Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Higashida

Second Advisor

Dr. Penelope Kelsey

Third Advisor

Dr. Joanne Belknap


NoViolet Bulawayo’s writing in We Need New Names (2013) privileges the voice of Darling, a black-female child from Zimbabwe and draws the reader into her world and story that is not told through conventional Western discourses of the media or history. Bulawayo renames historical events in Zimbabwe and the immigrant experience in order to reclaim a narrative that is often overlooked because of race, nationality, gender, and age. The names used within the novel are used to challenge the linear narratives of immigration that reproduce the false ideology of easy upward mobility and the disregard of diasporic realities in order to reclaim the historical and social narrative of the Zimbabwean immigrant/postcolonial novel. Bulawayo’s writing and naming allows Darling’s voice to emerge in a Western social sphere that mainly disregards the Zimbabwean and immigrant voice.