Understanding a Thriving Genre: Afrofuturism

What does the future look like? Is it the same as the present, or different? Who survives and thrives in the new millennium, and who is left behind? To whom does the future belong? These are some of the questions Afrofuturism seeks to answer. Afrofuturism projects Black heroes, warriors and leaders into a fantasy and speculative landscape which has too often positioned Black people as either marginal or simply invisible. The term, Afrofuturism, was coined by writer Mark Dery in 1993 in his essay, ““Black to the Future.”

Storytelling in Afrofuturism is focused on celebrating and reclaiming black identity through an intersectional lens using past and future. Afrofuturism’s empowering and engaging perspective is not limited to any one medium, it can be found in music, film, artwork, dance, fashion, and literature. You may even recognize Afrofuturist elements embodied in the works of Solange Knowles, Janelle Monae, and “Black Panther.”

The Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing is proud to welcome Afrofuturist Ytasha L. Womack as their Visiting Artist 2018-19. Womack will deliver a series of online and on-campus events, beginning with a livestreamed discussion about Afrofuturism on November 7th. Womack’s values lie in finding humanity within creativity and she can be found writing critically acclaimed literature, directing films, hosting dance therapy, researching, and helping to run Afrofuturism849.

Ytasha Womack is an influential innovator that is dedicated her career in the Afrofuturist global community. For the Emerson Career Development Center, it’s an honor to help promote this event, which will educate the Emerson community about this genre, and the many career paths it can take you.

Join the dialogue with Ytasha on Wednesday, November 7th 7-8pm EST in Ansin 604 or via the live webinar:

The Webinar is free and open to the public; a link to register will be emailed to those who RSVP by November 6.

By Almira Karajic
Almira Karajic Graduate Assistant/Program Coordinator for EmersonNEXT Almira Karajic