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Reading Groups

Rethinking Race in Fantasy Literature with Joy Sanchez-Taylor


Every Other Week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT July 1 to August 12, 2021

Online via Zoom

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group at a 15% discount.

Meeting Dates:
7/1, 7/15, 7/29, 8/12

J.R.R. Tolkien literally wrote the map for fantasy literature with his detailed world building and European folkloric influences. However, critics of fantasy and popular culture argue that contemporary fantasy, from Game of Thrones to Harry Potter, continues to perpetuate the idea that fantasy is a genre populated by white heroes where the only dark-skinned characters are secondary, evil, or monstrous.

This reading group will examine works of fantasy that offer an alternative to fantasy as a “white” genre. By looking at fantasy texts based in non-Eurowestern cultures, the group will discuss how these texts are making room for new stories with vastly different fantasy settings.

The reading group will discuss Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune (2020), and Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe (2020). Please read to the end of Chapter 26 in Children of Blood and Bone for the first meeting. ​


Led by

  • joysancheztaylor_large

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor

    Joy Sanchez-Taylor is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) whose research specialty is intersections between science fiction, fantasy, and critical race theory. Her forthcoming book Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color (The Ohio State University Press, August 2021) examines the contributions of late twentieth and twenty-first century U.S. and Canadian science fiction authors of color to the genre. By exploring science fiction tropes such as genetic manipulation, post-apocalyptic settings, first contact narratives, and Indigenous sciences, Diverse Futures demonstrates how Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American science fiction authors employ these tropes to critique the colonization and alienation of peoples of color. Dr. Sanchez-Taylor’s research has also been published in the peer-reviewed journals Science Fiction Studies, Extrapolation, and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Look for her forthcoming contributions to the Routledge Handbook of Alternative Futurisms and Companion to the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.