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The Black Imagination

Science Fiction, Futurism and the Speculative


Sandra Jackson and Julie E. Moody-Freeman

This critical collection covers a broad spectrum of works, both literary and cinematic, and issues from writers, directors, and artists who claim the science fiction, speculative fiction, and Afro-futurist genres. The anthology extends the discursive boundaries of science fiction by examining iconic writers like Octavia Butler, Walter Mosley, and Nalo Hopkinson through the lens of ecofeminist veganism, post-9/11 racial geopolitics, and the effect of the computer database on human voice and agency. Contributors expand what the field characterizes as speculative fiction by examining for the first time the vampire tropes present in Audre Lorde’s poetry, and by tracing her influence on the horror fiction of Jewelle Gomez. The collection moves beyond exploration of literary fiction to study the Afro-futurist representations of Blacks in comic books, in the Star Trek franchise, in African films, and in blockbuster films like Independence Day, I Robot, and I Am Legend.
Contents: Sandra Jackson/Julie Moody-Freeman: Introduction. The Black Imagination and the Genres: Science Fiction, Futurism and the Speculative – Madhu Dubey: The Future of Race in Afro-Futurist Fiction – Adilifu Nama: Brave Black Worlds: Black Superheroes as Science Fiction Ciphers – Micheal Charles Pounds: «Explorers» - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Alisa K. Braithwaite: Connecting to a Future Community: Storytelling, the Database, and Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber – Shannon Gibney: Science Fiction, Feminism and Blackness: The Multifaceted Import of Octavia Butler’s Work – Amie Breeze Harper: The Absence of Meat in Oankali Dietary Philosophy: An Eco-Feminist-Vegan Analysis of Octavia Butler’s Dawn – Alexis Pauline Gumbs: Speculative Poetics: Audre Lorde as Prologue for Queer Black Futurism – Marie-Luise Loeffler: «Why white people feel they got to mark us?»: Bodily Inscription, Healing and Maternal «Plots of Power» in Jewelle Gomez’s «Louisiana1850» – Brandon Kempner: The Unshakable Intent to Commit Genocide : Walter Mosely’s The Wave, 9/11 and Politics out of Context – Debbie Olson: Techno-Utopia and the Search for Saaraba (1989) – Stepahnie Larrieux: Towards a Black Science Fiction Cinema: The Slippery Signifier of Race and the Films of Will Smith.