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Panel | Shaping Our Future - Afrofuturism & Literature

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Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl is a writer, editor, and journalist. They are best known as an author of science fiction and fantasy short stories who writes and teaches about how fantastic fiction might reflect real-world diversity of gender, sexual orientation, race, colonialism, physical ability, age, and other sociocultural factors

Ytasha Womack

Ytasha L. Womack is an award-winning author, filmmaker, independent scholar, and dance therapist. She is a leading expert on Afrofuturism, the imagination and its applications and frequently lectures on the subject across the world. Ytasha was honored among DesignHub’s 40 Under 40 designers for social good and innovation in 2017 and listed as a Filmmaker to Watch in The Chicago Tribune. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi and Fantasy Culture (Chicago Review Press) is the leading primer on the subject and taught in colleges and universities. Afrofuturism is also a Locus Awards Nonfiction Finalist.

John Jennings

John Ira Jennings is a Graphic Novel Editor, UCR Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, and NYT Best Selling author. He was born and bred in the South and is a Two-time Eisner Award-winning artist/scholar.

Suyi Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of the forthcoming The Nameless Republic fantasy trilogy (Orbit, 2021) and the highly-anticipated godpunk novel, David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019). His shorter works have appeared internationally in periodicals like, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Fireside, and anthologies like Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, A World of Horror and People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction. He lives between Lagos, Nigeria and Tucson, Arizona where he teaches writing at the University of Arizona while completing his MFA in fiction. He tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies and is @suyidavies everywhere else. Learn more at

Bezi Yohannes

Bezi is a recent graduate from Georgetown University, where she finished her second degree in English Literature. After pursuing her love for fantasy fiction and studying medieval legends, she decided to focus on the ways that black female protagonists in mainstream fantasy intervened in Eurocentric genre tropes.


FIYAH Literary Magazine

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