Anna-Maria Kellen Lecture
Afrofuturist Challenges to Humanism
Since Pauline Hopkins wrote the first Afrofuturist novel, Of One Blood, in 1903, articulating the African diasporic experience through science fiction has allowed Black artists to highlight their historically alienating, inhumane, and otherworldly treatment. Recently, Afrofuturist artists have asked how the legacy of slavery and colonialism continues to plague Black lives, exploring what life might look like for Black people if they were post-human hybrids. In other words, what would it mean if Black people stopped fighting to be recognized as human, and instead embraced the possibility of being more than human? In this talk, Priscilla Layne explores these questions, among others, via two recent works of fiction by the Berlin-based British writer Sharon Dodua Otoo: the novella Synchronicity and the short story “Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin,” winner of the 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.