Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Christina Crosby

Major

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

I read Janelle Monáe's multimedia art project as a form of sonic theory and Black Feminist Worldmaking. I analyse the ways in which Monáe reimagines and interrogates the alienation of minoritarian groups--Afro-disaphoric populations, Black Americans, queers of color, lesbians, women of color, Black women, poor people--through her android future of Metropolis. I consider mechanisms through which she recapitulates historical and present day alienations through a dystopic alien future: 1) through android allegory, 2) through materializing the android as a black woman, and 3) through innovative genre fusions and digital sound technology. Electric Lady Janelle Monáe's artistic project functions as a magnet between seemingly opposing poles--past and future, human and alien, soul and digital technology--to engender a consciousness shift in and about the present.

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