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Jasper Lauderdale

PhD Candidate


Title: "Afrofuturism and the decolonizing of space and time in speculative film and media practice: Beyond the final frontier"

Supervisor: Manthia Diawara

My dissertation seeks to illumine the oppositional, resistant, subversive and utopian aesthetic strategies embedded and deployed in black speculative art practice, in particular those works that foreground the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality to imagine alternate pasts, presents and futures. I engage texts that offer potentially limitless possibilities for writing the black body into existence by circumventing the restrictions of realist representation, thereby countering the shared and systematic denial of history begot by colonial oppression and chattel slavery and allowing for the foundation of new forms of sociocultural consciousness and the maintenance of diasporic communities. Other areas of interest include feminist, postcolonial, apparatus and screen theories; queer and trans studies; African cinemas and their aesthetic and political relations to colonial film language and practice; corporeal augmentation and cyborgism; experimental and interactive documentary; the subversive potential of extreme depictions of sex/uality and violence; the femaleaction hero; representations of blackness, miscegenation and white (female) purity; body genres; duration, stasis and statuary; madness, trauma and the grotesque; marginal/ized spectatorship; and the return of the gaze.


Jasper Lauderdale is a doctoral candidate and an adjunct instructor at New York University, and holds an MA (Honors) in Film Studies and International Relations from the University of St Andrews and an MA in Cinema Studies from Tisch. He trained as a documentary filmmaker at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and recently edited Some Bright Morning (2015), a film by Lydie Diakhaté on the life and work of renowned pan-Africanist sculptor Melvin Edwards that premiered alongside an exhibition of Edwards’ work at the 56th Venice Biennale, and later screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.