Teaching the Future: Teachers Talk with Sonya Donaldson

In this Teachers Talk, Transformations editors Jacqueline Ellis and Jason Martinek spoke with our New Jersey City University colleague, Sonya Donaldson. Our conversation focused mostly on her scholarly and pedagogical interests in speculative fiction and Afrofuturism, but this discussion also led us to make connections to institutional and disciplinary structures in education, the devaluing of historical knowledge, the importance of creativity and imagination in the classroom, and the transformative potential of, as Donaldson eloquently puts it, “looking to the past, to understand the present, to build for the future.”

Donaldson is currently completing work on a book manuscript, “‘Irreconcilable Differences?’: Memory, History, and the Echoes of Diaspora,” which examines the ways in which black artists, in engaging sites of shared memory (both real and imagined), construct diasporic spaces outside of the nation paradigm. Her digital humanities project, “Singing the Nation Into Being:...

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