Deji Bryce Olukotun, a Nigerian-American science fiction writer whose work has been described as “AfricanFuturist,” will deliver the inaugural April Selley Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, March 3, at 5 p.m.
Olukotun is the author of After the Flare, a novel about a world reordered by a catastrophic solar flare. Electrical grids are crippled and cyberattacks have paralyzed all communication. The book touches on a wide range of topics including post-colonial studies, Boko Haram, the Nigerian space program, gender, race and science. His debut novel, Nigerians in Space, follows an international arc as a Nigerian immigrant geologist sets out to obtain rocks from the moon’s surface.
Another Nigerian-American author, Nnedi Okorafor, offers a definition of AfricanFuturism. “[It] is a sub-category of science fiction. It is more deeply rooted in African cultures, histories, and mythologies. It does not privilege or center the West. It is concerned with visions of the future and is centered on and written by people of African descent. It is rooted first and foremost in Africa.”
The lecture honors the memory of April Selley, a devoted English professor and writer who instilled in students her joy of literature and the craft of creative writing. She passed away in 2016. The talk in sponsored by Union’s English Department and coordinated by Robyn Reed, associate librarian, and Prof. Hugh Jenkins.