Course Description

The term Afrofuturism was coined in 1993 by scholar Mark Dery and is an all-encompassing term used to describe science fiction work (literature, music, art, etc.) that focuses on an Afro-diasporic epistemology and ontology. Afrofuturism examines the ways that work that imagines the future and the media technologies that make these worlds possible are always informed by colonialism, slavery, and current racializing power structures. With the popularity of YA dystopias like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, a turn to explore the Afro-diasporic presence in literature that imagines the future is necessary. In our contemporary digital moment Afrofuturism asks the question, who remains when the world has ended? Our course will explore the place of Blackness in imaginings of the potential future. We will decenter traditional science fiction perspectives that erase the existence of people of color in their visions of future worlds. Scholar Alondra Nelson states, “Afrofuturism can be broadly defined as ‘African American voices’ with ‘other stories to tell about culture, technology and things to come’” (Nelson 9). Our course will explore these other stories. This course introduces students to the aesthetic of Afrofuturism to explore the present and the past.