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Afro-American Female Dram: Rhetoric and Poetic

Dr. Vera Shamina,

Department of World Literature, Institute of Philology and Intercultural Communication, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia

In the second half of the 20th century, Afro-American female drama definitely became an important part of not only the Afro-American theatre process but of American drama and theatre at large. Still, though its tradition can be traced as far back as the end of the 19th century, black women playwrights remain on the fringes of today’s mainstream, much more so than their male colleagues. As a result, we have two issues here: black culture in general, which is fighting for its place and recognition in modern American society, and the feminist movement, on the other. Modern female Afro-American drama, though rather similar in its rhetoric, is very diverse and sophisticated in its poetics. Unlike much of white feminist drama, which is basically message-oriented, these plays present an elaborate interaction of overt propaganda with powerful symbolic imagery, which raises the problems addressed to a higher level of artistic discourse. We find here not just another series of theatrical innovations but a natural mode, which seems to be most appropriate for the goals set forth by the women dramatists. In many ways, it is different from the formal experiments carried out in modern drama, as the techniques developed in these plays organically emerge from the problems treated and give them the most expressive form of representation. All these issues will be addressed in the presentation.

Keywords: Afro-American Drama, Identity, Feminism, Female Characters, Rhetoric, Poetic

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Eighth International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 14-15 February 2023, Ahwaz.