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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On Becoming: Afrofuturism, Worldbuilding, and Embodied Imagination
by Colmon, Clayton D., Jr., D.A., University of Delaware, 2020, 198; 27964138
Abstract (Summary)

Afrofuturism is a radical Black movement that situates race, gender, and sexuality within discussions of technology and creative worldbuilding. This project examines afrofuturist works that expand utopia and center Black folx in imaginative visions of change. I turn to works from Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, Colson Whitehead, and Janelle Monáe which offer future visions of Black identity and inclusive queer placemaking in technologically mediated, public discourse. While I build on scholarship that grapples with Black futurity, this project is distinguished by its focus on the complexities of queer worldbuilding in heteronormative futurescapes, the role of traumatic memory in speculative urban planning, and the transformative potential of afrofuturist pedagogical practices in digital learning spaces.

This project explores Black post-human embodiment and municipal governance in real and imagined urban spaces. It also offers a careful examination of queer teaching and learning that foster critical digital citizenship for Black folx and other marginalized peoples. I turn to the Black Speculative Arts Movement and audiotopia to frame this project as a creative intellectual artifact that embraces imaginative practices and connected processes of “becoming” through aurality and critical listening. I conclude with a call to honor creative knowledge-work and reflect on the meaning, purpose, and costs of “the dissertation” as a traditional capstone project for doctoral studies in the humanities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pfaelzer, Mary J., Spaulding, Asa T.
Commitee: Foreman, Pier G., Zaki, Hoda
School: University of Delaware
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, British and Irish literature, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Afrofuturism, Pedagogy, Sexuality, Soundscapes, Technology, Utopia
Publication Number: 27964138
ISBN: 9798672105444
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