Studies in Fiction

Is this the only possible world? Or are there ones free of white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and ecological devastation? What might it mean not just to imagine other possibilities but to listen for the other worlds that already exist alongside our own? In this course, we will examine how Afrofuturism, magical realism, and other forms of the fantastic in North and Latin America not only envision alternatives to the current order but also identify existing ways of being otherwise in the world. In addition to analyzing texts and films, we will incorporate theoretical insights from black studies, latinx studies, queer studies, and feminism into our discussions. Some of the authors we will read include Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Samuel Delany, Gabriel García Márquez, José María Arguedas, and Alejo Carpentier; films we will watch include Candyman, Space is the Place, The Devil’s Knot, and Embrace of the Serpent; and pop culture narratives we will study include Beyoncé’s Black is King, Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer, Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad, Disney’s Encanto and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda.