Nevèrÿork: Queer Time, Afrofuturism, and Radical Queer Politics In Delany’s Cyclical Cities

Stern Center Great Room

Samuel R. Delany’s post-apocalyptic novel Dhalgren (1975) and his sword-and-sorcery series Return to Nevèrÿon (1979, 1983, 1985, 1987) use and subvert their respective genre conventions to deconstruct normative models of temporality which Jack Halberstam would later describe in his theory of Queer Time. By destabilizing infrastructures of order, hierarchy, and time in the imagined cities of Nevèrÿon and Dhalgren, Delany can model alternate temporal ideologies. The novels’ cyclical structures show how the present understands itself through the history that it also actively shapes. Specifically, his doubled narratives in Flight from Nevèrÿon connect questions about the constructed history of slavery to the emerging narratives of AIDS. While Dhalgren disrupts normalized time and exemplifies alternatives, Nevèrÿon analyzes the connection between the history and future of marginalized peoples by revealing the ways time is constructed by the majority to exclude the experiences of queer people.