Michelle Commander - "Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic" - Badia Ahad-Legardy

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Michelle Commander & Badia Ahad-Legardy

Michelle D. Commander, Ph.D., discusses Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic. She will be joined in conversation by Badia Ahad-Legardy.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, not required)

About the book: In Afro-Atlantic Flight, Commander analyzes what compels Black American cultural producers, travelers, and historical preservationists to journey toward imagined Africas in Ghana, Brazil, and the U.S. South in the post-1965 moment. This book offers significant reflections on Black American “flight” concerning the location of Africa, the possibilities for diasporan return, and the significance of refiguring and democratizing U.S. master narratives about slavery. It argues for the taking up of a speculative mindset not only as a liberating mode through which an individual can truly live otherwise, but also as a radical tool of analysis to properly address the contemporary resonances of slavery that exist across the Afro-Atlantic.

About the author: Michelle D. Commander is an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee. She earned a PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Commander spent the 2012-2013 school year in Accra, Ghana, as a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher, where she taught at the University of Ghana-Legon and completed follow-up research for Afro-Atlantic Flight. She is currently working on three projects: a book manuscript on the function of speculative ideologies and science in contemporary African American cultural production; a book-length project on Black counter-narratives of the U.S. South; and a creative nonfiction volume on African American mobility. Commander has also engaged in essay writing for public audiences, which has been cathartic and challenging. You can find her work at The Guardian and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Avidly channel.

About the interlocutor: Badia Ahad-Legardy is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture, and teaches courses in contemporary African American literature, American studies and cultural studies.  She recently completed her second book that examines nostalgic representations of black radicalism in contemporary art and culture. And, most importantly, Ahad-Legardy is a native Hyde Parker and proud elementary school graduate of Kozminski Community Academy. 

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637