Fantastical Blackness in Genre Fictions

Frederickson_Evidence of thingsRhonda Frederick, an associate professor of English and African and African Diaspora studies at BC, has written a literature-based interdisciplinary study of blackness in the Americas. Evidence of Things Not Seen: Fantastical Blackness in Genre Fictions (Rutgers University Press, 2022) interprets blackness in fantasy, thriller, science fiction, mystery, erotic romance, and police procedural fictions written by African Diaspora writers. From the publisher: “The ‘fantastical’ in fantastical blackness is conceived by an unrestrained imagination because it lives, despite every attempt at annihilation; this blackness also amazes because it refuses the limits of anti-blackness. Ultimately, the imaginable possibilities in these popular genres offer strategies through which readers can ask different questions of and for blackness. When black writers center this expressive quality, they make fantastical blackness available to a broad audience that then uses its imaginable vocabularies to reshape extra-literary realities. Ultimately, popular genres’ imaginable truths offer strategies through which the made up can be made real.” Frederick is also the author of “Colón Man a Come”: Mythographies of Panamá Canal Migration.

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