1st Edition

Futurism and the African Imagination Literature and Other Arts

Edited By Dike Okoro Copyright 2022
    262 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.




    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




    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 

    "The book Futurism and the African Imagination in Literature and Other Arts is a critical exploration of the emerging novel ways by which African writers and artists apprehend time, space and experience through experimental narrative forms fused with traditional dramatic performances as well as speculative revolutionary painting among other forms of art. [....The book aims to] debunk western stereotypes that undermine African literary imagination through the deployment of an approach that emphasizes the limitless power and potency of black imagination. This approach which is identified as Afro (futurism) is aimed at providing fresh insights on African narratives which fuse elements of fiction, fantasy historical fiction, science fiction and magical realism tore-imagine Africa’s future while authenticating the historicity of her humanity through their artistic vision." 

    The Nation, reviewed by Bernard Dickson, Department of English, University of Uyo, Nigeria