Telepathy, Shapeshifting, and the Locus of the Self

The concept of self as a collection of interchangeable parts is consistent with our existential freedom to “reinvent” ourselves, once we recognize that we have the ability to do so. We can change how we interface with others, our outward appearance, our language, our gender, even to a point our “race” – at least with respect to our own internal concept of self, apart, if not completely removed from the perceptions of others…

The Razor’s Edge Between Invisibility and Fetishism

For all “darkness” figures into the thinking of fantasy authors, it is conspicuously absent from the features of the characters. Except the “dark lords” and such, who play off of the fact that darkness equates to evil in the white literary imagination. Tolkien took it a step further, equating not only darkness with evil in the abstract, but designing his evil characters – goblins, trolls, and the like – with Africanesque features…

Beauty and Self-Hatred: A Reading of Sherman Alexie’s Flight

In Flight, Alexie seems to be asking whether or not self-hatred can be neutralized through assimilation – that is, can Zits’s hatred of his own Indian-ness be dissolved into a claiming of his whiteness? Indeed whiteness itself is a product of assimilation, with Irish, Italian, German, and other European ethnicities blending within the “melting pot” to create a new racial paradigm.