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Gabriella Friedman works at the crossroads of Black studies, Indigenous studies, and contemporary literature.
Her dissertation argues that Indigenous and Black speculative fiction reconfigures the conventions of the historical novel to generate decolonial and abolitionist historicizing practices. Chapters on Colson Whitehead, Blake Hausman, and Octavia Butler demonstrate how non-realist tropes make the histories of antiblackness and settler colonialism tangible so that readers encounter the past as the material infrastructure of the present. Speculative fiction offers a toolbox for ethical grappling with these histories through practices including tangible care, covert movement, and direct action.
Gabriella’s publications appear or are forthcoming in Modern Fiction Studies, American Quarterly, and American Literature.
Her work has been supported by a John Brockway Huntington Foundation Fellowship at The Huntington Library and a Provost Diversity Fellowship at Cornell, among others.
She has taught numerous First-Year Writing Seminars at Cornell: “Great New Books,” “American Ghosts,” “Speculative Histories of Slavery and Colonialism,” "Science Fiction," and "Reading Now." In addition, she taught a course called “(Not) At Home in Multiethnic American Literatures” at Cayuga Correctional Facility through the Cornell Prison Education Program.
- 20th and 21st century American literature
- Native American and Indigenous Studies
- Black studies
- Speculative Fiction
- Historical Fiction