I will be presenting on and chairing a panel called Black Speculative Arts at this year's PCAS/ACAS conference. This panel will focus on different branches of Black Speculative Arts and how they can be used to shape identity and instruct. My paper, "Super Black: The Transformative Power of Black Fantasy" will...well, check the abstract below!
Fantastic stories of hidden worlds and perilous journeys pepper both popular and literary fiction. From Tolkien to Rowling to Collins, the Fantasy genre has told the tale of heroes for centuries, but has often neglected people of color and their exploits. Superheroes like Virgil “Static” Hawkins and Ororo “Storm” Munroe have broken barriers in mainstream speculative fiction, but several lesser known works by authors like Charles Saunders and Milton Davis explore how transformative and poignant Fantasy can be in the arena of the Black Speculative Arts. This paper seeks to place a special emphasis on the fantastic elements and characters in the Black Speculative Arts and demonstrate how these powerful heroes and their grandiose adventures can transfer a sense of heroism, wonder, and revolutionary thinking to readers.