Reading group forms for Afrofuturism exhibit

Publication Date

A new Schaffer Library exhibit, “Black Space: Reading (and Writing) Ourselves into the Future. A Celebration of the African Diasporic Imagination in Afrofuturism,” opens Jan. 31.

Among the events scheduled to coincide with the exhibit is the Afrofuturist Reading Group, which will meet three times during winter term. The group is open to all students, faculty and staff.

“The purpose of this reading group is to introduce participants to Afrofuturist themes in select works of fiction and critical essays, providing a forum for discussion, reflection and a catalyst for further exploration,” said College Librarian Frances Maloy.

The reading group will culminate in a public forum in which two artists, one community activist and a few members of the group will open the discussion to a wider audience. The forum is set for 5-7 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Lally Reading Room of Schaffer Library. Panel speakers include John Jennings, Reynolds Anderson and Rasheedah Phillips.

Afrofuturism has been defined as “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture.”

Readings will include the work of such cultural critics as Mark Dery and Alondra Nelson; pioneering authors Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois and George Schuyler; and contemporary practitioners John Jennings, Reynaldo Anderson and Ytasha Womack.

Meeting times will alternate between Common Lunch and late afternoon (5 p.m.), with a light meal provided. Participants are welcome to attend one session or all. Interested faculty, staff and students should RSVP Robyn Reed (

The exhibit runs through April 19.