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Reimagining Our Stories: The Marriage of Speculative Fiction and Black Feminine Storytelling

Candice Lola Wednesdays, Oct. 5-26
7p-9p ET
4p-6p PT
6p-8p CT
4 class sessions

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Reimagining Our Stories: The Marriage of Speculative Fiction and Black Feminine Storytelling explores the symbiotic relationship between the Afro-feminine experience and speculative storytelling. Historically mainstream storytelling has centered the humanity of white people, with the rest of humanity organized into flat side characters. Black women stand in what bell hooks referred to as the oppositional gaze. The Black woman, if she is to create anything that expresses the fullness of her humanity, is forced to speculate a world where that is permitted.

The tradition of Black women writers creating speculative fiction has greatly added to the genre, which in turn has created more space for the stories of Black women and other peoples.

This guided discussion-based course examines classic works with speculative aspects by Black women authors like Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, as well as more contemporary work from authors like N.K. Jemisin. We will read weekly passages to study the complexity these writers allowed their Black female characters and the relationships between the works themselves.

Students can expect in-class exercises, reading assignments, class discussions, and peer workshops.

Open to beginning and intermediate writers.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

Meet Your Instructor:
Candice Lola

Candice Lola is a horror writer and sociopolitical commentator based in New York City. She earned her masters in Experimental Humanities from New York University, where her research concentrations included Black protest literature, human rights, and creative writing. Her horror work has been published with Skidmark Zine, In the Words of Womyn International, midnight & indigo Inaugural Issue, midnight & indigo Horror Edition, Furious Lit Anthology, and has been presented at the Las Artelitas gallery. Her political commentary has been featured in The Huffington Post, Honeysuckle Magazine, NBC’s Today, and Curls, Kinks & Culture. She is also a TEDx presenter on the topics of Vodun, horror, and self-identity.

Course Takeaways

  • A unique and personal connection to the course material
  • A trove of resources for future reference
  • An understanding of the many ways that exist to tell a story
  • More freedom and confidence in your written self-expression
  • A community of peers to be creative with

Course Expectations

  • Students will read the assigned readings
  • Students will review their classmates’ work each week and participate in workshop
  • Students will prepare at least one point about readings to discuss in class
  • Students will participate in in-class activities
  • Students will complete short homework assignments (optional)

Course Skeleton

  • Week One: Black Feminine Take on Imagination - An introduction to the course and course themes
  • Week Two: Hurston’s Exploration of Black Feminine Power - A look at the delicate power of the story, "Magnolia Flower"
  • Week Three: Morrison’s Exploration of Black Feminine Masculinity - A look at Sula challenging a Black woman’s place
  • Week Four: Jemisin’s Exploration of Black Feminine Trauma - A read of the expressions of trauma in The Fifth Season

 

TESTIMONIAL

"I loved exploring literature that was new to me in the company of other Black women. In the past, I have felt intimidated (or bewildered!) by some of the authors that we read, and this class helped me gain confidence in reading these powerful works. Each class was very well-organized, and I thought (Candice) did a great job of choosing exactly the right amount of material. It felt rich and full because we had plenty of time to dive into the texts and freely explore ideas and trains of thought. It also made me so happy that (Candice) encouraged us to start our own workshop after the class. This is one of the primary reasons I wanted to take classes with m&i, and I was so grateful that (she) gave us a nudge get started with that. The fact that (she) organized (her) class as a workshop, and spent a little time explicitly teaching how to workshop was also wonderful. Thank you!" (former student)