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Dreaming In The Dark

Dreaming In The Dark

By Bezi Yohannes & Ravynn K. Stringfield

Dreaming in the Dark is a podcast created by Black fantasy scholars Bezi Yohannes and Ravynn K. Stringfield that brings the stories we wished we had as children to the forefront. Named after Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark, our podcast celebrates the creations that center those usually written in the margins of the fantastic.
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Apple Podcasts

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Overcast

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Pocket Casts

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Spotify

Critiquing & Celebrating Fantasy Fandom
Critiquing & Celebrating Fantasy Fandom
How do we critically engage with complicated, even toxic, fantasy fandoms? In our longest episode yet, we talk to Stitch, a Black fan, writer, and critic, about their history with fandom, writing & working in different spaces, and their advice for those who are new to fandom.
48:52
April 01, 2022
Revamping the Comics Canon
Revamping the Comics Canon
How does reimagining the stories of marginalized superheroes reshape the canon itself? In this episode we talk to Stephanie Williams, comic historian, pop culture critic, and author of several webcomics such as Living Heroes as well as the DC Comics Nubia & the Amazons and the upcoming Nubia: Queen of the Amazons series, about the critical process of choosing a creative medium, playing with longstanding comic characters, and the visibility of Black characters in adaptation. [NOTE: This episode was recorded in 2021 before the launch of the first issue of Nubia & the Amazons.]
39:13
April 01, 2022
Comics and the Power of Ordinary Blackness
Comics and the Power of Ordinary Blackness
What does it mean to illustrate an extraordinary Black girl's ordinary coming-of-age? In this episode we talk to Robyn Smith, the Jamaican cartoonist & illustrator of DC Comics' Nubia: Real One, Black Josei Press' Wash Day, and her own mini-comic The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town, about her journey to working on comics and the power of showing the everyday moments of growing up Black.
34:54
April 01, 2022
Reimagining Myths & Publishing Abolitionist Fantasies
Reimagining Myths & Publishing Abolitionist Fantasies
What does it mean to reimagine fantasies we grew up with & the world we want to see? In this episode we talk to bestselling author Kalynn Bayron, bestelling author of Cinderella is Dead and This Poison Heart, about fairytales, abolitionist worldbuilding, and the stories publishing needs. Episode Transcript
39:24
October 01, 2021
Black Futures in Academia & Public Scholarship
Black Futures in Academia & Public Scholarship
How can Black scholars write & teach Black futures in the academy? In this episode we talk to Dr. Stephanie Toliver, professor of children's science fiction and fantasy and curator of the Reading Black Futures database, about public scholarship, endarkened storywork, and her journey into academia. Episode Transcript
42:52
September 16, 2021
Catching Up on All Things Messy & Magical
Catching Up on All Things Messy & Magical
We're back! In our first episode of season 2, we share what we’ve been up to since last year, some of our favorite recent shows & books, and preview this season’s amazing guests. Episode Transcript
23:18
September 02, 2021
Visibility, Historicity, and Looking Ahead
Visibility, Historicity, and Looking Ahead
What have we learned about Black fantasy after our first season, and what are we looking forward to in 2021? In our season finale, we discuss lingering questions about representation and speculative historicity, and share thoughts on new and upcoming Black fantasy media. 
35:21
December 09, 2020
Navigating Academia, Fandom, and the Dark Fantastic
Navigating Academia, Fandom, and the Dark Fantastic
How can we trace the evolution of scholarship that centers Black girls in fantasy? In this episode, we talk to Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, the author of The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games, about writing and publishing a book that helped build our emerging field, as well as about her formative experiences in academic and fandom spaces. Episode Transcript
39:10
November 18, 2020
Claiming Legends & Legacies
Claiming Legends & Legacies
Who gets to have legacies, and where are the legends celebrating how Black girls move in the world? In this episode, we talk to Tracy Deonn, the New York Times bestselling author of Legendborn, about matrilineal legacy, Black girls’ emotional agency, and the specificity of worldbuilding Blackness in contemporary fantasy. Episode Transcript
42:49
October 28, 2020
Publishing Dream Manuscripts
Publishing Dream Manuscripts
How does a literary agent approach Black fantasy manuscripts? In this episode, we talk to Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary Agency about her manuscript wishlist, how she came to agenting, and what she loves about Black fantasy. Episode Transcript
34:24
October 14, 2020
The Inherent Magic of Diasporic Blackness
The Inherent Magic of Diasporic Blackness
How is the fantastic built into the ways Black people move in the world? In our third episode, we talk to bestselling author Roseanne A. Brown about her formative experiences with fantasy, African storytelling, and character building in A Song of Wraiths & Ruin. Episode Transcript
40:00
September 30, 2020
Is The Magic “Black Enough”?
Is The Magic “Black Enough”?
How can we define “Black girl magic”? In our second episode, we talk to award-winning filmmaker, playwright and director Micah Ariel Watson about the inspiration behind her web series “Black Enough” and the intersection of faith and the fantastic in depicting Black Girl Magic through the visual arts. Episode Transcript
29:30
September 16, 2020
We Dream In The Dark For The Most Part
We Dream In The Dark For The Most Part
What does it mean to dream in the dark? In our first episode, we talk about our motivation for creating this platform for Black fantasy, our different approaches to studying the fantastic, and the gap between visibility and representation in the fantasy we grew up with. Episode Transcript
38:56
September 06, 2020