Book Cover

Black Speculative Feminisms

Memory and Liberated Futures in Black Women’s Fiction

Cassandra L. Jones

120 pp. 6 x 9
EXPECTED Pub Date: November, 2024

Subjects: Black Studies
Literary Studies, American

Series: New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Speculative

Preorder Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-814-2154-1
Preorder Paperback $29.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5929-0

“Jones’s theory of restorative fabulation, her contributions to Black ecofeminism, and her fluency in Black feminist literary theory provide an illuminating lens for understanding how Black women archive the past and create the future.” —Shelley S. Streeby, author of Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism

Black Speculative Feminisms convincingly demonstrates that the body of work by Octavia Butler and her successors represents a coherent and sophisticated artistic and social undertaking, one that is best understood on its own terms rather than made to fit existing critical criteria.” —Brian Attebery, author of Decoding Gender in Science Fiction

How do Black women writing speculative fiction explore the use of memory as a potential strategy for liberation? In Black Speculative Feminisms, Cassandra L. Jones looks at the writings of Octavia E. Butler, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, Rasheedah Phillips, and Nnedi Okorafor to chart those moments where characters harness, or fail to harness, the power of memory. These instances transform memory—individual and collective, bodily and archival—from passive recollection into direct or indirect social action. Taking a Black feminist approach, Jones addresses several emancipatory themes within Afrofuturism: the decolonization of time that can be found in fiction employing non-Western and non-linear expressions of time, exploring futurity and the projection of a full range of expressions of Black humanity into anticipated futures, and imagining new worlds and novel approaches to old problems. Drawing on critical fabulation and restorative justice, she forwards restorative fabulation as the mechanism by which speculative fiction offers a healing site for authors and readers to process generational trauma while imagining more equitable futures.

Cassandra L. Jones is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and an affiliate faculty member in Film and Media Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her research focuses on the intersection of race, gender, speculative fiction, technology, and memory.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction Black Speculative Feminisms and Restorative Fabulation

Chapter 1 Memory as Horror and Healing in Tananarive Due’s The Good House and Nalo Hopkinson’s The New Moon’s Arms

Chapter 2 Memory, Decolonization, and Alien Invasion in Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon

Chapter 3 Memory and Time Travel in Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred and Rasheedah Phillips’s Telescoping Effect: Part One

Chapter 4 Memory and the Reproduction of Regime: Anyanwu as Lieu de Memoire in Octavia E. Butler’s Patternist Series

Conclusion Next Steps as We Realize the World Is on Fire


Bibliography
Index

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