Global Medievalism into Africanfuturism: An Evening with Nnedi Okorafor
Global Medievalism into Africanfuturism
In this evening dialogue, Nnedi Okorafor and Malik Toms will discuss the premodern influences on her writing across a variety of media — television, novels, novellas, short stories, graphic novels and more.
By engaging the culture, history and mythology of premodern and contemporary Nigeria, Okorafor creates science fiction and fantasy narratives that don't privilege the Western world. Instead, her writing asks, what are the different, more inclusive, futures we can imagine?
Africanfuturism is concerned with visions of the future, is interested in technology, leaves the earth, skews optimistic, is centered on and predominantly written by people of African descent (black people) and it is rooted first and foremost in Africa. It's less concerned with "what could have been" and more concerned with "what is and can/will be". It acknowledges, grapples with and carries "what has been."
About Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author of Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism for children and adults. Her works include Who Fears Death (in development at HBO into a TV series), the "Binti" novella trilogy, "The Book of Phoenix," the "Akata" books and "Lagoon." She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus and Lodestar Awards and her debut novel "Zahrah the Windseeker" won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. Her next novel, "Ikenga," will be in stores August 2020.
Nnedi has also written comics for Marvel, including "Black Panther: Long Live the King" and "Wakanda Forever" (featuring the Dora Milaje) and the "Shuri" series, an Africanfuturist comic series "Laguardia" (from Dark Horse) and her short memoir "Broken Places and Outer Spaces." Nnedi is also cowriter the adaptation of Octavia Butler’s "Wild Seed" with Viola Davis and Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu. Nnedi holds a PhD (literature) and two MAs (journalism and literature). She lives with her daughter Anyaugo and family in Illinois.
This event is sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Center for Science and the Imagination, and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.