UCOR 3400-01 Empire and Afro- Utopia

Professor S. Adejumobi

This course focuses on empire and Afro-utopian narratives of freedom and development in the Black Diaspora.  We will study how institutions and legacies of the modern Atlantic slave trade and colonialism have been challenged, over the centuries, by counter-narratives from African indigenous, premodern, and modern perspectives inspiring utopian visions of an alternative and better future.  We will deepen our understanding of global power dynamics and unequal geo-political relations, as well as learning about Black-led social and political movements that have been at the forefront of social justice initiatives and political reforms in African Diaspora contexts.  We will reflect on the manner in which Afro-utopian elements present themselves across the Black Diaspora including in the form of old and new folklores, allegories of desire for change and transformation, social commentaries, manifestos, bodies of literature, poetry, music, fashion and artistic aesthetics, along with political and development agendas on both a national and trans-national basis.  (*Note: A utopian framework suggests the aggregated vision from a specific or general social, intellectual, or political ideal that may seem impractical to implement at the time of conception, but which is nevertheless important to strive toward due to broader discontent with the status quo.)

Online Synchronous –  TTh 6:00 pm – 8:05 pm