In Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century, eminent contributors pay tribute to Afrofuturism as a powerful and evolving aesthetic practice that communicates the experience of science, technology, and race across centuries, continents, and cultures. While Ryan Coogler and Janelle Monáe may have helped bring the genre into contemporary pop consciousness, it in fact extends back to the writing of eighteenth-century poet Phyllis Wheatley and has continued in the work of Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, N. K. Jemisin, and many others. In examining this heritage, contributors in this volume question generic boundaries, recover lost artists and introduce new ones, and explore how the meteoric rise of a new, pan-African speculative literary tradition may or may not connect with Afrofuturism.
Additionally, the editors have marshaled some of today’s most exciting writers for a roundtable discussion of the genre: Bill Campbell, Minister Faust, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemisin, Chinelo Onwualu, Nisi Shawl, and Nick Wood. Pioneering author and editor Sheree R. Thomas limns how black women have led new developments in contemporary Afrofuturism, and artist Stacey Robinson’s illustrations orient readers to the spirited themes of this enduring and consequential literary tradition. Use Contributors only is there is room (if not will use on marketing material)
About the Author
Isiah Lavender III is the Sterling-Goodman Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Afrofuturism Rising: The Literary Prehistory of a Movement (OSU Press, 2019). Lisa Yaszek is Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech. She is the author of Galactic Suburbia: Recovering Women’s Science Fiction (OSU Press, 2007).
“My personal joy with this collection [is] that each contributor gets to offer their distinct angle and approach to one piece of the pie that makes up the Afrofuturist consciousness. For a descriptive term that is still in its nascent stages, Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century does the important work of paving the way for said agreements and disagreements, acceptance and reluctance, and stands firm in the messiness of it all, proclaiming that messiness as, in fact, a part of its making.” —Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Scholars in the field will find this volume essential, while the accessibility of the essays, the intricate and powerful art, the inclusion of writers currently working in Black sf, and the playfulness that Lavender and Yaszek bring to the book ensure it is worth reading for anyone interested in our connected futurities.” —Megan M. Stowe, Science Fiction Studies
“Lavender and Yaszek have provoked a conversation among critics that challenges us with fundamental questions about the historical and geopolitical significance of African, Caribbean, and Black diasporic literary fantasies.” —andré m. carrington author of Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction
“The collection delivers both up-to-date scholarship on a variety of authors and texts and documentation of the overall power and impact of Afrofuturist writing in the early twenty-first century. Each essay taught me something, whether it had to do with a familiar text or one that was entirely new to me.” —Steven Shaviro