Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eric Smith

Committee Member

Angela Balla

Committee Member

Alanna Frost


American fiction (African American authors), American speculative fiction, Science fiction, Utopias in literature, N. K. Jemisin--Criticism and interpretation, Nisi Shawl--Criticism and interpretation, Nnedi Okorafor--Criticism and interpretation, N K Jemisin--Fifth season, Nisi Shawl--Everfair, Nnedi Okorafor--Binti


This project explores a variety of utopian constructions via the work of N. K. Jemisin, Nisi Shawl, and Nnedi Okorafor in order to demonstrate that Afrofuturism’s hopeful optimism is a lesson for present and future realities. Each vision of utopia performs a necessary critique and evaluation of time in relation to historical constructivism that is insightful for all readers who must understand, in full, the myriad ways that Afro-centered narratives have enhanced the genres of Speculative and Science Fiction. In earnest, Afrofuturism offers to the world an attempt to think globally through excavations of the past, and, therefore, joins other prevalent forms of literature to imagine a step further than the present moment.



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