Queer and Feminist Afrofutures (Panel)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 


Concerns about futurity have long been at the center of queer and African studies. While the anti-relational turn in queer theory has celebrated a politics of failure, disrupting the idea of progressive futurity, African decolonization is understandably wedded to visions of a future unfettered by the past. This is not to say that the “no future” brand of queer studies is any less interested in futurity than are African nationalist discourses, but that this radical negativity is made possible by certain kinds of economic privilege. At the same time, science and speculative fiction offer African writers a tool to envision alternative futures set temporally beyond forms of social injustice that continue to exist in the present. This panel considers the varied ways in which African studies constructs queer futures, in which African futurity rests upon queer speculation and often dystopic critiques of the present.

Since science fiction is still largely thought of as a genre of the global North, we are interested in papers that interrogate queer and African temporalities from within a wide range of fields. Possible intersections and approaches might include:

-- African inroads to science fiction that adopt a queer or feminist lens

-- queer or feminist agents of social change in African science fiction

-- African speculative / science fiction that reads the present or future queerly

-- African speculative / science fiction that adopts a queer analytic gesture to make injustice, so often accepted as normal, appear “strange”

-- Human rights critiques in African science fiction

-- queer and afrofeminist visions for the future

Submit: Please submit abstracts online through NeMLA, here: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16404 

Deadline: Abstracts due September 30th, 2016


Conference Location: The 48th Annual Northeast Modern Language Association will take place in Baltimore, Maryland and is hosted by Johns Hopkins University

Conference Date: NeMLA will meet March 23-26, 2017