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Finalist, 2019 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Studies A profound intellectual engagement with Afrofuturism and the philosophical questions of space and time
Queer Times, Black Futures considers the promises and pitfalls of imagination, technology, futurity, and liberation as they have persisted in and through racial capitalism. Kara Keeling explores how the speculative fictions of cinema, music, and literature that center black existence provide scenarios wherein we might imagine alternative worlds, queer and otherwise. In doing so, Keeling offers a sustained meditation on contemporary investments in futurity, speculation, and technology, paying particular attention to their significance to queer and black freedom. Keeling reads selected works, such as Sun Ra's 1972 film Space is the Place and the 2005 film The Aggressives, to juxtapose the Afrofuturist tradition of speculative imagination with the similar "speculations" of corporate and financial institutions. In connecting a queer, cinematic reordering of time with the new possibilities technology offers, Keeling thinks with and through a vibrant conception of the imagination as a gateway to queer times and black futures, and the previously unimagined spaces that they can conjure.