Afro-Futurism and the Afro-Gothic: The New Renaissance in Black Science Fiction and Horror

Instructor: Norrell Edwards
Time: Wednesdays, 3–5:40 PM
Course Code: MHC 383
Modality: Hybrid

The last two decades have seen a resurgence in Black arts and cultural production across film, tv, and literature. In this class, we will examine contemporary Black art that ranges across the genre categories of Science Fiction, Afro-futurism and the Afro Gothic. We will read authors such as Nnendi Okorafor, Megan Giddings, N.K. Jemisin and others. We will explore popular TV and films such as Lovecraft Country, Get Out, and Homecoming. While engaging with these various texts, students will grapple with and try to answer questions about contemporary Black life and art. How do these texts portray issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and health? How do they engage with time—past, present and future? What do these texts teach us about Black history in the United States and abroad? How do these texts engage with important themes such as medical racism, labor and racial capitalism, race and psychological terror and sexual politics? Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the genre categories Science Fiction, Afro-Futurism and AfroGothic as well as a deeper comprehension of key social issues and movements, like prisoner rights movements of the 1970s.