I am seeking panelists for the "10th Annual African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, Interdisciplinary Conference," convening at James Madison University, Feb 20-21, 2020. The panel will be titled, "The African Notebook: Afrofuturistic Elements in College History Courses." The purpose of the panel is to gather a selected group of scholars 3-4 for a discussion that will explore the implementation of Afrofuturistic theories, methodologies, and practices in college history courses. Even though the focus is the college history course I am open to any Black/African subject such as African literature, for example. As long as the scholar have demonstrated or will demonstrate the use of Afrofuturistic content in a college course. Afrofuturism is commonly known or read as a literary body of historical fiction, artistic production, scientific advancements, science fiction, history, and fantasy culture that embraces an Afrocentric or African-centered relationship to the reader or spectator. Afrofuturism inspires Black people to use non-Western cosmologies, develop theories, critique global white supremacy, and reevaluate political and cultural events of the past. I am seeking scholars or practitioners of Africana, African, Pan African, African American, and African Diaspora disciplines who have or will implement Afrofuturism within the context of teaching Africana/African history courses. For example, I will use Africana Studies A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora (4th Edition) by Mario Azevedo and Something Torn and New An African Renaissance by Ngugi wa Thiong'o as primary texts. The students will also read in small groups the Binti Series, by Nnedi Okorafor and Abina & the Important Men by Getz. Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism by Miso Kibona Clark, Phiwokule Mnyardy, and Loy L. Azalia is used as a supplement text in my HIST 473 Africa in the Making of the Modern World course. Panelist presentations should be inclusive but not limited to:
- Afrofuturism and Africana Histories
- Black Digital Humanities
- Black Speculative Fiction and African Histories
- Afrofuturism/Science and Technology, inclusive to Africana/African Histories
- Black Fantasy Culture and Histories
- Africana Ethnicities and Afrofuturism
- African-based Science Fiction
- Magical Realism and Histories
- Africology Mythology and Cosmologies
- African Music and Arts, inclusive to Africana/African Histories
- Afrofuturistic and Metaphysics
Perspective panelists should send a concise abstract of 200-250 words to Latif Tarik, firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1, 2019 with the subject heading: Last Name/Afrofuturistic Conference. Please include: presentation title, name, institutional affiliation, email address, brief bio, and the course that includes Afrofuturistic elements.
Excerpt example of published essay on the topic in: https://www.jpanafrican.org/docs/vol12no1/12.1-33-Tarik%20(1).pdf, Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies.
(Neo) Pan-Africanism: Sankofa and African Futuristic Theory
Pan-Africanism exists within the global Black world as an imaginative return to Africa, a practical political platform, and as a futuristic theory for global Black freedom. On the dawn of the premier of the movie Black Panther, where the Marvel comic character T’Challa returns home to the fictional African nation Wakanda to occupy his throne as king, twenty-first century engage a plot wherein T’Challa must perform his duty as King of Wakanda and as the Black Panther while defending the nation against evil foes that threaten the livelihood of his people and the existence of Wakanda.
Throughout the global Black world Wakanda and the leadership of T’Challa represent the powerful leadership that Black people are looking for in current times. Their imaginations are seeking a world where Black nations and the Diaspora of those nations can solve internal conflicts and challenge invaders with power and force. African people must recognize Africa as a place of origins with a shared common ancestry and cultural mythology. Afrofuturistic approaches allow this to occur in Africa and its Diasporas. Afrofuturism is commonly known or read as a literary body of historical fiction, artistic production, scientific advancements, science fiction, history, and fantasy culture that embraces an Afrocentric relationship to the reader or spectator. Afrofuturism inspires Black people to use non-Western cosmologies, develop theories, critique global white supremacy, and reevaluate political and cultural events of the past. It is important to the continuity of African nations to communicate with the African Diaspora and connect non-continental African born communities to its spiritual, cultural, and scientific heritage. Afrofuturism attempts to connect the African Diaspora by addressing common themes in a techno-culture and science fiction perspective, while embracing a multimedia range of artistic communities with shared interest in envisioning a Black past, current disposition, and a future connected by common experiences. Nnedi Okorafor’s book, Binti, is a Hugo and Nebula award winner in Afrofuturistic books. She wrote about a fictional African character named Binti who was the first of the Himba people to leave earth and go to Oomza University in space. Binti is a novella that Wanuri Kahiu, award-winning Kenyan film director of Pumzi and from a Whisper (2009), believes that Binti is an “edgy Afropolitan in space! With a wondrous combination of extra-terrestrial adventure and age-old African diplomacy.”
Binti brings together ancient cultures of Africa colliding with the future, while exposing what makes Africans human, and directing a course to the future. Nnedi Okorafor is an example of an Afrodiasporic citizen who embraces Afrofuturism to inspire a Pan-African discourse. She is an international award-wining novelist born in the United States to Nigerian parents. Her African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism weaves African cultures into creative evocative settings in her books. Okorafor’s writings inspire a new discourse in Pan-African cultural agency that will spark an African Renaissance using African-centered and Pan-African modalities.
Latif A. Tarik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History
Elizabeth City State University
G.R. Little Library
1704 Weeksville Rd
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Phone: (252) 335-3647