Black Is, Black Will Be: On Black Futures

What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?
–Toni Morrison

There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.
–Octavia Butler

What is blackness? How are we called to know it? Where and when does it manifest? These questions remain relevant to both established and emerging scholars, perhaps even more vigorously, as blackness finds new meaning in the quotidian, the ordinary, the commonplace. Recent anti-black attacks, both in the United States and abroad, seem to suggest that black lives do not matter; that black lives only exist insofar as they relate to death. So frequent and so horrific are these attacks that they terminate all hope for
possible futures. And yet literature, art, dance, film, poetry, and more prove otherwise, and indeed point to other worlds that are more just and humane. On Black Futures looks for those other modes of being in the world – geographically, aesthetically, temporally, speculatively – that expand how we understand blackness in relation to futurity and the fantastic as fundamental to black thought and black being.

The Graduate Certificate Students in the Department of African & African American
Studies at Duke University invite you to share in this two-day symposium to be held on February 3-4, 2017.