Visual Art and Fashion as Part of an English Department’s Afrofuturism Syllabus
Graphic: ”Throwback,” Ink and Acrylic on Canvas by LaurynMB
PDF

Keywords

speculative fiction
Parable of the Sower
Tituba
Midnight Robber
Octavia Butler
Nalo Hopkinson
Maryse Condé
Nnedi Okorafor
Akata Witch

How to Cite

Anatol, G. (2022). Visual Art and Fashion as Part of an English Department’s Afrofuturism Syllabus. Radical Teacher, 122, 21–31. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2022.931

Abstract

Images in film, paintings, sketches, and sculpture sometimes drive ideas home in ways that words on the page do not, prompting more visceral reactions and the desire to enact change instead of thinking about subjects on a more abstract level. This essay explores how the visual arts were used in a Fall 2020 course on Afrofuturist literature to supplement conventional readings, class discussions, and writing assignments, helping students to grasp many of the central principles of genre, such as re-visioning reality and undermining the “logics” established by colonial regimes, neo-colonial powers, and systemic racism; the ways that the past permeates the present; the possibilities of Africanist existence in a rich and productive future; how intersections of race, gender, and class influence artists' reconfigurations of artistic forms long dominated by White men. Several creative research projects, produced by students at the end of the semester, are described at length and analyzed to illustrate how they proccessed course concepts, and how Afrofuturist texts resonated in powerful ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2022.931
PDF


Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

1.  The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.

2.  Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.

3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site; with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.

4. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

5. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a pre-publication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.


6. Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.


7. The Author represents and warrants that:

     the Work is the Author’s original work;
     the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
     the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
     the Work has not previously been published;
     the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
     the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
 
8. The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.