This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of the African continent. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa and it includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars.
african cultural astronomy
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Comprising elements of the avant-garde, science fiction, cutting-edge hip-hop, black comix, and graphic novels, Afrofuturism spans both underground and mainstream pop culture. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and all social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves. This book introduces readers to the burgeoning artists creating Afrofuturist works, the history of innovators in the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delaney, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemison to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eye Peas Will.i.am, who debuted "Reach for the Stars" on Mars, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities. Topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry peppering sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comic illustrators, painters, and DJs, as well as Afrofuturist professors, will provide a firsthand look at this fascinating movement. Ytasha L. Womack is a filmmaker, futurist and the author of Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and the coeditor of Beats Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop. She is also the creator of the Rayla 2212 sci fi/multimedia series and author of 2212: Book of Rayla. She lives in Chicago.
This ninth volume of the Artefacts series explores how artists have responded to developments in science and technology, past and present. Rather than limiting the discussion to art alone, editors Anne Collins Goodyear and Margaret Weitekamp also asked contributors to consider aesthetics: the scholarly consideration of sensory responses to cultural objects. When considered as aesthetic objects, how do scientific instruments or technological innovations reflect and embody culturally grounded assessments about appearance, feel, and use? And when these objects become museum artifacts, what aesthetic factors affect their exhibition? Contributors found answers in the material objects themselves. This volume reconsiders how science, technology, art, and aesthetics impact one another.
When you think of astrology, you may think of the horoscope section in your local paper, or of Nancy Reagan's consultations with an astrologer in the White House in the 1980s. Yet almost every religion uses some form of astrology: some way of thinking about the sun, moon, stars, and planets and how they hold significance for human lives on earth. Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions offers an accessible overview of the astrologies of the world's religions, placing them into context within theories of how the wider universe came into being and operates. Campion traces beliefs about the heavens among peoples ranging from ancient Egypt and China, to Australia and Polynesia, and India and the Islamic world. Addressing each religion in a separate chapter, Campion outlines how, by observing the celestial bodies, people have engaged with the divine, managed the future, and attempted to understand events here on earth. This fascinating text offers a unique way to delve into comparative religions and will also appeal to those intrigued by New Age topics.
Astronomy Across Cultures: A History of Non-Western Astronomy consists of essays dealing with the astronomical knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Polynesian, Egyptian and Tibetan astronomy, among others, the book includes essays on Sky Tales and Why We Tell Them and Astronomy and Prehistory, and Astronomy and Astrology. The essays address the connections between science and culture and relate astronomical practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay is well illustrated and contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both the history of science and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.
In this newly expanded edition, more than 4,000 articles cover prominent African and African American individuals, events, trends, places, political movements, art forms, businesses, religions, ethnic groups, organizations, countries, and more.
Gazing into the black skies from the Anasazi observatory at Chimney Rock or the Castillo Pyramid in the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza, a modern visitor might wonder what ancient stargazers looked for in the skies and what they saw. Once considered unresearchable, these questions now drive cultural astronomers who draw on written and unwritten records and a constellation of disciplines. Cultural astronomy has evolved at ferocious speed since its genesis in the 1960s, with seminal essays and powerful rebuttals published in far-flung, specialized journals. Until now, only the most closely involved scholars could follow the intellectual fireworks. In this new reader, Anthony Aveni--one of cultural astronomy's founders and top scholars and a former National Professor of the Year--offers a selection of the essays that built the field, from foundational works to contemporary scholarship. Aveni also serves up incisive commentary, background for the uninitiated, suggested reading, and more.
"A groundbreaking scholarly publication, accompanying an exhibition organized by the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, African Cosmos- Stellar Artsbrings together exceptional works of art, dating from ancient times to the present, and essays by leading scholars and contemporary artists to consider African cultural astronomy- creativity and artistic practice in Africa as it is linked to celestial bodies and atmospheric phenomena. African concepts of the universe are intensely personal, placing human beings in relation to the earth and sky, and with the sun, moon, and stars. At the core of creation myths and the foundation of moral values, celestial bodies are often accorded sacred capacities and are part of the “cosmological map” that allows humans to chart their course through life."