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Lucy Gasser

Scholar of literary studies and editor of poco. lit.

Yaa Gyasi
Transcendent Kingdom

Addiction and family, religion and science, being Ghanaian in Alabama: these are some of the issues that Yaa Gyasi’a second novel Transcendent Kingdom confronts. Written from the perspective of Gifty, now a talented biomedical researcher at a prestigious US university, this is the story of the loss of a charismatic brother to opioid addiction, and the complex aftermath of this trauma for those he leaves behind.

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Discrimination, language, and translation tools

Many people who find their cultural activities increasingly moving into the realm of the virtual might find themselves working more and more with translation tools. Yet these tools, and the translations they offer, tend to suffer from biases embedded into their making.

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The ambivalent powers of speculative fiction

Recently, we’ve published articles on Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism. Both Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism can be framed as belonging to the larger genre of speculative fiction. But what is speculative fiction? Or perhaps more importantly, what can it do?

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Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism

The Afrofuturist movement strives for a space for independence and self-determination for Black people and rejects European universalism. Yet writers on the African continent have also expressed how this label doesn’t speak to and for what they are doing…

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Nnedi Okorafor
Lagoon

Aliens have landed off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria. Immediately, they change pollution levels, marine life, the quality of the ocean water – and that’s just before they get to land. Nnedi Okorafor’s novel Lagoon is both a fun, high-action romp through the old sci-fi tropes of alien arrival, and in many ways a carefully considered decolonisation of the genre and its Eurocentric epistemological underpinnings.

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Nicole Watson
The Boundary

They should adapt this book into a movie. It’s a dark, gritty crime noir waiting to be made. What makes it more than your average whodunit murder-mystery genre-novel is the context of its setting.

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