Future Machines: Assembling Transformation through Afrofuturist Imaginaries

Perla, James, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Hamilton, Njelle, Department of English, University of Virginia

My project investigates Afrofuturism or black science fiction. It interrogates the central tension within Afrofuturism between cultural specificity and post-human futurity to show how the aesthetic strategies of bricolage, future-oriented ontologies, and prophetic narratives enable Afrofuturist practitioners to master (read: hack) the technologies of race, history, time, and creative representation. As such, Afrofuturist artists assemble transformation machines, new worlds, texts, and scripts that attend to the historical experiences of people of color only insofar as they provide the keys for the reformulation of the categories that have historically bound them. My thesis focuses primarily on two works: The Last Angel of History a 1996 film from the Black Audio Film Collective and Parable of the Sower written in 1993 by Octavia E. Butler.

MA (Master of Arts)
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