Nicholas Boyer, Philosophy & English
Faculty Mentor: Professor Lorna Perez, English
Nicholas is a double-major in Philosophy and English who expects to graduate in spring 2020. After six years of active duty in the USAF, Nicholas left military service in order to seek a more peaceful way of serving the world and those who occupy it, by decreasing violence and the oppression of Others. He will continue on to graduate school with plans of seeking his Ph.D.
As a fan of sci-fi and fantasy novels, Nicholas spent his fellowship researching Black Speculative Fiction. His work examines Octavia Butler’s Kindred alongside Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring. While Kindred uses devices of time travel to reveal the ways that the past always intrudes upon the present, Brown Girl in the Ring is set in a dystopic near future, in an urban Toronto devastated by poverty, white flight, addiction, and violence. In the midst of this, the characters use the powers of the spirituality, rooted in African diasporic experiences, to resist and survive in an urban wasteland. In both, young black female protagonists are forced to confront, literally and figuratively, the violence of their forefathers, and conquer them in order to ensure their own survival. Nicholas’s research examines these battles with the past, and with the patriarchal figures in the novel, using thinkers like Franz Fanon, Toni Morrison, Ytasha L. Womack, Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones, and André M. Carrington, among others.