I craft my classes in a way that puts authors, artists, and community leaders from many different backgrounds and experiences into conversation with each other. I also design interactive workshops as part of my classes. This way, students engage both their minds and hands as part of a larger community of learners. Experience one of my haptic workshops (pictured right) here.
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Science, Technology, Culture (New)
Forthcoming Spring 2023
Sensing Beyond the Human
Exploration rovers on Mars, smart forests, paranormal investigators, landmine-sniffing rats. Machines, plants, and other animals are increasingly enlisted as participants in human sensory perception. How do we sense in extraordinary ways? We examine human attempts to extend their sensory capacities through robots, sensors, animals, and plants, considering how colonialism, race, gender, sexuality, and surveillance have shaped our desire to sense beyond the human. Drawing on ethnography, media studies, literature, and science and technology studies, we will learn to cultivate critical sensing practices through sensory workshops and social/environmental justice projects.
Critiques of the Human from Africa
What does it mean to go beyond the human? Posthuman desires have more recently dominated discussions about science and technology, AI, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the Anthropocene, in which the future is imagined as transcending the limitations of being human. This advanced seminar focuses on approaches from Africa and the diaspora that considers the category, experience, and radical potential of being (post)human. Course readings and discussions challenge and reframe desires to transcend or go beyond the bodily, psychological, and technological limits of the human, situated in Africa and the diaspora.
We read texts by anti-colonial writers, postcolonial leaders, Black feminists, storytellers, scholars, and working people in Africa and beyond, including Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Julius Nyerere, Sylvia Wynter, Achille Mbembe, Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Evan Mwangi, Bénédicte Boisseron, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, and Artwell Nhemachena, who have long contested the “human” in their works on African solidarities and struggles against colonialism, anti-Black racism, capitalist development, climate change, and global inequality. We engage with ethnographies and histories of/from Africa that explore questions of dehumanization (under slavery and colonialism), human relations with the environment, and science and technology, while reflecting on political changes afoot on the continent and beyond.