Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

Virtual Event

Virtual Event | Lovecraft Chicago: History, Horror, & Afrofutures

Saturday, October 31

Sundown towns, haunted houses, and predators. That feeling of being watched. An impending sense of dread. Movement in the corner of your eye. That thing that goes bump in the night. The horror genre provides a unique entry point to explore deeply rooted fears and anxieties sparked by legacies of trauma and the creation of otherness. Our FREE event Lovecraft Chicago: History, Horror, & Afrofutures centers Black horror, both real and otherworldly, through an examination of HBO’s new series, Lovecraft Country.  

Log on and Zoom across the city for a virtual tour showcasing CHM’s collected materials in an exploration of Chicago’s geography and history featured on the series, such as the impact of Chicago’s public housing system and the Trumbull Park race riot of 1953, the story of Emmett Till, segregation and sun-down neighborhoods, and the history of Chicago’s iconic Bronzeville neighborhood. After the tour, take part in roundtable discussions moderated by Chicago-based cultural anthropologist Dr. Stanford Carpenter to dive deeper into the convergent impacts of Chicago’s African American past, present, and Afrofutures.

This event is free of charge; we would greatly appreciate a donation to the Museum in any amount. Zoom links will be provided after registration; each session lasts about an hour. You may register for one, some, or all events.



Stanford W. Carpenter, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist, comic scholar, comic creator, and former archaeologist. Dr. Carpenter is co-creator of the forthcoming NPR affiliate podcast Brother-Story and the Correspondent, an ethnographic and journalistic take on comics, culture, and the lives of the people who create and consume them. He is on the advisory boards of Abrams ComicArts’ Megascope Imprint, the Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival, and Pocket Con Team.



11:00 a.m. – Virtual Tour | Lovecraft Chicago

RSVP for Tour Only


Julius L. Jones, CHM assistant curator




Brittany Hutchinson, CHM assistant curator




1:00 p.m. – Virtual Talk | Storytelling Chicago’s Geographies of Hope and Horror 

RSVP for 1:00 Talk Only


Julius L. Jones, CHM assistant curator



Nia Easley is a lecturer in visual communication design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as an artist and designer. She creates works that address issues of visibility, accessibility, urban migration, social justice, and data visualization. She has numerous publications and collections and has participated in exhibitions in the US, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Easley has received the Threewalls RaD Lab Grant (2017), the Threewalls Outside the Walls Award (2018), and a Chicago IAP Grant (2019).  @niaeasleydesign

J. Scott Jordan is a professor and the chair of psychology at Illinois State University. He is a cognitive psychologist who studies the neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy of cooperative behavior, place, and self. Jordan has published 100+ papers and ten edited books and held research fellowships in both Germany and Japan. He is extremely proud of his international comic book collection.  @Dark_Loops   Dark Loops Productions


3:00 p.m. – Virtual Talk | Activated Archives: Black Trauma, Identity, and Culture

RSVP for 3:00 Talk Only

Christopher Benson is an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition to teaching, Benson is also a journalist and lawyer. With Mamie Till-Mobley, he coauthored Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, the account of the historical significance of the 1955 lynching of Till-Mobley’s son, Emmett Till, and the winner of the 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition.

Vanessa Hintz is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is an active proponent of multicultural counseling and theory and works to understand how individuals make meaning of the world within their various cultural contexts. Dr. Hintz is a contributing author to two books in the Popular Culture Psychology Series: Black Panther Psychology: Hidden Kingdoms and The Joker Psychology: Evil Clowns and the Women Who Love Them.


Charles E. Bethea, CHM Andrew W. Mellon Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs



5:00 p.m. – Virtual Talk | Chicago, Horror, and the Afrofuture

RSVP for 5:00 Talk Only

Kinitra Brooks is the Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies in the Department of English at Michigan State University. Dr. Brooks specializes in the study of Black women, genre fiction, and popular culture. She has just coedited The Lemonade Reader, an interdisciplinary collection that explores the nuances of Beyoncé’s 2016 audiovisual project, Lemonade. Her other books include Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror, a critical treatment of Black women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror and Sycorax’s Daughters, an edited volume of short horror fiction written by Black women.  @k8dee16   blackwomanhorrorscholar

John Jennings is a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is coeditor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of the Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. His current projects include the horror anthology Box of Bones, the coffee table book Black Comix Returns (with Damian Duffy), and the award-winning, NY Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel Kindred. Duffy and Jennings recently released their graphic novelization of Octavia Bulter’s prescient dystopian novel Parable of the Sower (Abrams ComicArts).

Ashley A. Woods is a comic book artist, writer, and creator from Chicago, recognized for her female illustrations and designs and known for her work on the Niobe, Ladycastle, and Tomb Raider series. She got her start by self-publishing her action-fantasy comic series Millennia War. After earning her degree in film and animation from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Woods presented her work in a gallery showcase called “Out of Sequence” in Kyoto, Japan. Woods’s latest work can be found in HBO’s Lovecraft Country and HEATHEN from Vault Comics.  @ninjatrip

Ytasha L. Womack is an author, independent scholar, filmmaker, dance therapist, and champion of the imagination. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture is taught in universities around the world. Her works include the film Couples Night (screenwriter) and the award-winning Afrofuturist dance short A Love Letter to the Ancestors from Chicago. Her graphic novel Blak Kube debuts in 2022. Womack is a Chicago native.

The Details



31 st

11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories