9 January 2019

Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and the Ethics of Liberation

The film Black Panther raises questions about the prospects for and ethics of liberation. What is to be done by the victims of oppression and exploitation? Is armed struggle against oppressors an appropriate (perhaps even necessary) strategy for movements of liberation? Or is nonviolent resistance a better (perhaps the only moral) strategic option for such movements? What should come first, ethically and strategically: liberation or education? On what grounds can people participate in or ally themselves with movements of liberation? These are not only questions for the Wakandans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These and similar questions were vital to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the late 20th century, as they were in many other places and times, and are today. This course will consider such questions with reference to their exploration in the 2018 movie, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the work of the black American theologian James Cone, the legacies of South African anti-apartheid activists and theorists Steve Biko and Rick Turner (both murdered by the apartheid state), and contemporary Afrofuturism.

ICS 242506 W19

Dr. Gideon Strauss
Wednesdays, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Classroom 2, Knox College

(MWS, MA, PhD)