Cover Photo: on the left: a photograph of Dr. Eve. L Ewing seated in a chair, smiling and wearing a dark green and rose sweater; on the right: a Marvel comics illustration of Riri Williams (Ironheart) in flight; both images are set against a dark starry background
Photograph of Eve L. Ewing by Mercedes Zapata/Ironheart illustration by Luciano Vecchio for Marvel/Art by Eliza Harris for Catapult

How Eve L. Ewing Makes Her Stories Fly

“I’m passionate about advocating for young people to engage with literature, with art-making, with storytelling, because those are opportunities I had at a very young age.”

Catapult

Maya and the Robot  

chuckles

ELE: They fly! It’s so cool, right? I definitely want to address the first part of what you said, which is that there’s a lot of Black girl STEM content. I think that’s great, but I think that one risk that I would invite creators to attend to is that people are drawn to the idea of Black girls in STEM, which on the one hand is definitely important representation that I care about and is powerful.

On the other hand, if that becomes the only mode through which we see Black girls, that’s also a problem. Specifically, the trope of the Black girl STEM superhero. I love Ironheart, I love Riri, but Shuri and Riri and Moon Girl are all science geniuses, you know? How does that reinforce certain limited notions about what Black intelligence or Black genius has to look like? How does that play into capitalist-driven conversation about Black girls in coding or Black girls’ participation in science fields?

“Telling your story, and the story of where you come from, is inherently a political act.”

can

chuckles

Favorite writing snack and beverage combo?

laughs

Ravynn K. Stringfield is an American Studies Ph.D. Candidate at William & Mary. Her research focuses on Black women and girls in fantasy new media narratives. Her CNF has appeared in Catapult, ZORA, and Shondaland, and her short fiction can be found in midnight  & indigo and Voyage YA  Journal.  For more, visit her website, ravynnkstringfield.com, or follow her on Twitter, @RavynnKaMia.