8 May 2018

Opportunity Description

In light of the recent release (2018) of the film Black Panther (Coogler) and the debates surrounding the film and Afrofuturism, Image & Text has dedicated a themed edition to this extremely pertinent theme. It is aimed for publication in the Winter 2019, special issue edition (issue number 33) of Image & Text (ISSN: 1020 1497, accreditation 1997) entitled: “Black Panther” and Afrofuturism.

“Afrofuturism” has been in circulation for decades, from literature, films, music, music videos, art, fashion, design and even architecture. However, it was encapsulated and formally defined by scholar Mark Dery in his chapter Black to the Future (1994), and very simplistically, it refers to the use of Black themes (such as slavery; apartheid; Othering; marginalisation in the African and the diaspora context; history; colonisation; post-colonisation; and, decolonisation) as viewed and (re)conceptualised and (re)articulated through the dual lenses of technoculture and science fiction. Afrofuturism uses these lenses in-order-to re-imagine the past, the present and the future (sometimes dystopian and at other times utopian). Some of the other genre elements that make up Afrofuturism includes the use of magic realism; surrealism; fantasy; and, grotesquery. Afrofuturism also focuses on the themes of identity; dehumanisation; feminism; alienation; and reclamation (cf. Anderson, 206; Anderson & Jones, 2015; Dery, 1994; Mayer, 2000; Womack, 2013).

We are therefore looking for original contributions from researchers working on any aspect of “Black Panther” and Afrofuturism. Contributors are invited to focus on issues/questions such as:

  • Interrogating the representations of black identity and culture in Black Panther as it relates to Afrofuturism
  • Audience reception and Black Panther, with Afrofuturism as a theoretical framework
  • Theoretical issues of film and Afrofuturism, with Black Panther as a case study
  • The effectiveness of drama and the action genre as strategies to interrogate Afrofuturism
  • Reversing the western cinematic gaze: Africa, the diaspora, Black Panther and Afrofuturism.
  • Comparative analysis (such as the comics vs the film, or the film vs other Afrofuturistic filmic representations)
  • An interrogation of Black Panther, Afrofuturism and capitalism
  • Afrofuturistic art, design, fashion, make-up, geographies/landscapes, and/or architecture as represented in Black Panther
  • The problematising of Afrofuturistic theory
  • Authorship
  • Audience reception studies
  • Fandom
  • Gender and Black Panther (and Afrofuturism)
  • LGBTIAQ (ir)representation in Black Panther
  • The Hollywood gaze and Afrofuturism
  • The problematics of Afrofuturism

How to Apply

Please send an extended abstract (of between 300 – 500 words maximum, excluding sources) outlining your article idea by 8 May 2018 to the Guest Themed Issue Editor: Beschara Karam (karambs@unisa.ac.za / bescharakaram@gmail.com), providing the following information, the:

  • topic and outline of your article;
  • form your proposed article will take (e.g., exploratory; theoretical)
  • unique contribution that your article aims to make.

SUCCESSFUL ABSTRACTS: Authors will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by May 22, 2018.

Authors of abstracts selected for inclusion will be invited to submit a full article of approximately between 5 000 and 7 000 words in length (including references) by no later than 22 August 2018. All submissions must be formatted according to the Image & Text style guide, available here.

Note: All full submissions will undergo a double-blind review and there is no guarantee of acceptance of the final article prior to the completion of the review process.