Alex Zamalin: Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (2019)

14 January 2021, dusan

“Within the history of African American struggle against racist oppression that often verges on dystopia, a hidden tradition has depicted a transfigured world. Daring to speculate on a future beyond white supremacy, black utopian artists and thinkers offer powerful visions of ways of being that are built on radical concepts of justice and freedom. They imagine a new black citizen who would inhabit a world that soars above all existing notions of the possible.

In Black Utopia, Alex Zamalin offers a groundbreaking examination of African American visions of social transformation and their counterutopian counterparts. Considering figures associated with racial separatism, postracialism, anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism, he argues that the black utopian tradition continues to challenge American political thought and culture. Black Utopia spans black nationalist visions of an ideal Africa, the fiction of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sun Ra’s cosmic mythology of alien abduction. Zamalin casts Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler as political theorists and reflects on the antiutopian challenges of George S. Schuyler and Richard Wright. Their thought proves that utopianism, rather than being politically immature or dangerous, can invigorate political imagination. Both an inspiring intellectual history and a critique of present power relations, this book suggests that, with democracy under siege across the globe, the black utopian tradition may be our best hope for combating injustice.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2019
ISBN 9780231187404, 0231187408
x+182 pages

Reviews: Smaran Dayal (Social Text, 2020), David A. Lemke (Utopian Studies, 2020), Francis Shor (J American History, 2020), Ladee Hubbard (TLS, 2019).



SFRA Review, 50(2-3): Alternative Sinofuturisms (2020)

26 November 2020, dusan

“The idea for this special issue developed out of a workshop organized by Dino Ge Zhang as part of the WuDaoKou Futurists collective, a collective aimed at decentering Sinofuturism from its Western articulations. The workshop, “Alternative Sinofuturisms,” already presupposes Sinofuturism as a venue for alterity and retains a space for various approaches and understandings of who and what is being foregrounded. Centralized in Beijing but held online with invited speakers from four different continents, the workshop was organized around a series of provocations, most of which are included in this issue.”

Contributors: Loïc Aloisio and Gwennaël Gaffric, Virginia L. Conn, Gabriele de Seta, Margaret A. Fisher, Carmen Herold, Amy Ireland, Lyu Guangzhao, Astrid Møller-Olsen, Yen Ooi, Frederike Schneider-Vielsäcker, Molly Silk, Mitchell van Vuren, Dino Ge Zhang.

Edited by Virginia L. Conn
Publisher Science Fiction Research Association, Spring-Summer 2020
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 License
ISSN 2641-2837
pages 66-181


Eric C. H. de Bruyn, Sven Lütticken (eds.): Futurity Report (2020)

30 September 2020, dusan

“Not long ago, a melancholic left and a manic neoliberalism seemed to arrive at an awkward consensus: the foreclosure of futurity. Whereas the former mourned the failure of its utopian project, the latter celebrated the triumph of a global marketplace. The radical hope of realizing a singularly different, more equitable future displaced by a belief that the future had already come to pass, limiting post-historical society to an uneventful life of endless accumulation. Today, amidst an abundance of neofuturisms, posthumanisms, futurologies, speculative philosophies and accelerationist scenarios, there is as well an expanding awareness of a looming planetary catastrophe driven by the extractionist logic of capitalism. Despite this return to the future, the temporal horizon of our present moment is perhaps more aptly characterized by the “shrinking future” of just-in-time production, risk management, high-frequency trading, and the futures market. In Futurity Report, theorists, historians, and artists address the precarious futurity of the notion of the future itself.”

Published in conjunction with the symposium “Future Caucus”, held at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, on 20 May 2017.

With contributions by T. J. Demos, Diedrich Diederichsen, Haytham El-Wardany, Kodwo Eshun, Sven Lütticken, Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson, Achille Mbembe, Doreen Mende, China Miéville, Pedro Neves Marques, Johannes Paul Raether, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Felicity D. Scott, Kerstin Stakemeier, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Marina Vishmidt, and McKenzie Wark.

Publisher Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2020
Counter-Histories series, 1
ISBN 9783956794230
288 pages
via textz


PDF (124 MB)