André M. Carrington

Penn Humanities Forum Regional Fellow

20162017 Forum on Translation

André M. Carrington

Assistant Professor of African American Literature, Department of English and Philosophy, Drexel University

André Carrington is Assistant Professor of English at Drexel University. His research explores the politics of race, gender, and genre in Black and American cultural production. His first book, Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), interrogates the racialized interior discourse of the fantastic genres in 20th century print and visual culture. In 2015, he co-organized the first international Queers & Comics conference. He has published articles in Present Tense, Sounding Out!, and African & Black Diaspora and chapters in the Blackwell Companion to the Harlem Renaissance, The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Blackness in Comics & Sequential Art, and Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call. His current project, Audiofuturism, is a historical and theoretical examination of the racial popular imaginary in science fiction radio plays and their literary antecedents. In 2016-17, he is convening colloquia on sound studies and Afrofuturism at Drexel University and at Northwestern University.

Audiofuturism: The Alchemy of Race in Radio Drama

Audiofuturism names performances that use sound to communicate narratives of scientific wonder, fantasy, and the impossible. By translating speculative fiction texts into sound and electromagnetic waves, the syncretic genre tradition of science fiction radio drama draws disparate cultural artifacts into a common repertoire. My study embarks by interrogating how the American importation of H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds attests to the integral role of transmitting xenophobia in the articulation of Anglophone modernity, and then proceeds to analyze science fiction radio plays based on the work of African American authors. Audiofuturism works at the intersection of literature, Black and American studies, performance studies, and comparative media studies to explore how humanity has imagined itself transformed by Black cultural politics, speculative fiction, and sonic technologies.