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.
Nalo Hopkinson is an internationally acclaimed science fiction writer. She often draws on Caribbean history, folklore, and idiolects in the construction of her speculative fictions. She is the author of four novels and a short story collection (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon's Arms, Skin Folk). She is the editor of fiction anthologies Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, and Mojo: Conjure Stories. She is the co-editor of fiction anthologies So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy (with Uppinder Mehan) and Tesseracts Nine: New Canadian Speculative Fiction (with Geoff Ryman). She is a recipient of the Warner Aspect First Novel Award, the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Locus Award for Best New Writer, the World Fantasy Award, the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, the Aurora Award, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award.
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.