Call for Essays and Artwork

Afrofuturismo: Las Caras Lindas de mi Gente Negra

EDITED BY REYNALDO ANDERSON AND YAJAIRA DE LA ESPADA

The purpose of this book is to identify the applicability of contemporary expressions of Afrofuturismo or Afro-Latinx futurity to the field of Africana Studies, Cultural Studies and connections to other fields of academic inquiry. What is presently called Afrofuturism was originally a techno-cultural perspective that was engaged in a form of cultural production originating in practices of black urban dwellers in North America after World War II.  The recently popularized term “Afrofuturism” was coined in the early 1990s by writers Mark Dery, Kodwo Eshun, Mark Sinker and others; however, their early articulation of the phenomenon was limited largely to music, art and speculative fiction. More recently the framework of Afrofuturism 2.0 has been advanced as a contemporary technocultural pan-African framework re-orienting the field toward an Africana Studies focus. However, the early development of Afrofuturism 2.0 has been silent on Afro-Latinx futurity as it is largely an Afro-Anglophone project, although, recently there is some contribution from Francophone artists and intellectuals and re-emerging Afro-German creatives. The purpose of this book is to identify the 21st century contemporary expressions of Afrofuturismo and Afro-Latinx futurity emerging in the areas of metaphysics, visual studies, performance, art and science or technology. The book is the first of its kind to include essays from scholars and artists from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean basin, (to include Haiti and Brazil) and Europe to address the topic of Afrofuturismo in one volume. This book will do the work of constructing, cementing and validating a space for people of African descent (Afrodescendientes) who have familial ties to the Caribbean, and Latin America, that provide a critical framework towards the future.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this special volume is to feature scholarly research, theoretic essays, and applied studies that explore how the concept of Afrofuturismo is related to Africana Studies. Clearly, Afrofuturismo raises issues important to Africana studies scholars such as identity and cultural interaction over time, space, and the study of the future.

 

Rationale

There are at least three reasons that warrant a special issue on the study of Afrofuturismo. First, Afrofuturismo is concerned with, for example, the ways in Afrodescientes negotiate and/or renegotiate their identity throughout time. Secondly, Afrofuturismo has a cultural dimension that deserves critical analysis in the area of Africana Studies. And finally, there is to date, no book or text that has thoroughly showcased this unique brand of scholarly discourse in relation to Africana studies.

Manuscripts addressing the following themes will be given priority:

  • The intersection of race, culture, gender, sexual identity, and technology in human interaction (i. e. examining identities, temporality, and anti-blackness in Latin society)
  • Afrofuturismo as a philosophy and its impact on religion among African/Diaspora communities (ie. metaphysics, theology, philosophy of science and ethics).
  • Confluence between Afrofuturismo, the environment, bio-sciences, digitized flesh, prosthetic enhancement (ie. transhumanism) ecology, and cyborg manifestations.
  • Exploring the interstices of time, place, space, and home as metaphors for an Afrofuturismo perspective or politics, in relation to neoliberal rhetorics of post-racialism, open data movements, radical transparency, crowd sourcing and other forms of political expression in the age of what some call “Zombie” or “Disaster” capitalism.
  • Examining Afrofuturismo in relation to other futurisms; such as Rastafuturism, Chicanafuturism, Ethnofuturism or Sino-Futurism.
  • Theories of Afrofuturismo used to explore aesthetics, art, film, music, performance, theatre, esoteric knowledge and communication studies.

In all cases, it is necessary that the author(s) demonstrate how the study contributes to knowledge about Afrofuturismo and Africana studies in relation to technology, racial, cultural, sexual or gendered identity negotiation in human and or non human interaction.  Manuscripts may address the special issue theme from a wide array of perspectives.

Authors are to submit a 250-300 abstract by July 1, 2019. Accepted abstracts of authors will be notified by July 31st of acceptance. Final submission will be due by December 1st 2019. Artist are to submit examples of Afrofuturismo aesthetics by July 1, 2019 and will be notified by July 31st of acceptance.

Final submissions may not exceed  (including references and notes) approximately 6000 words and must include: (1) detachable title page with names of author(s), academic position, institutional affiliation, full address, telephone number, fax number, and email address.  All manuscript submissions must conform to the current Chicago Style format. Queries and abstract submissions should be addressed to:  afrofuturismoproject@gmail.com


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