Storytelling as Time Travel and Counter Futures in Contemporary Black Fiction and Art (Talks, 19th June)

Join two of the academics behind the Time Machines exhibition for an insight into time travel and its role in art and literature. Professor Simon James will explore the time-bending properties of narrative, while Dr Jennifer Terry will consider the political implications of time travel. This double-bill of talks commences at 18.00 in Palace Green Library, on 19th June.

Simon James, Storytelling as Time Travel

Time travel is not only a theme of modern-day science fiction stories such as Dr Who, but has been a property of storytelling for as long as stories have existed. Hear how narrative itself is a kind of time travel and how Victorian authors like Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson and H.G. Wells, and present-day science-fiction, utopian and dystopian writers use the freedom to travel in time not only to tell wonderful stories, but to look to reshape the world in the present and the future.

Jennifer Terry, Out of time: Counter Futures in Contemporary Black Fiction and Art

Being ahead of one’s time or being out of one’s time are of interest to both artist Ellen Gallagher and novelist Octavia Butler. Often labelled Afrofuturist, a term Kodwo Eshun links to a critical ‘intervention within the dimension of the predictive,’ their work offers speculative visions that challenge conventional ideas of temporal order, of progress, and of who gets to define and belong in the narrative of the future. Jennifer Terry explores time lapse, time travel and forms of historical archive or time capsule within Butler’s fiction and Gallagher’s art. She asks how, in worlds where time has run out, play with time through story and the recovery of counter futures, open up understandings of power and time, and the possibility of change.

There will be a charge of £12.50 for this special event, which includes a visit to the Time Machines exhibition and a glass of wine. The exhibition will be open for viewing before 6pm and throughout the event. Booking is essential via Event Durham. To book, click here. Join the Facebook event here.



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