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The Future of Video Games: Race, Play, and the Speculative Imagination

April 6, 2022 @
4:30 p.m.
- 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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Professional Headshot of TreaAndrea Russworm

In this talk, which is written as a love letter, Professor TreaAndrea M. Russworm (she/her) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst examines different modalities of Black cultural life—hip hop, Blaxploitation film, popular fiction, and simulation games—as spatial-speculative tools for playing in a broken world. What can Black speculative thinking teach us about navigating the boundaries of open and closed systems? What does it mean to be repetitiously transfixed in a Black queer time and space? How do we make sense of the many forms and platforms that enable us to both witness and remediate the pain and pleasures of play and protest? This love letter, which is addressed to Mos Def, Octavia Butler, and Black game designers, is also written to you, if you consent, in hopes that together we can critically explore some of the ways in which Black epistemologies model productive ways of dissolving and transgressing the boundaries of the “good no-place” where games collide with the cinematic and other arts.

Admission is free and open to the public. All audience members are expected to comply with Clark University’s most current vaccination and masking policies. Those who cannot attend in person are invited to join the live stream:
Webinar ID: 961 6123 3282

Sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and Africana Studies at Clark University


About the Speaker
A self-proclaimed AfroGeek, TreaAndrea M. Russworm, Ph.D. (she/her) is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Series Editor of Power Play: Games, Politics, Culture (Duke University Press). She is also currently an Associate Editor for Outreach and Equity for the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies. With research expertise in digital media, popular culture, African American studies, and video games, Professor Russworm is also the founder of Radical Play, a public humanities initiative, afterschool program, and equitable game design lab. She is the author or editor of three books: Blackness is Burning: Civil Rights, Popular Culture, and the Problem of RecognitionGaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games; and From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry. She is currently writing three new books on race, video games, and the politics of play.



April 6, 2022
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.