This year’s listening session will explore the theme of sonic Afro-Futurism and the ways in which artists of the African diaspora have shaped our sense of what it means to be modern, from the early 20th century to the present. We will will explore the history and significance of Black musical modernism, from the work of early twentieth-century artists like Scott Joplin and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to contemporary musicians and producers like Noel Brass Jr and Janelle Monae. In times like these, this music remains a crucial imaginative resource for all of us, evoking a hopeful sense of what it might mean to be modern, beyond the unimaginative limitations set of technological capitalism.
Julian Henriques is a Professor in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London. Julian is also a film producer, writer-director and sound artist.