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Gabriella Friedman

Gabriella Friedman

Educational Background

Cornell University, MA
Whitman College, BA



Gabriella Friedman works at the intersection of Black and Indigenous studies, with particular interests in speculative fiction, historical fiction, and contemporary U.S. cultural production.

Her dissertation argues that Native American and African American speculative fiction reconfigures the conventions of the historical novel to generate decolonial and abolitionist historicizing practices. Chapters on Colson Whitehead, Blake Hausman, Octavia Butler, and Stephen Graham Jones demonstrate how non-mimetic tropes concretize the histories of antiblackness and settler colonialism so that readers encounter the past as the tangible infrastructure of the present rather than as a ghostly trace. Speculative fiction offers a toolbox for ethical grappling with these histories through quotidian lived practices including tangible care, covert movement, and direct action.

Gabriella’s publications appear in Modern Fiction Studies and American Quarterly.

She has taught three First-Year Writing Seminars at Cornell: “Great New Books,” “American Ghosts,” and “Speculative Histories of Slavery and Colonialism.” In addition, she taught “(Not) At Home in Multiethnic American Literatures” at Cayuga Correctional Facility through the Cornell Prison Education Program.


  • English


  • 20th and 21st century American literature
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Black studies
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Historical Fiction


Spring 2020


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