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Literary Conference – Afrofuturism

April 28 @ EST 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event
Free – $20.00

Afrofuturism is an aesthetic, movement, and culture framework that offers radical ways of thinking about and imagining alternative futures, rooted in the now. Afrofuturism is simultaneously past, present, and future. It is an indispensable and urgent tool for dreaming. Join writers and scholars as they take us through what a reimagined world could look like.

Cassandra Scherr, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of English at St. John Fisher University. Her research primarily focuses on African American and African Literature, with a particular interest in how literature and art utilize speculative and imaginative elements when creating and telling activist narratives. In addition, she uses these texts to explore how the Black Imaginary has become a necessary tool of activism that helps people from all walks of life understand and participate in the larger social and scholarly discussions that frame our lives. She has authored the articles “Monstrous Rage: Using the Supernatural to Navigate Black Horror and Rage” (Critical Imprints, 2020) and “Utopic Rage: Transforming the Future Through Narratives of Black Feminine Rage” (Routledge Handbook to Alternative Futurisms, 2022).

Tracie Morris is a poet, vocalist, scholar, vocal coach, actor, director and filmmaker. A 2021 Guggenheim Poetry Fellow, she was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop before joining the Workshop as its first African-American tenured Professor of Poetry. She has presented innovative poetry, performance art, and theory in over 30 countries; is the author/editor of 10 books; and is included in dozens of anthologies. Designated a Master Artist of the Atlantic Center for the Arts, her installations and performances have been presented by the Whitney Biennial, Dia: Chelsea, The New Museum, The Kitchen Performance Space, Albertine, Furious Flower, Victoria and Albert Museum, Centre Pompidou, and elsewhere. Her debut poetic short film Black Spring was commissioned by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Department of Cinematic Arts of the University of Iowa. Her second film, Black Sprang, was created with support of the Brown Arts Institute of Brown University. Her live directing and sound design debut, Black Panther Remix: Wakanda Now, debuted in 2022. Currently, she is a Visiting Professor of Practice at Brown University.

Adrienne Pettinelli (moderator) is the Director of the Henrietta Public Library in Rochester, NY, and author of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library (2008, ALA Editions). She has served on several book award committees, including the 2015 Caldecott Selection Committee, and is a reviewer specializing in picture books and beginning readers for Horn Book Magazine. She teaches for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Nisi Shawl is a prolific African American writer and editor who is best known for the 
first multiple award-winning anthology New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (Solaris, 2019) and their 2016 Nebula finalist novel Everfair. In 2019 they received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award for distinguished service to the genre. They edited and co-edited WisCon Chronicles 5: Writing and Racial Identity; Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia Butler Scholars; Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler; and Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany.

Jeffrey Tucker, PhD, studies literature as a context for discussions about postmodernism, cultural and identity politics, and racial representation. The Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester, he is the author of A Sense of Wonder: Samuel R. Delany, Race, Identity, and Difference (Wesleyan University Press, 2004) and is the editor of Conversations with John A. Williams (University of Mississippi Press, 2018).


Buy your books at Ampersand and join the conversation!

Books by Tracie Morris

Human/Nature Poems
Handholding: 5 Kinds

Books by Nisi Shawl

Kinning (Everfair #2)
Octavia E. Butler: Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany
New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color
New Suns 2: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color
Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octav ia E. Butler 

Books by Jeffrey Tucker

A Sense of Wonder
Conversations with John A. Williams

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April 28
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Free – $20.00
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Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607 United States
(585) 473-2590


Writers & Books
(585) 473-2590
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If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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