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Old FuturesSpeculative Fiction and Queer Possibility$
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Alexis Lothian

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479811748

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479811748.001.0001

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Afrofuturist Entanglements of Gender, Eugenics, and Queer Possibility

Afrofuturist Entanglements of Gender, Eugenics, and Queer Possibility

(p.99) 3 Afrofuturist Entanglements of Gender, Eugenics, and Queer Possibility
Old Futures

Alexis Lothian

NYU Press

Part 2 (A Now that Can Breed Futures: Queerness and Pleasure in Black Science Fiction) turns to black diasporic speculative imagining as it has been used to create futures for those rendered futureless by global white supremacy. Chapter 3 focuses on how speculative fiction, racialized reproduction, and queer possibility converge to articulate processes that breed futures, and how these connections underlie the emergence in the 2000s of a canon of literary black science fiction. It introduces pleasure as a central term, tracing figurations of a radical future for black female sexuality that emerge from narrative foreclosures in W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1920 “The Comet” and following their trail into the queer speculations of two black feminist vampire novels: Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories (1991) and Octavia Butler’s Fledgling (2005). Du Bois’s text highlights the persistence of reproductive Afrofuturisms that have sometimes overlapped with eugenic discourses. Gomez and Butler pick up this thread to demand we think reproductive futures outside the logics of heteronormativity and white supremacy, using the figure of the vampire to envision a decolonial lesbian future and a speculative reconsideration of eugenic science respectively.

Keywords:   Afrofuturism, American fiction, blackness, black feminism, lesbian, pleasure, queer, reproduction, sexuality, vampire

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