Critical Black Fabulation: Gender, Genre, Aesthetics

In our working group we will examine critical fabulation, a term coined by Saidiya Hartman in her 2008 article “Venus in Two Acts,” and its implications for literary and cultural genres and aesthetics, including science fiction and fantasy, memoir, afrofuturism and nonWestern cosmology. The question animating our group will be: How have black women cultural producers and historians mined the etymological entanglement of “genre” and “gender” through critical fabulation, exploring the limits and possibilities for the present? Through creative works that challenge the racial homogeneity of conventional genre fiction and explore questions of black engenderment and subjectivity in present and futuristic contexts we will consider how black speculative fictions have not only looked toward the racial future, but reimagined the past and its relationship to the present in groundbreaking ways. This is a cross disciplinary group open to undergraduate and graduate students, community leaders and researchers, and faculty and staff alike who are interested in genre, gender, race and aesthetics.