Clarissa West White, Ph.D, reference/instructional librarian, was invited to participate in the UNCF-Mellon Faculty Institute at Hampton University: Black Girls Write/Right the Future! The Institute focused on scholarly analyses of the work of Black women and girls as they dynamically explore and write about the future.
“I am a fledgling to the fields of Afro-futurism, speculative fiction and comics. Although I have used graphic novels and speculative fiction in middle and high, and undergraduate and graduate college courses, I was eager to apply to the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Institute at Hampton University to receive succor in gaining a better footing in the discussion and developing a guiding framework from which to work and write,” said West-White.
Participants engaged in commentary on a diverse range of genres, including literature, visual art and media, that aspire to right the misrepresentation of or absent representation of Black women and girls during the three-day conference held June 27 – 29, 2018.
“It is important that girls of color, especially our Black Roses, see themselves as whole, gifted, and talented beings in all existing, preexisting and future worlds. Afro-futuristic and speculative fiction such as Nalo Hopkinson’s Falling in Love with Hominids and Tananarive Due’s Ghost in Summer provide such an experience,” explained West-White. ”Even in foreign and voided lands, parallel dimensions and distant galaxies, if there are multi- or non-colored people, there would still be mothers, sisters and kinship circles, as these congruencies are inexplicably coded vestiges of female writers of color.”
Furthermore, Dr. West-White has created several research guides to assist other entrants in navigating these terrains. “The Institute will allow me to continue to construct additional guides to complement those available from the Carl S. Swisher Library’s webpage: Afro-Futurism, Graphic Novels, Comics, Manga & Anime, and Speculative Fiction.” West-White’s Institute presentation focused on Afro-Futurism and comics.