African SciFi

Well it’s that time of year again at Western Washington University. Luckily, this time I’m a college senior and there is an end in sight. 

Aside from my journalism courses, this quarter I’m taking something a little different to go along with my English minor. “Texts Outside of N. America and Europe,” is a literature class I’m taking, but our subject is much more narrow. It’s about African scifi and technologies, to be incredibly specific. From what I understand, the class is about analyzing and interpreting films and books such as “District 9” that display African science fiction and technologies as a means of understanding African literature. 

Personally, I have no idea what African literature is even about. I read a couple short stories by Chinua Achebe my first year of college, but I am otherwise ignorant. However, I am excited to begin studying our texts. They include titles like “AfroSF,” “Wretched of the Earth” and “Apex World of Scifi.” It’s uncharted territory for me.

As a Star Wars/Star Trek Fan and a massive Warhammer 40k geek I feel very well acquainted with Western science fiction. I am excited to see what African science fiction is. How does it differ? Does it differ? How does it relate? This time last year, I studied “The Lord of the Rings” in an academic setting. But I have never studied science fiction in any academic capacity. 

To begin the class, we watched the film “The Battle of Algiers.” Not exactly scifi, but definitely African (N. African to be precise). it will be interesting to see how things such as colonialism and post-colonialism have influenced science fiction literature in Africa. 

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