Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness

A lecture and discussion with Dr. Reynaldo Anderson.

In the 20th century, afrofuturism was regarded as a medium of expression in speculative fiction, literary or music production. In the early 21st century, afrofuturism is now emerging as prominent cultural logic and aesthetic in Africa and its diaspora. This ascendant philosophical perspective provides a space to critique the link between rhetoric, gender, race, sexuality, technology, and the future as it effects the production of science fiction, techno-culture, politics, philosophy, art, and media.

Dr. Reynaldo Anderson will present his research at The Public School Berlin and A Public Library to examine how afrofuturism constructs race and identity, and how these constructions are both unique and inextricably connected to rhetorical acts and historical narratives of future, present and past. Afrofuturisum engenders a new understanding of how the contemporary techno-sphere engages, challenges and rearticulates “Black” cultural identity, political formations, experiences and futures between Africa and its diaspora in a global context.

Anderson’s lecture will be followed with a response from Beatrice Ferrara, Affiliated Fellow ICI Berlin, who has co-organized this event.

This lecture was precipitated by a class held at The Public School Berlin called Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy, which took place in February and March 2015. In addition to the texts discussed during that class, we have also posted new material that will provide a broader context to Anderson’s lecture. They can be found here. We plan to devote an hour to conversation so please bring questions and comments. We also hope to subsequently organize a class related to this topic over the summer.

Biography of Dr. Reynaldo Anderson
Dr. Reynaldo Anderson currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Humanities and Teacher Education, Assistant Professor of Communications, and is the chapter advisor for the NAACP at Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Anderson has published extensive research documenting the African American experience in the Communication Studies field and recently co-authored an essay on the topic of Afrofuturism and Kanye West in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He is editor of the forthcoming book Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness to be published spring 2015 by Lexington Books. He is a past chair of the Black Caucus of the National Communication Association. Also, Dr. Anderson serves as an executive board member of the Missouri Arts Council and supports the inclusion of art in K-12 education, focusing on the importance of the arts in relation to the economic and intellectual vitality of the community. Dr. Anderson was recognized in 2010 for his efforts in the humanities with an exemplary community leadership award from Governor Jay Nixon. Dr. Anderson was recently appointed as a Development Ambassador for the Sekyere (pronounced Se-Sharay) Afram Plains District in the country of Ghana to support the U.N. Millennium goals and promote the socio-economic empowerment of women and youth.