Ready to travel the Spaceways? Our propulsion system will be Afrofuturism, the contemporary cultural movement driven by “African American voices” with “other stories to tell about culture, technology and things to come.” We’ll begin with theoretical readings (Rammellzee, Kodwo Eshun, Fred Moten, Ytasha Womack), then explore its Caribbean heritage in the practice of marronage, the work of Marcus Garvey, and the wisdom of Rastafari and roots reggae. We’ll turn to Sun Ra’s poetry and prose for a blueprint for better worlds to come. But our main aim will be to survey the extraordinary output of Afrofuturism across a variety of genres: fiction (Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor), film (Space is the Place, The Last Angel of History, Black Panther), visual arts (Jack Kirby, Joshua Mays, Krista Franklin, Wangechi Mutu), and of course music (from Sun Ra to the Art Ensemble of Chicago to George Clinton to Deltron 3030 to Heiroglyphic Being to Flying Lotus to Janelle Monáe to Mbongwana Star to...). Requirements include a presentation on Afrofuturist art, a long paper or equivalent project, and several short critical writings.
MA-Lit Course Designation: A (Formalisms), C (Bodies/Identities/Collectivities), D (Cultures/Politics/Histories), Multicultural/Postcolonial Literature