ENGL 4104 Captsone Afrofuturism Syllabus Spring 2018 (3).docx

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ENGL 4104-001 [Capstone]: Afrofuturism Class Meetings : T, TH 12 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. in 118 Prescott Hall Instructor : Dr. Isiah Lavender, III Office : Allen Hall 237E Office Hours : T 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.; W 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.; and by appointment Phone, E-mail, & Twitter : 578-3125; [email protected] ; @3Isiah BOOKS: Available at the Barnes & Noble LSU Bookstore Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower Nicky Drayden, The Prey of Gods Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring Nnedi Okorafor, The Book of Phoenix George S. Schuyler, Black No More Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
***Assigned secondary sources and short stories are posted on Moodle as pdfs. COURSE DESCRIPTION: At its simplest, Afrofuturism means speculative fiction written by black people in a global context. But such a working definition of Afrofuturism elides the sheer scale of this burgeoning aesthetic movement, now in its third decade, which includes all forms of black cultural production—music, dance, art, theater, film, literature, and scholarship. Afrofuturism is a set of race inflected reading protocols designed to investigate the optimisms and anxieties framing the future imaginings of black people. As a speculative concern with what was via what is via what could be, Afrofuturism offers a complex challenge to remember and reconnect a past that informs the present and builds a future. Alternate histories, captivity narratives, alien encounters, and travels through time and space provide ideal ways to go b(l)ack to the future. Consequently, this course concerns the literary and critical strands of Afrofuturism, with some attention paid to music and film. SO WHAT’S IN THIS COURSE FOR YOU (Course Objectives)? Well, we will obviously learn considerably more about Afrofuturism. If we prepare for class, work collaboratively, speak intelligently, freely, and honestly, we will learn a lot from one another and have fun along the way. The assignments are purposeful assignments, and I hope you find them useful. These are the tasks you will perform during the course of the semester: 1. You will read, think, write, discuss, and conduct research 2. You will bring at least one written question over each of our assigned readings to help create discussion 3. You will submit a brief 1 to 2-page response for four of our texts 4. You will submit a 300-word abstract for the seminar paper along with a working bibliography 5. You will write 12-15 paper that engages with one or more of our assigned readings. 6. You will create a Power Point presentation pitching a film idea or story draft as a final group project Note: In addition to meeting the length requirements, all formal writing assignments must be typed, double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. All writing assignments must have titles ! In general, late assignments lose an entire letter grade before I start grading as do assignments that don’t make the basic length requirements. You should also know that I do not accept email submissions of written work .

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