The Black Imagination, Science Fiction and Futurism
Call for Papers Date:
We announce a call for papers for a book in development that explores the Black imagination, science fiction and futurism in literature, film and the visual arts. Works included will explore speculative, fantasy as well as hybrid genres – of black writers, film-makers and visual artists -- their visions of the future, alternative pasts, critiques of the present as well as other possibilities.
While the genre of science fiction has a long history of social commentary, it has not given much attention to issues of race and ethnicity let alone their intersections with sex and gender in the context of imagined futures. Historically, the focus has been on social and political commentary, as well as fantasy, growing out of Western experiences -- geo-politics, and conflicts between and among nation-states as well as those between governments and their citizens, and responses to social, cultural and technological changes. It was not until the mid-20th century that science fiction by Black writers emerged. At times, many of these works were not explicitly defined as science fiction; yet, the conventions of the genre, often embedded in a multiplicity of narrative forms, using a variety of tropes, indicate clearly that social commentary – initially regarding the state of the race — as well as speculation about the future have been at the heart of works produced by Black writers since the early 20th century. Contemporary works by writers and film-makers in the Black and African Diaspora have extended the boundaries of discourse, explicitly embracing the genre, envisioning different times, places, and social arrangements – addressing not only issues of race, ethnicity, gender and color, the presence of Black individuals or beings coded as black, and also examining issues related to politics and technology. Science and speculative fiction by Black writers is a genre that is growing, expanding the boundaries, presenting perspectives and posing questions not addressed in canonical works. These issues we seek to explore in our book.
We are seeking papers that critically examine works of contemporary voices of the Black and African Diaspora that engage us in thinking about imagined futures related to race, gender, identity, power, space, time, and technology. The following topics are of particular interest: the recent works of Octavia Butler, the work of Samuel Delaney and Steve Barnes; as well as topics related to Afro-Futurism and speculative fiction by Black writers, film-makers and visual artists.
• Abstracts of approximately 400-500 words should be submitted via e-mail by August 30th, 2009
They should be sent in a Word document as an attachment, accompanied by the following information: full name of the author, university affiliation, and title of the abstract.
• Notification regarding acceptance will be sent to authors by September 30, 2009.
• Final papers will be due by May 30th, 2010.
Sandra Jackson, Ph.D
Center for Black Diaspora
2320 N. Kenmore Ave, SAC 551
Chicago, IL 60614 Email: email@example.com
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