When I came across the lecture and the reading list last summer, I thought it would be a good foundation for a class to discuss Sun Ra and Afrofuturism. I forgot to make a proposal until I was reminded when reading the recently published “In a Qu*A*re Time and Place: Post-Slavery Temporalities, Blaxploitation, and Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism between Intersectionality and Heterogeneity,” written by Tim Stüttgen and published posthumously by b_books in Berlin (link: http://www.b-books.de/verlag/quare-time/index.html
Using the final chapters of Stüttgen’s book, as well as some other writings, this class would discuss Sun Ra, free jazz-futurism and others who adhered to an Afrofuturistic impulse. There is a lot that could be listened to, watched, read and discussed, so I think keeping it somewhat focused on Sun Ra might be a good idea.
Here is a rough idea for a structure:
- Listen to some Sun Ra records (and maybe some others like Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Art Ensemble of Chicago, etc.)
- Watch some excerpts from *Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise
- Read and discuss chapters 5, 6, 7 from “In a Qu*A*re Time and Place: Post-Slavery Temporalities, Blaxploitation, and Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism between Intersectionality and Heterogeneity,” by Tim Stüttgen
It would probably be more rational to work backwards through these sessions, but I feel like it would be more satisfying to plunge into the sounds, sights and ideas of Sun Ra first. Also note, that there is a lot of things that aren’t directly addressed by focusing on the above — from contemporary musical currents
of Afrofuturism to Black Sci-Fi
to other futurist/accelerationist takes on techno/machinic/cybernetic uptopias. We could either sprinkle some other things into the outline above, or develop some new proposals for subsequent classes. Please make suggestions below if you have additions or alternative ideas on how to structure things.