Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Feminisms Reading Group: Afrofuturistic imaginaries

21 March 2023, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Feminisms reading group

We’re pleased to announce that the next Feminisms Reading Group session, led by Eleonora Rossi, will focus on Afrofuturistic imaginaries, exploring how they speak to the themes of dehumanisation, decolonisation, and utopian imaginations.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students




Ilona Mannan

In this session, we will look at watery, Afrofuturistic imaginaries, inquiring into how they speak to the themes of dehumanisation, decolonisation, and utopian imagination. We will rely on excerpts by Julietta Singh, Astrida Neimanis, Melody Jue, Christina Sharpe, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs to deconstruct the ‘liberal humanist figure of Man as the master-subject’ (Singh 2018: 1) and explore contemporary artistic and literary responses which situate water at the centre of such interrogation and subsequent reimagining(s). These will include Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, Ayana V. Jackson’s series of self-portraits ‘Take Me to the Water’, and passages from Rivers Solomon’s novella The Deep (2019).

This event runs on Zoom. Email sarah.edwards.19@ucl.ac.uk or ilona.mannan.10@ucl.ac.uk for the Zoom joining link.

The Feminisms Reading Group is a collaborative initiative led by two PhD students from UCL's English department, Ilona Mannan and Sarah Edwards.  You can email us at sarah.edwards.19@ucl.ac.uk or ilona.mannan.10@ucl.ac.uk. The group is open to anyone, staff or student, from UCL and beyond, and is brand new as of the 2022 Autumn term.

The sessions predominantly cover different aspects of feminism, work by women writers, feminist theory and criticism, and depictions of women in literature. One PhD researcher or academic delivers each reading group session which is then chaired by the convenors, Ilona and Sarah. The format of the reading group is not set and can be changed depending on the preferences of each researcher. Formats so far include: a guest giving a short paper and then providing attendees with some short extracts to discuss, and a guest providing attendees with extracts and running a commentary and analysis session based on those extracts. No matter the format the session takes they are absolutely an occasion for networking, discussion and connecting with researchers and students. 

Preparatory reading is not mandatory so please do come along regardless. However, speakers do often provide some preparatory reading materials for attendees and you will most likely find you get more out of the reading group sessions if you have been able to spend a little time with the materials prior to the session. You may wish to prepare questions to ask the speaker about the topic as Q&A sessions are immensely rewarding, especially when you can discuss issues of interest to you with an expert.