Committee Chair

Einstein, Sarah

Committee Member

Baker, Sybil; Hunter, Rick


Dept. of English


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Fantasy is a genre that seldom includes black characters. When black characters are present, they often lack the same narrative significance, reliability and character growth that is given to white characters. This can lead to poorly written black characters that lack purpose or fall victim to stereotypical roles and troupes. Depicting black characters in this way can further isolate readers who wish to read about black characters, that are more than just stereotypes, within the fantasy genre. This thesis will examine the writing techniques of character coding and the subversion of stereotypes and how they present a way for black characters to be better represented within the fantasy genre. Lastly, authors, N.K. Jemisin, L.L. McKinney and Tomi Adeyemi and their use of these techniques to create fully realized black characters within their fantasy novels will be analyzed.


I would like to thank my thesis chair, Sarah Einstein, for encouraging me to go to graduate school. As a person who was unsure of her ability to write meaningful works, it meant the world to know that someone I looked up to in my field on interest believed in me. This thesis couldn’t have come together without her advice and patience as I worked through my ideas for this project. I will be forever grateful for all the help she provided me. I would also like to thank Sybil Baker. Without her guidance my novel would still be sitting in sitting in a messy limbo state without structure of an ending. Her novel writing class gave my ideas structure and let me see the bigger picture for my vision of my story. Thanks, also to Rick Hunter for making my transition into graduate school a smooth experience. Even though I came from computer science, you acknowledge my desire to be a creative writer and inspired me to pursue this dream, regardless of my own worries in doing so. Lastly, I would like to thank the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for providing me with the assistantship scholarship, without it I would never have been able to learn more about myself and grow as a writer.


M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.




Characters and characteristics in literature; Description (Rhetoric); Fantasy fiction--Authorship; Race in literature


Adeyemi, Tomi--Criticism and interpretation; Jemisin, N. K.--Criticism and interpretation; McKinney, L. L. (Leatrice L.)--Criticism and interpretation


Black, Fantasy, Diversity, Inclusion

Document Type

Masters theses




vi, 55 leaves





Date Available


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