Futurisms Now: From European Perspectives to Black, Indigenous, and Multi-Ethnic Futurisms

deadline for submissions: 
July 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Raquel Baker / Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)
contact email: 

This panel explores and theorizes storytelling strategies used in Black (African and Afro), Indigenous, and Multi-Ethnic Futurist art and social movements, including literature, poetry, film, music, and visual and digital arts. These alternate Futurisms shift the impetus of the creative energy from discarding the past to engaging complex senses of temporality and intertextuality that often center memory, history, folklore, urban legends, and identity.

As we move from 20th-century technoculture to 21st- century lifeworlds, alternate futurisms allow us to do the work of imagining possible futures, as well as alternate pasts and presents that might provide the conditions of possibility for more equitable and sustainable futures, through forms of signification that are not primarily European or merely provocative for the sake of bombast. South African writer Mohale Mashigo writes, “Africans, Iiving in Africa, need a project that predicts (it is fiction after all) Africa's future 'post-colonialism'; this will be divergent for each country on the continent because colonialism (and apartheid) affected us in unique (but sometimes similar) ways. In South Africa, for instance, there needs to exist a place in our imaginations that is the opposite of our present reality where a small minority owns most of the land and lives better lives than the rest” (The Intruders, “Afrofuturism: Ayashis' Amateki,” x-xi, 2018).

This panel invites papers that engage with non-Western modes of Futurism, so that we might understand how artists are currently doing the work of deconstructing western epistemologies and building fictions that help us understand who we are right now and develop the imaginative skills to direct our possible futures (Mashigo, xiii).