Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Coogler

Fall Syllabus #1: Afrofuturism!

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By luck, I’m able to teach the Africana literatures class this semester — a class I’ve always wanted to do but would be four or five back in the priority list in a normal semester. The theme (of course) is “Afrofuturism,” and spends about a third of its time in America, about a third of its time in America thinking about Africa, and about a third of its time in Africa. I’m excited! Here’s the description and schedule; full syllabus with policies and assignments here…

Greg Tate has said that “Black people live the estrangement that science fiction writers imagine.” This course takes up the nexus of intersections between black history and the radical black imagination that is commonly called Afrofuturism, focusing in particular of figurations of Africa as a space of science fictional possibility from both sides of the Atlantic. If Afrofuturism has been, as Kodwo Eshun has said, “a program for recovering the histories of counter-futures created in a century hostile to Afrodiasporic projection,” how does the rise of Africa as a global economic powerhouse in the twenty-first-century transform our understanding of black futurity? 2018’s smash hit Black Panther is only the most vivid registration of the ongoing global importance of the Afrofuturist imagination; from comics to film and television to literature to music videos to social media we will trace Afrofuturism across the twenty-first century cultural landscape.

T Aug 28 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
What Is Afrofuturism?
film (in class): Sun Ra, Space Is the Place (1974) (excerpts)
Th Aug 30 Mark Bould, “The Ships Landed Long Ago” [D2L]
film (in class): John Akomfrah, The Last Angel of History(1996)
T Sep 4 Sable Elyse Smith, “Ordinary Violence” [museum]
MEET AT THE HAGGERTY        
Th Sep 6 film (in-class): Get Out(2017)
T Sep 11 film: Jordan Peele, Get Out (2017) (discussion)
Th Sep 13 Get Out (2017)(discussion continues)
Steven Thrasher, Get Out thinkpiece #1 [Web]
Aisha Harris, Get Out thinkpiece #2 [Web]
T Sep 18 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (viewing and initial thoughts)
Th Sep 20 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (extended discussion)
Aja Romano, “Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction” [Web]
Brittany Spanos, “Janelle Monáe Frees Herself” [Web]
Christopher Lebron, “Janelle Monáe for President” [Web]
T Sep 25 film: Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (2018) (discussion)
Th Sep 27 Black Panther (2018) (discussion continues)
Gerry Canavan, “The Limits of Black Panther’sAfrofuturism” [Web]
FIRST PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 2 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 1
Evan Narcisse, “Ta-Nehisi Coates Explains How He’s Turning Black Panther into a Superhero Again” [web]
Th Oct 4 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 2
FIRST PAPER DUE
T Oct 9 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 3
Kodwo Eshun, “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism” [D2L]
Th Oct 11 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book I (“Covenant, 1690”)
T Oct 16 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book II (“Lot’s Children, 1741”)
Th Oct 18 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
T Oct 23 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book III (“Canaan, 1840”)
Th Oct 25 film: Wanuri Kahiu, “Pumzi” (2009) (in-class viewing and discussion)
SECOND PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 30 film (in class): District 9 (2009)
Th Nov 1 film: Neill Blomkamp, District 9 (2009) (in-class viewing continues and discussion)
SECOND PAPER DUE
T Nov 6 District 9 (2009) discussion continues
District 10 (forthcoming eventually?) discussion
Octavia E. Butler, “The Monophobic Response” [D2L]
Th Nov 8 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, first half)
T Nov 13 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, second half)
Th Nov 15 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act II)
T Nov 20 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act III)
Th Nov 22 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
T Nov 27 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
Th Nov 29 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)
FINAL PROJECTS/PAPERS MINI-WORKSHOP
T Dec 4 Film: Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You(2018)
Chip Gibbons, “In the World of Film, We’ve Edited Out All Rebellion: An Interview with Boots Riley” [Web]
LAST DAY OF CLASS
Th Dec 6 CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO INSTRUCTOR TRAVEL
F Dec 14 FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS DUE BY 5:30 PM VIA D2L DROPBOX

 

 

Thursday Links!

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* Marquette English’s course descriptions are up for Summer and Fall 2018! I’m teaching in both, including a new graduate course devoted to twenty-first-century literature…

* Palantir Has Been Secretly Using New Orleans to Test Its Predictive Policing Technology.

* A trip to the hospital that leads to a prison suicide is just the tip of the iceberg of this sickening story about the richest country in human history.

* Your work is cut out for you, Ta-Nehisi.

Wife of 7th Special Forces Group vet faces deportation under tighter immigration rules.

After handing them their suicide capsules, Norwegian Royal Army Colonel Leif Tronstad informed his soldiers, “I cannot tell you why this mission is so important, but if you succeed, it will live in Norway’s memory for a hundred years.” Operation Gunnerside: The Norwegian attack on heavy water that deprived the Nazis of the atomic bomb.

* The Strange and Twisted Life of Frankenstein.

The Grim Box Office Fate Of ‘Annihilation’ Was An Inevitable Tragedy.

* “After watching my mother die, I read her notebooks.” Aaron Bady remembers his mom.

Supreme Court Ruling Means Immigrants Could Continue To Be Detained Indefinitely. Don’t forget to thank Obama for appealing this decision in the first place.

* The sheer level of clownishness from this White House is impossible to keep track of. I mean honestly.

* Bias and algorithmic culture, search engines edition.

* “They aren’t really going to arm teachers. It’s just a distraction.” Inserting guns into classrooms with the stipulation that they be used for only one purpose and against only one (very rare) target — active school shooters — is delusional.

* Doesn’t this seem like an exemplary topic for a course? I’d love a smart, extended look at the history of impeachment and its application to the current situation. What’s outrageous to me is that SDSU openly sells credits in this absurd format.

* My next course is on a topic nearly as controversial: Are Groot and Baby Groot the same person?

* Bad news for Zefram Cochrane: Proxima Centauri probably a no-go.

* We thought George Lucas created Star Wars. The truth was more complicated.

* Profile of Ryan Coogler at 21. Unreal that this was just ten years ago.

* A hundred years ago, the United States adopted daylight savings time in order to extract more profit from labor. How would we organize time differently if we were free from the demands of capitalism? The latest from Mika Tokumitsu at Jacobin.

* I was bashing Ross Douthat on Twitter just yesterday, but I like this one: The Rise of Woke Capital.

But of course so long as this same Republican Party remains itself pro-corporate in its economic ideology — as the Trumpified G.O.P., despite his populist forays, has determinedly remained — the corporate interests themselves stand to lose little from these polarizing trends. Their wokeness buys them cover when liberalism is in power, and any backlash only helps prop up a G.O.P. that has their back when it comes time to write our tax laws.

* The Silence of Sherman Alexie.

An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.

* And what happens if you give an AI control over a corporation? Exactly what happens when you put a person in charge, it looks like…