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Storytelling Through Multiplex Subjectivities
How does a (for example) Black, Caribbean, queer, cisgendered woman writing living a-foreign navigate the conventions of fantasy and science fiction to make her positionality legible to audiences? Does she need to? Nalo Hopkinson talks about contradiction between the expectations of genre fiction and, conversely, its potential for suppleness.
The first woman of African descent to receive the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award, which is the lifetime honour from Science Fiction Writers of America, Nalo Hopkinson is also the youngest person to be so honored. Jamaican-born, Hopkinson is the lead author of The House of Whispers comics series set in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Universe. She’s written five novels including the award-winning, Brown Girl in the Ring, and her writing often draws on Caribbean language and traditions. She’s been a finalist for a Nebula Award, won a World Fantasy Award, as well as the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for positive LGBTQ representation.
Nalo Hopkinson’s website.
PROFESSOR dame marina warner
Fantasy and Danger: The Quest for Sanctuary
IN times of great violence and danger, does fantasy help? What use can enchantment be? Is the hope that sustains fairy tales a false promise? Can literature and art build a place of safety or is this hope a form of escapism? Can sanctuary be made of words and images? Marina Warner will attempt to explore these questions through some contemporary interpretations of fantastic material, including approaches to traditional myths, legends, and fairy tales.
Professor Dame Marina Warner was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984.
Marina Warner is a novelist, short-story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism, myth and fairy tales. Her award-winning books include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976), Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (1982), From the Beast to the Blonde (1994), Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (2011), and Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (2014). In 1994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of ‘Six Myths of Our Time’. Her third novel, The Lost Father (1988), was shortlisted for the Booker prize, and in 2000 The Leto Bundle was longlisted. She has curated exhibitions, including ‘The Inner Eye’ (1996), ‘Metamorphing’ (2002-3), and ‘Only Make-Believe: Ways of Playing’ (2005). She was Chair of the Man Booker International Prize for 2015. Marina has written for many publications and is a contributing editor to The London Review of Books. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Marina was elected a Fellow of the RSL in 1984, made CBE in 2008 and DBE in 2015. She is a recipient of the Holberg Prize, in 2015. In 2016, she began, with colleagues in Sicily, the project www.StoriesinTransit.org, on story-making workshops with young people, mostly arrivants. Her latest book, Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir, was published in 2021. She is currently working on a study of Sanctuary in relation to stories and myths.
Marina Warner’s website.