Reading Time Travel in Octavia E. Butler’s "Kindred" as Sankofa

Alena Cicholewski


This article shows how the Akan concept of Sankofa as healing through returning to the past is engaged in Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred. Based on selected close readings, I will discuss whether the science fiction element of time travel in the novel can be read as a literal representation of Sankofa.


African American literature; neo-slave narratives; Sankofa; science fiction; time travel

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