Spring 2024 AAS 271 Afrofuturism and Popular Culture!

AAS 271: Afrofuturism and Popular Culture!

Instructor: Prof. Anthony Black

TR 9:30-10:45 am

“Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that combines science-fiction, history and fantasy to explore the African American experience and aims to connect those from the black diaspora with their forgotten African ancestry. (Art Terms – www.tate.org.uk)

This course will use the writing of foundational Afrofuturist thinkers to consider the Afrofuturist aesthetic through works of literature by Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, and others; films such as Black Panther, and Sorry to Bother You; videos by Key & Peele; music by Sun Ra, George Clinton/Parliament Funkadelic, Janelle Monáe, and others; visual art by Jean Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, and more.  We will explore the ways in which Afrofuturism has reflected the African American experience throughout history as well as the ways in which Afrofuturism interprets the past, present, and future through a Black cultural lens. Additionally, we will examine Afrofuturistic political and social critiques and its use of imaginative speculation in its quest for Black liberation.