Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, is recognized as one of the first to write a dystopian text in an adolescent’s perspective. With the genre rising in popularity, one must ask an important question: Where are the people of color in dystopias? This session will explore the effect of the lack of diversity acknowledged in popular dystopian novels and films on minority groups, especially African American and Hispanic males, and how they impact the formation of their identities. Dystopia fiction safely explores and criticizes contemporary problems in a made-up place, but are they criticizing as much as they can?
Session Goals and Outcomes Attendees will rigorously discuss various dystopian texts and films. Attendees will be able to list 5 dystopian novels that positively portray protagonists of color. Attendees will evaluate the effects of multicultural texts on children's perspectives of race and educator implementations of multicultural literature. Attendees will be able to identify why we need to build more diverse worlds in fiction.
Shaquan Harris, Undergraduate English Major, The College at Brockport
Shaquan Harris is a junior at The College at Brockport majoring in English, concentrating in Creative Writing, with a double minor in Psychology and Communications. Shaquan holds several leadership positions at the College as a Resident Assistant, Peer Mentor, Orientation Leader, member of the Leadership Development Program, Tour Guide, and Overnight Host. His commitment to the local community is exemplified in his work volunteering with the Brockport Central School District. He is currently working on a piece of fiction exploring themes such as family, identity, addiction, and the human compulsion to seek vengeance.