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On Display: Afrofuturism

by Liz Svoboda on 2020-02-07T13:33:00-05:00 in Book Display, Film, Music, Literature, Art, Africana | Comments

From February 7 - 28. 2020 we are featuring a display of afrofuturist works found in the library. But what is afrofuturism?

Afrofuturism is a critical art theory that focuses on Black experiences with regards to technology and imagined futures or worlds. In literature, it is most often applied to works of speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy). Mark Dery is credited with coining the term "afrofuturism" in his 1993 article "Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose," which the Library has access to, but only in paper (an irony is not lost on this librarian). Dery's original definition focuses on "speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth century technoculture" (1993, p. 736), but within the same article he broadens the definition by including references to visual and performing artists. Later creators and critics broadened the definition even further to incorporate specifically African experiences, mythology, and creators.

Nnedi Okorafor is one of the current Afrofuturist voices and she spoke on the TED stage in 2017 about her work.


The following lists include examples of afrofuturist artists and works.



Visual Artists


Further Reading and Watching:

Artwork featured on the display graphic was found through CC Search.


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