The Transdisciplinary Seminar on Afrofuturism explores how representations of science, technology, and social engineering intersect with visual cultural expressions of the African Diaspora. Science fiction is the organizing theme that unites the guest presentations and works under consideration. Visiting artists and cultural theorists lecture on the role of futuristic speculations in African diasporic art, literature, film, and music. The ability of science fiction to function as both a fractured mirror of historical experience and a projection of the collective desires of a displaced people is discussed throughout the semester.
Kodwo Eshun is a British-Ghanaian writer, theorist, and filmmaker. He studied English Literature at Oxford University. He is currently course leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College. Eshun’s writing deals with cyberculture, science fiction, and music, with a particular focus on where these ideas intersect with the African Diaspora. He has contributed to a range of publications including the Guardian, The Face, The Wire, i-D, Melody Maker, Spin, Arena, Frieze, CR: The New Centennial Review and 032c. Eshun’s book More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (1998) explores the intersection of black music and science fiction from an afrofuturist viewpoint. In 2002, Eshun co-founded The Otolith Group with Anjalika Sagar. The group’s work engages with archival materials, with futurity, and with the histories of transnationality. The group was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010.
The public lectures are co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Program in Parsons The New School for Design and The School of Undergraduate Studies in The New School for Public Engagement with support from The Robert Lehman Foundation.