"The Matter of Bodies: Materiality on Nalo Hopkinson's Cybernetic Planet", The Global South - Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 2010 »
Hey, academics, have a paper about Midnight Robber!
The black woman’s body in the Americas, and in the global South more generally, vexes and makes visible different valences of labor: the production of commodities and the reproduction of bodies that become commodities. Situating her novel, Midnight Robber (2000), in a speculative future space allusively linked to Caribbean histories of maroonage and anti-colonial resistance, Nalo Hopkinson traces the relationship among the black woman’s body, reproduction, production, and materiality. The physicality of bodies is productively linked to resistance against the coercive cybernetic strategies of the decentralized artificial intelligence network (the Nanny web) that biopolitically regulates the population on its new planetary home of Toussaint. In a final scene that promises investment in a material economy drawn from local resources and sustained by a proliferation of resistance narratives featuring a creolized figure who combines maroonage and carnival tactics, Midnight Robber imagines a new possibility for living that negotiates between Caribbean localities linked to material production and mobile, inter-planetary networks linked to discursive production.