Futurism and the African Imagination : Literature and Other Arts book cover
1st Edition

Futurism and the African Imagination
Literature and Other Arts

Edited By

Dike Okoro

ISBN 9781032015682
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
262 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book investigates how African authors and artists have explored themes of the future and technology within their works.

Afrofuturism was coined in the 1990s as a means of exploring the intersection of African diaspora culture with technology, science and science fiction. However, this book argues that literature and other arts within Africa have always reflected on themes of futurism, across diverse forms of speculative writing (including science fiction), images, spirituality, myth, magical realism, the supernatural, performance and other forms of oral resources. This book reflects on themes of African futurism across a range of literary and artistic works, also investigating how problems such as racism, sexism, social injustice and postcolonialism are reflected in these narratives. Chapters cover authors, artists, movements and performers such Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Elechi Amadi, Mazisi Kunene, Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes, Leslie Nneka Arimah and the New African Movement. The book also includes a range of original interviews with prominent authors and artists, including Tanure Ojaide, Lauren Beukes, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Benjamin Kwakye, Ntongela Masilela and Bruce Onobrakpeya.

Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book will be an important resource for researchers across the fields of African literature, philosophy, culture and politics.

Table of Contents




Part I: Origins/Present Manifestations in Literature

1. Futuristic Themes and Science Fction in Modern African Literature

Dike Okoro

2. Objects Want to Have a Purpose: Animate Materiality, Space, and Identity in African Women Science Fiction

Utitofon Inyang

3. A Narrative of Resistance in the Face of Stasis

Raimi Gbadamosi

4. Elechi Amadi: The Paradox of a Great Teacher who Objects to Teaching

Joseph A. Ushie

5. The Poet as Philosopher

Dike Okoro

6. The Metaphor of Change in Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman

Dipo Kalejaiye

7. The Art of Writing and the Writer’s World: An Interview with Lauren Beukes

Dike Okoro

8. Futuristic Themes in Modern African Poetry

Dike Okoro

Part II: Further Manifestations: Theories, Literature and Performance

9. Mazisi Kunene and the New African Movement

Lupenga Mphande

10. The Greatness of Mazisi Kunene and the Influence of Zulu Cosmology

A Conversation between Ntongela Masilela and Dike Okoro

11. Visual Dissidence and Postcolonial Tunisian Film

Nouri Gana

12. My Writing, My Influences! A Niger Delta Writer’s Reflection on Arts, Politics and Society

A Conversation between Tanure Ojaide and Dike Okoro

13. African Fiction and the Prison Experience: An Interview with Benjamin Kwakye

Dike Okoro

14. Afrobeat Poetry and the African Imagination

A Conversation between Ikwunga Wonodi and Dike Okoro

15. The Story of Akorshi Litong Mystical Dance: A Bette-Bendi Cultural Production

A Conversation between Joseph A. Ushie and Dike Okoro

16. A Conversation between Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and Dike Okoro

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and Dike Okoro

Part III: Inferences in Other Arts

17. A Conversation with Bruce Onobrakeya

Dike Okoro



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Dike Okoro is Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Humanities Department at Harris Stowe State University, USA. He is the author of Lupenga Mphande; Ecocritical Poet/Political Activist (2021). Okoro is a Senior Research Fellow at Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation.


"Dike Okoro is a part of a contemporary wave of scholarship on the emerging field of Afrofuturism studies. He is one of a few people in the world who is an accomplished scholar in Afrofuturist studies that focuses on African futurism. In a short time, his scholarship is required reading for scholars interested in linking Afrofuturism and phenomena from the African continent. For these reasons and more, Dike Okoro's work is currently at the vanguard of scholarship in contemporary Afrofuturist studies."

Reynaldo Anderson, Editor, The Black Speculative Arts Movement: Black Futurity, Art+ Design