Androids, Shape Shifters, and Vampires
The School of Literature, Media and Communication welcomes Susana M. Morris, Associate Professor of English at Auburn University, to speak on "Androids, Shape Shifters, and Vampires: Black Women's Afrofuturist Feminist Cultural Productions."
When Afrofuturist soul singer Erykah Badu calls herself “an analog girl in a digital world,” she is underscoring not only her connection to a pre-digital sensibility, but also her status as an outsider within mainstream American culture. Nevertheless, Badu’s brand of futurist music, fashion, and politics troubles her claim to a wholly “analog” identity and suggests that she has a complicated relationship to the intersections of technology, normative notions of progress, and human relationships.
This talk argues that Badu, alongside other artists and writers such as Janelle Monáe, Alice Smith, Octavia E. Butler, and Tananarive Due navigate complex relationships to futurism and remix tropes from science fiction, fantasy, and horror in popular culture and literature in ways that both push back against dominant futurist discourse and expands the possibilities for Black women’s understandings of themselves and their places in the world.