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Growing out of the music scene, afrofuturism has emerged as an important aesthetic through films such as Black Panther and Get Out. While the significance of these sonic and visual avenues for afrofuturism cannot be underestimated, literature remains fundamental to understanding its full dimensions. Isiah Lavender’s Afrofuturism Rising explores afrofuturism as a narrative practice that enables users to articulate the interconnection between science, technology, and race across centuries.
By engaging with authors as diverse as Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, Samuel R. Delany Jr., Pauline Hopkins, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright, Afrofuturism Rising extends existing scholarly conversations about who creates and what is created via science fiction. Through a trans-historical rereading of texts by these authors as science fiction, Lavender highlights the ways black experience in America has always been an experience of spatial and temporal dislocation akin to science fiction. Compelling and ambitious in scope, Afrofuturism Rising redefines both science fiction and literature as a whole.
About the Author
Isiah Lavender III is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University.
“This is a major work in the fields of both science fiction studies and black literary studies, bringing the two together in a novel way that is sure to be well-cited and discussed for many years to come.” —Gerry Canavan
“Afrofuturism Rising is compelling, necessary, and ambitious in scope. For the growing number of scholars now specializing in the literary dynamics of Afrofuturism, it will be indispensable to the way we teach and research this important cultural phenomenon.” —Qiana J. Whitted