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Changing the Color of European History: The Need for Multi-culturalism in Studying the European Experience

Lydia Lindsey and Carlton Wilson

Today, more than at any other time, we live in an era of interaction and interdependence of nations and societies around the globe. As citizens of the world, students are confronted with political, economic, and geographical relationships virtually not imagined even a half century ago. These conditions demand that we teach and learn the social sciences from a global multi-cultural perspective. It is the aim of this discussion that students who live in the global village may, through the study of world peoples, cultures, societies, and civilizations, acquire a better understanding and appreciation of other citizens of that village. Their ability to relate to other cultures and peoples demand some understanding of their history and values, and without this understanding there can be no effective commitment to seek peace and dignity for all.

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Überlegungen und Vorschläge für ein Curriculum der Schwarzen Europäischen Studien

Pierre Kodjio Nenguie

Der Beitrag versucht Black European Studies (BEST) als Forschungs- und Studienfeld zu beschreiben. Es handelt sich um ein neues Wissensfeld das sich von den traditionellen Philologien (Afrikanistik, African Studies, African american Studies, Black Studies, European Studies, Asian Studies, Romanistik, Slawistik oder Germanistik). Während die traditionellen Philologien im europäischen Kulturraum den Akzent auf die Vermittlung von Literatur, Sprache und Philosophie setzen (Germanistik, Slawistik , Romanistik und Afrikanistik) und auf dieser Grundlage Curricula entworfen haben, werden nicht mehr so sehr diese Philologien samt Curricula im Ausland betrieben.

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Postcolonial Constellations and the Shaping of the African Diasporic Subjectivity: Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative

Lokangaka Losambe

In Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation ( 1996), the Irish critic Declan Kiberd argued that “ postcolonial writing does not begin only when the occupier withdraws : rather it is initiated at that very moment when a native writer formulates a text committed to cultural resistance”. While I agree with Kiberd that postcoloniality cannot be said to be synonymous with post-independence or post-emancipation, in this paper I will extend his formulation by adding another subversive initiator of the postcolonial moment: the sympathizing radical activist within the metropolis.

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African diaspora in France

Karima Laachir

My area of research focuses on the African diaspora in France, which mainly consists of the North African or Franco-Maghrebian diaspora. Descendants of North African immigrants in France or so called “Beur”, French citizens of North African descent, still carry the image of the North African immigrant with its violent colonial residue that relegates them to the margins of French society. Even though the Franco-Maghrebians are less physically visible as the racial other, they are perceived as a racially ‘different’ group because of their supposed cultural, ethnic and religious differences, which are deemed inferior and incompatible with French values. Hence, they are still seen as the Other of France despite their French nationality and their strong link with the culture of the French urban banlieues where they were born and brought up.

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Re-thinking the African Diaspora. Africa and the Construction of Medieval Europe

Maghan Keita

Unlike Edward Wilmot Blyden, Joel A. Rogers, though quoted and admired by the esteemed William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, remains both a controversial and an obscure historiographic figure. Yet, it is his questions, as much as any others, on the nature of relations between Africa and Europe, and Africans and Europeans—their co-mingling—that prompt this inquiry.

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Theorizing Black Europe From a Global Perspective

Young-sun Hong

I am currently working on a book entitled THE THIRD WORLD IN THE TWO GERMANIES: RACE, GENDER, AND HYGIENIC MODERNITY, 1945-1975. My book examines the East and West German encounters with peoples of color from Africa and Asia at the height of decolonization and the Cold War. In this work I argue that discourses and social practices of health and hygiene were integral to the construction of competing conceptions of Germanness, Europeanness, and humanitarianism during this period.

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Performing Blackness and Sexuality

Kanika Batra

As a postgraduate student at the University of Delhi, India I developed a strong interest in postcolonial literature and theory. While teaching English literature at Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi, a British Council Research grant for young professionals enabled me to interact with Black theatre groups based in London such as Talawa and Irie Dance Theatre. Subsequently I have been pursuing doctoral research in gender, sexuality and citizenship in postcolonial drama while working as an assistant at the Interdisciplinary Black World Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago. My dissertation examines postcolonial drama from India, Jamaica, and Nigeria in conjunction with feminist movements in these countries.

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Negotiating Dispersion: African Diasporas in Europe

LaShonda Barnett

The recent shift in cultural studies away from ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ paradigms to heuristic devices which explore social conditions and historical processes at the transnational level has refocused academic attention on the concept of diaspora (see, for example, Hall 1990; Gilroy 1993; Clifford 1994; Brah 1996, 1997; Vertovec 1996; Cohen 1997; Anthias 1998; Braziel and Mannur 2003). However, as Avtar Brah states in Cartographies of Diaspora (1996) the term diaspora can be ill-defined and all-embracing, thus weakening its purchase as a theoretical framework. Diaspora, as I intend it here, refers to the voluntary or involuntary dispersion of any population that results in the construction of a new identity on a world scale. In its most tenuous configuration, diaspora has no fixed point of beginning. For the purposes of this paper, diaspora is a useful tool for teaching on the histories and cultures of black transnational communities in Europe informed by distinct geo-social oppressions.

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Europa: Transformationen, Herausforderungen und Konzeptionen in Literaturen

Susan Arndt

Ich arbeite im Rahmen postkolonialer Theorie- und Methodendiskussionen und bewege mich im Rahmen einer weißen Weißseinsforschung. Derzeit arbeite ich an der Fertigstellung meiner Habilitationsschrift zu Konzeptionen von Weißsein in Literaturen aus und über Afrika. Das Nachfolgeprojekt (Arbeitsziel: Monographie) beschäftigt sich mit Europakonzeptionen in Literaturen aus Afrika und der afrikanischen Diaspora.

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Being African-British: a socio-psychological examination of the (re)construction and functions of cross-cultural selves

Ama de-Graft Aikins

The proposed paper will report the preliminary stages of a study exploring the meanings and functions of ‘African-British’ identity. The study draws from two larger projects. The first project draws functional links between multi-generational memories and meanings of colonialism - through the trope of Independence – and the construction of contemporary culture, identities and agencies in Ghana. The second examines representations of the African-British community within mainstream and minority media.

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