Spring 2010

The Afro-Postmodern

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-23


John Erwin Drabinski (Section 01)


[D] This course examines the meaning of "the postmodern" in contemporary Caribbean and African-American philosophy, cultural theory, and the arts. What is the postmodern? And how does the experience of the Americas transform the meaning of postmodernity? Four basic concepts guide our inquiry: fragmentation, nomad, rhizome, and creoleness. Short readings from European theorists will provide the backdrop for our treatment of how the experiences of the Middle Passage, colonialism, and postcolony life fundamentally transform postmodern ideas. In tracking this transformation, readings and reflections will explore the possible meanings of the Afro-postmodern in the works of Édouard Glissant, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Wilson Harris, and Patrick Chamoiseau. In addition, with such theoretical considerations in place, the class will examine the specifically Afro-postmodern significance of aesthetic practices in dub, sampling, graffiti, and anti-racist irony. Lastly, the class will consider how Afro-postmodern conceptions of mixture, counter-narrative, and syncretism offer an alternative to dominant accounts of modernity and globalization.

Limited to 20 students.  Preference to students who have taken Black Studies 11 or 12.  Spring semester.  Professor Drabinski.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to students who have taken BLST 11/12. Then class level (seniors and juniors given priority).


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2019