Race and Technology

March 8, 2022 - March 8, 2022
Doheny Memorial Library


/ˌafrōˈfyo͞oCHərizəm/   noun   1.  the re-imagining of a future filled with arts, science and technology seen through a black lens.  


“SF [science fiction] allows me to write about sexually and/or racially egalitarian societies that don’t exist anywhere on earth today.  …I can visualize societies in which sex and race are interesting differences and not a mark of inferiority or superiority.” ~ Octavia E. Butler

“Love and imagination may be the most revolutionary impulses available to us, and yet we have failed to understand their political importance and respect them as powerful social forces.” ~ Robin Kelly, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“Afrofuturism is not just about placing a Black person in a futuristic landscape. It takes into account the specific challenges that Black people face and allows them to imagine futures of their own making.” ~ Yves Jeffcoat


“Freedom Dreaming, Alicia Garza tells us “imagines a world without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, etc. and calls us to envision not what we are fighting against, but what we are fighting for.”  Afrofuturism as defined above, is a technology where freedom dreaming manifests, and

“encourages participants to create the world we dream of by first, visualizing the future we want to live in and second, determining the actions that will lead us there.”

Join Professors Kara Keeling and Ayana A.H. Jamieson in exploration and excavation of the technology of race and the re-imagining of a more just future found in the Afrofuturist writings of Octavia Butler, the music of Grace Jones, the poetics of Audre Lorde and others. 

  • Ayana A.H. Jamieson

    Ayana A.H. Jamieson

    writer, editor, and organizer

    Ayana A. H. Jamieson is a writer, editor, and organizer. She is a lecturer in Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly State Pomona University. She is the founder of the Los Angeles-based Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a community organization that highlights the ongoing creative, scholarly, community, and social justice work inspired by speculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler. Jamieson was one of the organizers of the "Ferguson is the Future--Incubating Alternative Worlds Through Arts, Activism, and Scholarship" symposium at Princeton University. Her current book project is Octavia Butler’s biography based on Butler’s own published and unpublished writing and her Southern California origins.

  • Kara Keeling

    Kara Keeling

    Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity
    Kara Keeling is Professor in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts and in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Keeling's research has focused on African American film, theories of race, sexuality, and gender in cinema, critical theory, and cultural studies. Current research involves issues of temporality, media and black and queer cultural politics; digital media, globalization, and difference; and Gilles Deleuze and liberation theory. Keeling's book, The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense (Duke University Press, 2007), explores the role of cinematic images in the construction and maintenance of hegemonic conceptions of the world and interrogates the complex relationships between cinematic visibility, minority politics, and the labor required to create and maintain alternative organizations of social life. She is co-editor (with Colin MacCabe and Cornel West) of a selection of writings by the late James A. Snead entitled European Pedigrees/ African Contagions: Racist Traces and Other Writing and author of several articles that have appeared in the journals Qui Parle, The Black Scholar, Women and Performance, and elsewhere.  Keeling currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies and is the Editor of the Moving Image Review section of Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (GLQ).