Project Director

Whightsel, Oren

Department Examiner

Ventura, Abbie; Palmer, Heather


Dept. of Humanities


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Through Beloved Other, I offer a story of difference retold. A reimagination of the harsh drape of embodied difference as defined by White hegemony. Through Part I, I will lay out the theoretical foundations for my process of (re)telling. Beginning with intersectionality, difference is (re)defined as a site of potential energy, then further clarified through the lens of Queer Phenomenology by Sara Ahmed. In this section I will use my theory to disidentify difference, relying on the work of Jose Esteban Muñoz, to reveal the life-saving impulse toward connection between individuals, and the potential energy between bodies that can help us (re)make Queer new worlds. Necessary to this work are Queer modes of embodiment and disability studies, both of which are introduced, alongside disidentifications, through Toni Morrison’s short story “Recitatif” (originally published in 1983). Part II explores Beloved Other’s (re)historicization project to further develop the importance of embodiment through (re)telling the body. This section will further develop disidentification through the combination of Queer and Critical Craft Theories in a discussion of two artistic physical texts. Such a combination reveals the importance of labor and speech/language to the processes of community building towards which Beloved Other strives. Part III expands the disidentification of language through a theory of temporal deconstruction. In this section I lean on the theories of Black Quantum Futurism to define and deconstruct Patrilinear time through Beloved Other and the creation of a new Queer language. I further develop the possible embodiments of this new language through a discussion of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred. In Part IV I conclude my project with a meditation on Toni Morisson’s Beloved along side a physical artistic text that I created in conjunction with my own beloved kin. Through cross genre prose and my art piece I will demonstrate the beginning of the creative, reconstructive power of Beloved Other.


A moment for my community members who have made this project possible: Thank you to Dr. Oren Whightsel, your support and motivation have kept my spirit afloat. You are my theoretical parent, and truly, without you and your tutelage this theory could not exist. Thank you to Dr. Abbie Ventura, through your mentorship my love for learning was reignited, through your guidance I have learned new futures for myself. Dr. Heather Palmer, thank you for your energy and passion for rhetoric and theory. Your additions opened up new possibilities for the direction of my theory. Thank you to James Arnett for introducing me to Black Quantum Futurisms and the possibility of a project this size. A special thank you to Jay who shipped my notebook across the state: these last months would have been hell without you. Thank you to my family who helped me design my art piece: Christina, Jade, and Anne you are the roots from which I have grown. To my kin, Mika and Cosette: thank you for your consistency in love and friendship. You have redefined my theory, often literally. To Teddy, my love, thank you for your patience in our separation. I’ll be home soon. Finally, to my ancestors and future ancestors, to whom I write with an abundance of love: May we meet again in the space between our hands.


B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.




Afrofuturism; Craftivism; Deconstruction; Handicraft--Political aspects; Intersectionality (Sociology); Patrilineal kinship--Social aspects; Queer theory; Social justice


Butler, Octavia E. Kindred--Criticism and interpretation; Morrison, Toni.--Criticism and interpretation


Queer Theory; Craft; Black Quantum Futurism; (re)historicization; Cultural Studies; phallogocentrism


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Document Type



ii, 83 leaves