Antoinëtte Van Sluytman
Writer, artist and graphic designer. Ms. Van Sluytman is an associate literary agent at the New York agency, I.G.L.A., and is a member of the A.A.L.A. and Media & Digital innovations committee. Her work has been showcased in many prominent art shows in San Diego and she has won multiple Scholastic Art and Writing awards from the Alliance for Young Writers & Artists for her illustration, poetry and short fiction. Ms. Van Sluytman lectures on the literary circuit, including at writing conventions and events, about the essence of decolonizing fiction and countering literary imperialism in the industry.
With almost three years of experience in the publishing industry I've worked across a broad spectrum of commercial titles in a variety of genres. I've contributed to author marketing plans, assisted in the editorial process of new projects and offer a range of skillsets to satisfy individual client needs from motion graphics, media marketing, copywrite, to illustrator campaigns. As an illustrator, graphic designer, writer and literary professional I bring a nuanced multimedia approach to every conversation.
I plan to use the principles of anticolonial pedagogy as a tool of upending westernized literary hegemony in our Creative Writing classrooms. Through using the context of history and exploring its intersectionality with the discipline of literature, my goal is to offer students a way of viewing writing craft that does not uphold a single monolith of craft but a more inclusive and dynamic curriculum of learning.
Learning that reveals the significance of identity/cultural as it applies to literature and how we as writers and industry gatekeepers can be mindful of our role in literary spaces and accountable for our biases. This will be ensured by offering students an intensive course that will feature stories from around the world, teach historical relevance of oral tradition and mythology and facilitate discussions on the nuanced and non-linear plot structures that exist outside the West.
For a long time I was exposed to the many nuanced conversations regarding diversity in books and publishing, but after months of reading manuscripts and furthering research, I noticed there was an underlying issue layered beneath these conversations that was faintly acknowledged, if acknowledged at all. It was this idea that ‘diversity’ begins and ends with influence and skin complexion. There were few conversations being had on the effects of literary imperialism or the westernized pedagogy that makes up our creative writing workshops which has even influenced diaspora writers.
I believe SFF can be a tool of cultural reclamation for those affected by colonialism as well as a cathartic lens for writers of the diaspora. It is a lens through which genre can be redefined and tradition can be explored in compelling and imaginative ways, which has been the case for many non-white writers. We see this beginning with those who explore Afrofuturism and Silkpunk. The goal of this course is to deconstruct the core of writing craft by decolonizing our mindsets and therefore, the only thing truly required from students is an open mind.