In 2021 Jordan Peele remade the 1992 cult horror classic, Candyman. The 2021 remake received critical success and despite being delayed several times due to the covid-19 pandemic, was a box office success as well. In both the 1992 and 2021 versions, the eponymous main character is a black man. But in the remake, the character deviates from the usual narrative trope of being a menacing black man to a man with complex emotions and feelings. For most viewers, these changes make for a good story, but likely are not things that they dwell on, and certainly are forgettable by the time they have left the theater. But for our guest this week, literature MA student Marisa Williams in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, these differences are what gives them inspiration and are what inform their research. While Marisa has just begun their thesis work, they know that they will examine issues of racism on black bodies within contemporary literature. Specifically, Marisa plans to explore how the legacy of colonialism has remained in the literature of French-Caribbean authors writing in the 21st century despite more than two centuries of emancipation from colonialism.
In order to do this kind of research, Marisa first has to learn about the history and philosophy of colonialism and post-colonial identity in the Caribbean. They plan to do this by exploring how notions of “Creole-ness,” the monstrosity of whiteness, and identity have all shaped the French-Caribbean experience in today’s literature. This has led Marisa to some interesting literary “rabbit holes,” that has taken them through history, philosophy, and fantasy literature.
To learn more about what is “Creole-ness,” the monstrosity of whiteness, and identity and how they relate to fantasy literature, tune in live on Sunday May 1st, 2022 on KBVR to listen. You can also catch more of Marisa’s story and research when they present as part of OSU’s 2022 Grad Inspire which will be taking place on May 12th.