Africanfuturism and British Catastrophe Literature

Nubian desert with sandy ground, big black rocks, and a gray sky.

Lesson Plan Production Details

Developer: Jessie Reeder Contact

Peer Reviewers: Barbara Barrow, Renée Fox, Cherrie Kwok, Diana Rose Newby, Matthew Poland, Oishani Sengupta, Emma Soberano

Lesson Plan Cluster Developer/Copyeditor: Ryan D. Fong Contact

Webpage Developer: Ava K. Bindas

Cluster Title: Undisciplining In and Through Contemporary Texts

Publication Date: 2024


This lesson plan aims to help students grapple with the historical white supremacy and racist epistemological underpinnings of British catastrophe literature – and of speculative fiction more broadly. What follows are some concrete strategies for teaching Nnedi Okorafor’s award-winning 2010 novel Who Fears Death, a post-apocalyptic African fantasy novel, alongside texts that more “traditionally” appear in a Victorian literature course on apocalypse.

I propose ways that Okorafor’s novel can be used in the classroom to further a goal I already have in teaching these texts: to show how British apocalyptic literature both critiques and yet ultimately rests upon the assertion of imperial whiteness. The discussion questions, lesson ideas, and assignment possibilities offered here are ultimately designed to help students see an “Africanfuturistic” text like Okorafor’s, not as a mere counterpoint to British literature, but rather as an alternative mode of theorizing the catastrophic epistemological assumptions of our ongoing Victorian world. My experience with these texts and lessons took place at a public research university, in a zoom class in fall 2020.

Course Description and Particulars

The overall course, which I call “Catastrophe Form,” is designed to get students thinking transhistorically about the various catastrophes unleashed by the British nineteenth century – racial, imperial, climatological, and beyond. I assign the following primary texts, in order to think about how Victorian authors wrote about various forms of catastrophe (plague, invasion, extinction, natural disaster, etc.) as well as how they wrote about them in various forms:

  • William Wordsworth, “The World is Too Much With Us”
  • G.G. Byron, “Darkness”
  • John Clare, “The Mores,” “The Fallen Elm”
  • Alfred Tennyson, “The Kraken,” In Memoriam AHH
  • Robert Barr, “The Doom of London”
  • Fred M. White, “The Four White Days”
  • John Ruskin, “Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century
  • Richard Jefferies, After London
  • Mary Shelley, The Last Man
  • Guy Boothby, Pharos the Egyptian
  • George Tomkyns Chesney, The Battle of Dorking
  • H.G. Wells, “The Star” and War of the Worlds
  • The Purple Cloud1

To contextualize these texts within the multiple, unequal, and ongoing states of catastrophe that their century unleashed, I assign secondary readings on twenty-first century racism, imperialism, and climate disaster. These include:

  • Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction (excerpts)
  • Rob Nixon, Slow Violence (excerpts)
  • Zadie Smith, “Postscript: Contempt as a Virus”
  • Kathryn Yussof, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (excerpts)
  • Kyle Powys Whyte, “Indigenous science (fiction) for the Anthropocene”
  • Jonita Davis, “How Black Women are Reshaping Afrofuturism”
  • Frank B. Wilderson III, Afropessimism (excerpts)

And in the final weeks of the semester, we turn our attention to apocalyptic literature from beyond Britain and beyond the nineteenth century, such as:

  • W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Comet”
  • Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death
  • Alexis Pauline Gumbs, M Archive
  • “The Combahee River Collective Statement”

I teach this course at Binghamton University, where every course is 4 credits, and a majority of the students are well prepared for a college workload. It is also a graduate-level class, including Ph.D. students, M.A. students, and some advanced undergraduates. Because of these factors, I am able to assign a greater quantity of reading than may be feasible in other pedagogical contexts. Most of my students also possess at least some familiarity with Victorian literature. While I believe the general course content would be appropriate for many levels and needs, the reading list might need to be adapted. Lastly, I am a white woman teaching a majority-white student body, which certainly shapes the prior knowledges we all bring to the room.

Who Fears Death

Nnedi Okorafor is a Hugo, Nebula, and Eisner (among others) award-winning author belonging to the Nigerian Third Generation. She is the author of over two dozen texts of science fiction and fantasy, including children’s, young adult, and adult fiction, and comics. She is a self-described producer of “Africanfuturism” (more on this in the next section).

Her 2010 novel Who Fears Death is difficult to categorize generically. It follows the story of Onyesonwu, a young woman who discovers that she has powers of shapeshifting and sorcery. While processing this new reality, she is also navigating her origin as a child of rape, her present in a post-apocalyptic Africa beset by tribal violence and misogyny, and the threats to her future posed by her powerful biological father.

Onyesonwu’s world – a far-future Sudan and its African beyonds – is neither disconnected from the neoliberal, capitalist, and ecological catastrophes of Western imperialism, nor does it live in the same reality in which those have existed as such. The novel takes place so far in the future that the failed world of the twenty-first-century West is totally absent from its characters’ shared memory. Yet without directly referencing a “today” that its readers (us) live in, the novel still grapples thematically with familiar horrors like imperialism and patriarchal violence. Who Fears Death, then, is at once fantasy, reality, fairy tale, dystopia, coming-of-age story, postcolonial novel, and speculative future.

Critical and Theoretical Frameworks for Who Fears Death

Speculative Fiction and Race

Although slowly improving in this regard, speculative fiction remains overwhelmingly white. That is, despite being a genre that critiques the social order and imagines alternative ones, a shockingly high percentage of published science fiction and fantasy is written by white authors (Harrison). Unsurprisingly, then, as André Carrington argues, the genre has yet to disentangle itself from the structures and assumptions of white supremacy.

However, speculative fiction by African authors – Nigerian authors in particular – has been flourishing in recent years. The founding of the African Speculative Fiction Society in 2016 is just one indication of the rising tide of African science fiction and fantasy. It may be helpful to frame these trends – both the traditional whiteness (and maleness) of science fiction and its recent African upsurge – as a generic context for students. A few useful sources are:

  • André Carrington, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Science Fiction”
  • Moradewun Adejunmobi, “Introduction: African Science Fiction,” as well as the rest of this special issue of The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry


Because Who Fears Death is so multi-generic even under the umbrella of speculative fiction, it can be challenging to frame for students. A useful place to start, therefore, is with Okorafor’s own self-classification. Okorafor is very clear that she does not see herself as writing Afrofuturist novels. However, students may find it helpful to get some familiarity with this term before moving on.

Two possibilities for opening up Afrofuturism for students are:

  1. To assign “Black to the Future” by Mark Dery, in which Dery coins the term Afrofuturism. And to assign, alongside Dery, a critique of his framing, such as Hope Wabuke’s essay "Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature."Wabuke argues that Dery’s conception “lacks room to conceive of Blackness outside of the Black American diasporaora Blackness independent from any relationship to whiteness.” Her essay also draws on Okorafor, which is very useful.
  2. It is also possible to skip over Dery altogether and assign Jonita Davis’s essay "How Black Women are Reshaping Afrofuturism," which offers students an accessible entry point to Afrofuturism from a Black writer’s point of view and sets up a conversation about the intersection of speculative fiction and gender.

Of course, all three essays can be assigned, depending on the time constraints and reading load of any given course.


Okorafor vocally refuses the label Afrofuturism for her work, arguing that this genre retains the West at its center. Instead, she calls herself an author of “Africanfuturism.” In a short blog post called "Africanfuturism Defined,"which can be assigned to students, she writes that “Africanfuturism [...] does not privilege or center the West[, ...] is concerned with visions of the future, is interested in technology, leaves the earth, skews optimistic, [...] and it is rooted first and foremost in Africa.” Here Okorafor’s own words can help students understand Who Fears Death as speculative fiction that specifically rejects an origin point in Western culture, instead locating its own epistemological and ontological emergence entirely within Africa.

And Okorafor’s continued elaboration that Africanfuturism is “less concerned with 'what could have been’ and more concerned with 'what is and can/will be,’” and that “[i]t acknowledges, grapples with and carries 'what has been,’” is very useful for thinking through some of the thematics of temporality in Who Fears Death (more below).

Race and Apocalypse

Set in what we assume is the aftermath of our own racist imperial timeline, and facing a new potential annihilation that stems in large part from colorism, Who Fears Death is thoroughly concerned with the entanglements of apocalypse and race. Readings that help unpack this particular overlap include:

  • Kyle P. White, “Indigenous science (fiction) for the Anthropocene”
  • Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses”
  • Déborah Danowski and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro,The Ends of the World

Framing texts like these help students and instructors explore the ways that apocalyptic literature can be tied to (or can reject) white constructs of historical time.

Literary Criticism Etc.

Useful sources for augmenting students’ literary analysis of Who Fears Death include:

  • Nnedi Okorafor, “Meanings and Pronunciations,” which is Okorafor’s own discussion of the pan-African and deeply meaningful origins of her characters’ names
  • Joshua Yu Burnett, “The Great Change and the Great Book: Nnedi Okorafor’s Postcolonial, Post-Apocalyptic Africa and the Promise of Black Speculative Fiction”

Gender and Sexual Violence

This particular lesson plan focuses on race, but it is vitally important to note that Who Fears Death contains multiple graphic scenes of sexual assault, and educators may want to frame this for students in ways that range from trigger warnings to critical/theoretical engagement with representations of violence. One possibility, not discussed here, would be to organize a discussion around the notion of sexual violence as itself a form of catastrophe, asking students to what extent it is in fact the central catastrophe of the novel. This might be usefully linked to what is often an uncomfortable discussion about the child sexual assault committed by the author of the British novel The Purple Cloud (for more on this, see MacLeod).

Discussion Questions & Key Passages: British Texts

Before reading Who Fears Death, my class has already read and discussed several key texts in the history of British “reverse imperialism” fiction, such as War of the Worlds, Pharos the Egyptian, and The Battle of Dorking. These texts dramatize British fears of Others entering and conquering Britain, creating an apocalypse that mimics and inverts world-ending British colonial violence. With those texts, we focus on questions like:

  • What causes reverse imperialism and why exactly is it a catastrophe for the British?
  • What are the various relationships (structural, imaginative, etc.) between imperialism and catastrophe?
  • How do these texts understand historical time to be unfolding?

Before or during these conversations (or both), it may be helpful to provide students with some historical context, including:

  • The New Imperialism
  • The Scramble for Africa
  • New warfare technologies like the machine gun
  • Fin-de-siecle fears of degeneration
  • Theories of evolution and extinction
  • The history of science fiction

Here are two examples of passages that can help open up the above questions:

From War of the Worlds:

It is worthy of remark that a certain speculative writer of quasi-scientific repute, writing long before the Martian invasion, did forecast for man a final structure not unlike the actual Martian condition....He pointed out – writing in a foolish facetious tone – that the perfection of mechanical appliances must ultimately supersede limbs, the perfection of chemical devices, digestion-that such organs as hair, external nose, teeth, ears, chin, were no longer essential parts of the human being, and that the tendency of natural selection would lie in the direction of their steady diminution through the coming ages. The brain alone remained a cardinal necessity. Only one other part of the body had a strong case for survival, and that was the hand, “teacher and agent of the brain.” While the rest of the body dwindled, the hands would grow larger....To me it is quite credible that the Martians may be descended from beings not unlike ourselves, by a gradual development of brain and hands (the latter giving rise to the two bunches of delicate tentacles at last) at the expense of the rest of the body. Without the body the brain would of course become a more selfish intelligence, without any of the emotional substratum of the human being. (Wells 203-204)

From The Battle of Dorking:

We thought we could go on building and multiplying for ever.... People in those days thought it quite a matter of course to bring a dozen children into the world – or, as it used to be said, Providence sent them that number of babies...Besides, in those days young men could be sent out to India, or into the army or navy; and even then emigration was not uncommon, although not the regular custom it is now....Fools that we were! We thought that all this wealth and prosperity were sent us by Providence, and could not stop coming. In our blindness, we did not see that we were merely a big workshop, making up the things which came from all parts of the world; and that if other nations stopped sending us raw goods to work up, we could not produce them ourselves. True, we had in those days an advantage in our cheap coal and iron; and had we taken care not to waste the fuel, it might have lasted us longer. But even then there were signs that coal and iron would soon become cheaper in other parts; while as to food and other things, England was not better off than it is now. We were so rich simply because other nations from all parts of the world were in the habit of sending their goods to us to be sold or manufactured; and we thought that this would last forever. And so, perhaps, it might have lasted, if we had only taken proper means to keep it; but, in our folly, we were too careless even to insure our prosperity, and after the course of trade was turned away it would not come back again. (Chesney 6-7)

Framed by the above discussion questions, close reading passages like these helps students unpack the ways that these texts can simultaneously fear the loss of British supremacy and critique Britain’s role in their own (potential but not realized) undoing, while also never actually letting go of imperial and racist assumptions about their historical agency – or the structure of historical time.

In the Wells passage, for instance, we see how fears that the British may (continue to) evolve into a ruthless, technology-driven force of imperial destruction still rely on, and do not question, linear forms of historical societal progression that underpin Britain’s own imperialism. Likewise, while Chesney fears that British world supremacy is precariously balanced atop short-sighted trade relations with other regions, he nonetheless upholds a global hierarchy in which white imperialism may be elided as merely the “habits” of necessary, progressive manufacture.

British catastrophe literature, in other words, rarely actually lets go of progressive, industrial visions of historical time – those that also underpin its own racist imperialism. This is a baseline we arrive at before moving to Okorafor’s novel.

Lesson Plan: Who Fears Death

This lesson plan aims to help students grapple with the historical white supremacy and racist epistemological underpinnings of British catastrophe literature – and of speculative fiction more broadly. What follows are some concrete strategies for teaching Nnedi Okorafor’s award-winning 2010 novel Who Fears Death, a post-apocalyptic African fantasy novel, alongside texts that more “traditionally” appear in a Victorian literature course on apocalypse.

I propose ways that Okorafor’s novel can be used in the classroom to further a goal I already have in teaching these texts: to show how British apocalyptic literature both critiques and yet ultimately rests upon the assertion of imperial whiteness. The discussion questions, lesson ideas, and assignment possibilities offered here are ultimately designed to help students see an “Africanfuturistic” text like Okorafor’s, not as a mere counterpoint to British literature, but rather as an alternative mode of theorizing the catastrophic epistemological assumptions of our ongoing Victorian world. My experience with these texts and lessons took place at a public research university, in a zoom class in fall 2020.

Africanfuturism and the Novel on Its Own Terms

I begin by asking students to think through many of the novel’s plot elements and thematic concerns related to sexual violence, racism and colorism, and tribal conflict. I guide students through an analysis of these ideas without placing the Who Fears Death into dialogue with any of our British texts, instead taking it on its own terms.

Using both the novel and the paired readings, we then look to both the idea of Afrofuturism and Okorafor’s own term, Africanfuturism, to help us think about how genre reveals the novel’s thematic elements. This helps students more deeply understand the idea of Africanfuturism as a genre in which juju is technology, Blackness is constitutional, and Africa is the world. It also shines light on Who Fears Death’s interest in imperialism and violence as a facet of intra-African conflict rather than Western force.

Temporality and Catastrophe

I next ask students to build on our understanding of the novel’s themes by free writing on the following question: What is the catastrophe of this novel? Although this sounds like a content question, our discussion here often turns towards the novel’s form. For instance, students may recognize how, in Onyesonwu’s world, catastrophe is not a narrative destination but a setting, an ongoing backdrop, a threat to historical time, and even a side effect of narrative itself.

Naturally this conversation tends toward questions of temporality – both the temporality of the novel, and the world historical temporality it imagines. And central to the concept of Africanfuturism is its slantwise relationship to Western notions of progress as historical time.

As such, I guide the conversation towards the rather difficult question, What historical timeline does this novel imagine Africa to belong to? As students grapple with this, I will push them to expand their analysis by introducing, throughout the conversation, pieces of evidence such as:

  • The references to a deep past before the world of the novel, an “Old Age” in Africa that has passed away
  • The ruins of a technological past that seems to resemble the early twenty-first century but has no specificity
  • The novel’s refusal to offer a causal connection between the old age and the new, other than a sense of apocalyptic transition
  • The fact that this far-future setting is in no way utopian, nor entirely dystopian
  • The seemingly cyclical or perhaps perpetual nature of gendered and racialized violence, which Onyesonwu must still fight to change even in the distant future
  • Onyesonwu’s discovery of a faraway verdant landscape that seems to suggest a vision of ecological hope in a future beyond this novel
  • The fact that the novel’s climax revolves not around a violent showdown but the rewriting of a book that contains Africa’s narrative
  • The resemblance of Onyesonwu’s story to a bildungsroman, but with many of her own deaths in the middle and no clear conclusion at the end

Each of these is an inflection point for thinking about the novel’s conception of catastrophic temporality. (They also offer moments of potential comparison with the British texts we have already discussed, such as War of the Worlds and The Battle of Dorking.) By moving through them, we come to see Who Fears Death as erecting its own temporal formal structures, beyond the Western imperial progress narrative and the bildungsroman. Who Fears Death imagines an Africa whose past and future are fully African and whose vision of history is self-determining, anti-teleological, and formally elusive. An Africa that experiences catastrophe less as plot and more as setting. An Africa whose heroes and villains are all African, and in which Europeans simply do not exist.

In these ways, Who Fears Death offers a rebuttal both to the content of British apocalyptic literature, which is steeped in the anxieties of imperial supremacy, and also to its forms.

Reading Who Fears Death in a British Literature Class

Finally, I invite students to grapple with what it means for us to read a novel that is so clearly invested in self-authorization through the lens of British literature.

Okorafor’s Africa is palimpsestic already, as its future-present emerges from in between a familiar but indistinct past and a hopeful but evasive future. She omits any reference to the West’s era of imperial violence, but nonetheless it is possible to read its presence through metonymic association with the violent imperialism coming from her Africa’s “West.” I ask students: Should we as readers see European and U.S. American imperialism as another of the novel’s palimpsestic settings by way of its absence – or is this reading itself an imperial practice?

The following passage, in which Onyesonwu leaves her body and “travels” far to the east with a Kponyungo guide, encountering a verdant landscape she never imagined possible in her desert world, is a helpful place to locate this discussion:

Kponyungo and I flew over vast lands; the dryness I had always known. Sand. Hardpan. Stunted trees. Dry dead grass....

A long time and a long distance later, the land below suddenly changed. The trees we passed were taller here. We flew faster. So fast that all I could see was light brown. Then ... green ...

Greeeeen! As I’d never seen it. As I’d never imagined it....From horizon to horizon the ground was alive with dense high leafy trees. Is this even possible? I wondered. Does this place really exist?

I met the Kponyungo’s eyes and they glowed a deeper orange-yellow. “It does,” she said.

My chest ached, but it was a good ache. It was an ache of...home. This place was too far to ever get to. But maybe someday it would not be. Maybe someday. (310-311)

What I ask students about this passage is: “Does this scene comment on the climatological disaster unleashed by Western industrialism?” On the one hand, because this vision stands in such stark contrast to both the unforgiving desert land of Onyesonwu’s daily life and the half-buried ruins of motherboards and monitors that seem to point to twenty-first century catastrophe, it is tempting to answer the above question, “Yes.” On the other hand, the novel also evades such a reading, placing this ecosystem outside of a rationalized space-time that might have anything to do with our own current narrative of collapse.

We close our conversation by asking how and to what extent we ought to do what we’ve just done: reading Who Fears Death contrapuntally with Victorian literature.

Assignments and Assessment


In my catastrophe class, one student per text is assigned to chart all of that text’s locations on Google Maps, so that together we can visually analyze its geographic priorities. This exercise often illuminates Britain’s heliocentric self-imagining within global stories, and it also reveals the narrative blank space that Africa typically occupies on Britain’s mental map of the world.

This cannot be done (or at least not in the same way) with Who Fears Death, because its far-future setting is so unmoored from any familiar geographic markers as to make the exercise nearly impossible. And so instead of mapping this novel, I lead my students in a discussion of how its un-mappability helps further reveal its outside-ness to imperial structures of thought.

However, it might prove fruitful – in a class with some time devoted to theories and practices of mapping – to consider how the geography of the novel, and the characters’ journeys across Africa, could in fact be visualized. Would such a project begin on a contemporary map of Sudan, or on a blank piece of paper? (If taught alongside King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard, that novel’s hand-drawn treasure map might be a provocative contrapuntal starting place.)

To do this project justice would likely require some discussion of both the imperial implications of mapping, as well as Who Fears Death’s thematic gestures towards the ongoing civil war, genocide, and sexual violence in twenty-first-century Sudan. Katherine McKittrick’s Demonic Grounds could help students theorize cartography within the contexts of Blackness and violence.

Other Possibilities

Although I have not assigned these projects, I could easily see them being exciting to students and productive of good thinking:

  • Invite students to write the introduction essays for two texts – say War of the Worlds and Who Fears Death – if they were each to appear in a publisher’s world literature series.
  • Invite students to choose a character from Who Fears Death and write a book review of War of the Worlds from their point of view.
  • Invite students to imagine a formal debate between two parties over the question of the term “Victorian” and script that debate as though Who Fears Death and a British text are the two debaters.
  • Invite students to begin with Wells’s and Okorafor’s texts and to build a syllabus that includes both (on a different subject and with different texts than ours, of course.)

Assessment in each of these cases would, I think, include traditional metrics such as attention to textual detail and insightfulness of analysis, but might also extend to how fully students are able to unpack Victorian assumptions about catastrophe: its causes, loci, and protagonists – in other words, its form.


What this lesson plan has aimed to do is to show, through the example of Who Fears Death, some of what “undisciplining” can accomplish. What Okorafor offers to students is a chance to see the very ontological and historiographical assumptions of British literature otherwise. More specifically, her novel speaks vividly to the ways that “apocalypse” is not just literary content but rather a shaping social force that is at once contingent, political, and extremely revealing of the violent whiteness of the Western historiographic imagination. For that reason, it pairs especially well with Victorian texts like War of the Worlds, The Battle of Dorking, and Pharos the Egyptian, all of which articulate British anxieties about reverse colonization and their own extinction. (Haggard’s She would also be a very good text to use in this way.) Who, indeed, fears death has a lot to tell us about whose apocalypse is actually unfolding and why.


  1. I have elected not to use the name of this author, who committed child sexual assault. The novel remains a very useful text, but his name is better lost to history. See MacLeod for more. Back to text


Adejunmobi, Moradewun. “Introduction: African Science Fiction.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, vol. 3, no. 3, 2016, pp. 265-72.

Burnett, Joshua Yu. “The Great Change and the Great Book: Nnedi Okorafor’s Postcolonial, Post-Apocalyptic Africa and the Promise of Black Speculative Fiction.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 46, no. 4, 2015, pp. 133-50.

Carrington, André “The Unbearable Whiteness of Science Fiction.” Open Democracy, 2016.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 35, 2009, pp. 197-222.

Chesney, George. The Battle of Dorking: Reminiscences of a Volunteer. G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1871.

Davis, Jonita. “How Black Women Are Reshaping Afrofuturism.” Yes Magazine, 2020.

Dery, Mark. “Black to the Future.” Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture, Duke University Press, 1994.

Harrison, Niall. “Sci-Fi Media Coverage Dominated by Men, Survey Shows.” The Guardian, 2016.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Welcome to the Anthropocene.” The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Henry Holt and Company, 2014.

MacLeod, Kirsten. “M. P. Shiel and the Love of Pubescent Girls: The Other ‘Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.'” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, vol. 51, no. 4, 2008, pp. 355-80.

McKittrick, Katherine. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle. University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press, 2011.

Okorafor, Nnedi. Africanfuturism Defined. 2019.

---. Meanings and Pronunciations in Who Fears Death. 2013.

---. Who Fears Death. DAW Books, 2010.

Smith, Zadie. “Postscript: Contempt as a Virus.” Imitations, Penguin Books, 2020.

Viveiros de Castro, Eduardo, and Déborah Danowski. The Ends of the World. Polity Press, 2016.

Wabuke, Hope. “Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.” Los Angeles Review of Books, 2020.

Wells, H. G. The War of the Worlds. Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1898.

Whyte, Kyle P. “Indigenous Science (Fiction) for the Anthropocene: Ancestral Dystopias and Fantasies of Climate Change Crises.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2018, pp. 224-42.

Yusoff, Kathryn. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None. University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

Developer Biography

Jessie Reeder is Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University, specializing in nineteenth-century British literature, imperialism, and form. Her book, The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature (Johns Hopkins 2020), won the Sonya Rudikoff Prize for the best first book in Victorian studies from the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. Her essays appear in Victorian Literature and Culture, Studies in English Literature, Studies in Romanticism, and more. Jessie is also an organizing member of Anglophone Chile, a project to digitize the newspapers printed by anglophone settlers in mid-nineteenth-century Chile.

Tile/Header Image Caption

Hans Birger Nilsen. Nubian Desert (9). Photograph, 19 Mar. 2017. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED).

Page/Lesson Plan Citation (MLA)

Jessie Reeder, dev. “Africanfuturism and British Catastrophe Literature.” Barbara Barrow, Renée Fox, Cherrie Kwok, Diana Rose Newby, Matthew Poland, Oishani Sengupta, Emma Soberano, collab. peer revs.; Ryan D. Fong, les. plan clust. dev./copyed. Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, 2024,