Afrofuturism and Pauline Hopkins

Country: USA

City: Boston

Abstr. due: 11.01.2019

Dates: 23.05.19 — 26.05.19

Area Of Sciences: Arts; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: American Literature Association


With the release of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018), Afrofuturism is in the news.  Like Sutton Griggs’s Imperium in Imperio (1899), W.E.B. Du Bois’s “The Comet” (1920), and George Schuyler’s Black No More (1931), Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood (1902, 1903) is an early work of speculative fiction, published almost a century before Mark Dery in 1993 identified Afrofuturism as “[s]peculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture.” Hopkins’s nonfiction essays in the Colored American Magazine also engage with the alternate histories (and, relatedly, possible futures) with which Afrofuturism often concerns itself. These histories are framed as more truthful than racially biased accounts in the mainstream history books and media in their acknowledgment of the significance of black civilization, innovation, and art in Africa and beyond.

For this panel, we welcome papers on Hopkins and her relationship to speculative fiction and/or Afrofuturism. We also welcome papers that examine the speculative fiction of her contemporaries like Du Bois and Griggs. Papers that make links between Hopkins’s work and later twentieth century and twenty-first century Afrofuturist texts are also encouraged. While we encourage papers on these themes, we also invite proposals on any topic related to Pauline Hopkins.

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