Post-Jungian Psychoanalysis And Images Of The Black Queer Other In Selected Works By Wallace Henry Thurman And Richard Bruce Nugent
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentEnglish and Languages
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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This dissertation evaluates black queer images in the works of Wallace Thurman and Richard Bruce Nugent and suggests that many of their critiques, novels, and short stories, such as Thurman's The Blacker the Berry (1929) and Infants of the Spring (1932) and Nugent's Gentleman Jigger (1928) and "Smoke, Lilies, and Jade" (1926), show a serious preoccupation with images of the black queer Other. In this study, the black queer Other is defined as a gay, bisexual, or heterosexual person of African descent who is defined as odd, strange, and non-normative; the black queer Other is an odd, strange, and non-normative individual who is ostracized in the black community because their social and/or sexual identities exist outside the standards of acceptable behavior and appearance. Their behavior and appearance disrupt normative social constructions and therefore blur social binaries and fixed identities. In this study, the word "queer" is used in both its pre-modern context as odd, strange, and weird and in its post-modern context as a critique of any person whose behavior or appearance exists outside the confines of the socially normative. The pre-modern use of the word "queer" is a direct corollary to the post-modern use of the word "queer." Furthermore, this dissertation examines connections between images in Thurman's and Nugent's work and the primordial images Carl Jung calls archetypes. This study suggests that Thurman's and Nugent's personally and culturally defined uses of the persona, the shadow figure, and the Self examine images about the black queer Other, explore the relationship between images and black queer complexes, and investigate the construction of positive black queer images within the texts.