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The trajectory of “Negrophilia”

Courtney Carliss Young

The crux of my research focuses on a trend articulated brilliantly by Petrine Archer-Shaw in her book entitled Negrophilia. In the years after the end of the First World War, large numbers of Africans and African Americans emigrated to the cities of Europe in search of work and improved social conditions. Their impact on white European society was immense. In Paris, where the artistic climate was particularly sensitive and experimental, avant-garde artists courted black personalities such as Josephine Baker, Henry Crowder, and Langston Hughes for their sense of style, vitality, and "otherness." Leger, Picasso, Brancusi, Man Ray, Giacometti, Sonia Delaunay, and others enthusiastically collected African sculptures and wore tribal jewelry and clothes.


A Theory of Black European History

Lawrence Ogbogu Ugwuanyi

In several parts of the world, the idea of black or black race engineers doubt, pessimism, contempt and disbelief. The black race is understood as one incapable of promoting a positive course of mankind as a result of which many black nations of the world fall into the group of developing countries, also known as third world countries. This negative framework for perceiving the black race has adversely affected the course of history and poses a clear danger on black European history.The first is to identify with the idea of history as a universal achievement of reason and culture and hence endorse Hegel’s In an emergent world of black European history, two basic options stand in the path of black European linear notion of history as the growth of reason with its highest revelation in Europe; which by implication undermines the quality of black culture and reason.


Equatorial Guinea

Michael Ugarte

Equatorial Guinea (Bioko) was a Spanish colony from 1778 to 1968; in 1900 the area of continental Africa called Río Muni became part of Equatorial Guinea through a treaty with France. Spanish is the official language, although indigenous (Fang, Bubi, Combe/Ndowe) languages are widely spoken. During the dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1930) and Francisco Franco (1936-1975) colonial administrative units were established to regulate activities in Morocco and the areas on the African central west coast.


Black France in Transnational/Transcolonial Contexts

Dominic Thomas

Comparative research on Africa has, until recently, focused primarily on the transition from colonialism to political independence and on sovereign governance and experimentation with democratization. In many ways, the imperative of this analysis was to explore the relationship between culture and politics in order to provide a more accurate understanding of the circumstances of African colonization through an all-encompassing view of the role culture had played in African history, decolonization, and the complex process of forging modern nation-states. However, a number of scholars are beginning to privilege a broader understanding of Africa’s territorial borders and adhering to an approach that re-contextualizes the constitutive links between individuals and populations in Africa and those circulating beyond the continental borders.


Ethiopia: The ŒBlank¹ Figure of (Post)Colonial Discourse & Theory

Mekonnen Tesfahuney

Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that was never colonized. The definitive moment was March 1 1896, which saw the defeat of the 20,000 man strong Italian army, at Adwa in Northern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian victory rebuked European colonial sensibilities and supremacist conceptions of self. Ethiopia ­ together with Japan & Thailand -thus presents a unique and radically different location vis-a-vis dominant catographies structuring global space along the binary axes of colonizer/colonized.


Similarities between Anglophone Caribbean and Russian literature

Tatiana A. Tagirova

My dissertation, “Claude McKay’s Transnational Narrative: Russian and Caribbean Literary Connections,” will establish similarities between Anglophone Caribbean and Russian literature that have virtually been untouched by scholarly criticism. If very little work in the humanities engages a comparative analysis of Russian and American cultural production, there is currently no work that addresses affinities between Russian and Anglophone Caribbean writing. Kate Baldwin and Dale Peterson have already established literary and historical links between Russian and African American literature, but Claude McKay as a precursor of the Russian and Anglophone Caribbean literary relationship has not yet received the attention he merits.


Black, White, and German: The Oxymoron of Blackness in the (White) German Context

Wendy Sutherland

The fact that much of how twentieth and twenty-first century ideas of race are perceived today goes back to the eighteenth-century, and specifically for the German context, to German Enlightenment philosophy, especially of Immanuel Kant, but also Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Samuel Thomas Soemmerring, and Christoph Meiners play a decisive role. Terms such as Rasse, Varietaet, Spielart, Volk and ultimately Nation also emerged in an eighteenth-century Germany on the canvas of blackness, where the Black, be he fictional or real, served to construct an explicit whiteness and an implicit Germanness at a time when there was no German nation.


Uneasy Belonging: Mapping Geographies of Identity

Marjorie Attignol Salvodon

French Universalism – From the "Ideal" Citizen to the "Real" Child
My book-in-progress, Fictions of Childhood: The Roots of Identity in Contemporary French Narratives, explores the meaning of French identity, belonging, and multiculturalism in contemporary French fiction and film. When the French government -- ­driven by a fear of "communautarisme," the French version of "special rights" -- outlawed the wearing of the veil in public schools in 2004, the ensuing debates signaled a crisis in French universalism. Tellingly, the weight of this new law fell directly on the shoulders of French children, girls in particular. Fictions of Childhood discusses French universalism by re-evaluating its merits and pitfalls through the exploration of childhood across cultures, centuries and genres. My study draws on a range of theoretical approaches to show how childhood narratives provide a map of the shifting social parameters of France, redrawing the very boundaries of French identity.


Black Europeanism

Kersuze Simeon

The topic of discussion that I would like to address at the conference is primarily the concept of black Europeanism, through an examination of black European history and identity formation. The questions and conceptual frameworks to be examined are pertinent to historical studies of black Europeans in general; however, I will focus the various analyses of the presentation on black Europeans of African and Caribbean descent living in France. The presentation will investigate the demographics of blacks living in France (through lineage, generations in France, educational background, profession) to theorize on the perceptions that blacks have of themselves in terms of continental, national, and cultural identities.


The European Union as “Post-Modernist Empire”: The Views from Russia

Dmitry Shlapentokh

The collapse of the USSR led to the proliferation of various nationalistic theories in Russia. The proponents of these theories presented their plans for resurrecting the USSR. While pointing out that the USSR could be resurrected, they also declared that the USSR would not be an artificial state but a new type of empire that could enjoy a long life. They pointed to the European Union as a new type of USSR, what they called a "post-modernist empire.” This European “post-modernist empire” would be the model for the resurrected USSR.


relationship between Black Americans and Black Europeans

Aomawa Shields

I am an African-American woman with an MFA in Theater from UCLA in Los Angeles, California, and a Bachelor's Degree from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am also an actor and solo theater artist currently touring my solo shows nationally, which address issues of identity, gender and racial stereotypes, and the merging of science and art in my piece Goddess. Divided., which I performed at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2001. My most recent piece, Necessary Precautions, which I was commissioned to create by Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA in 2003, looks at the events of September 11 as seen through the eyes of six different characters, including a violin. I was invited to perform this piece at the National Black Arts Festival last summer in Atlanta, GA, and performed it as part of the Martin Luther King Day celebrations in Exeter, New Hampshire this past January.


Country People: Diaspora Aesthetics and the Rural Tradition

Ranu Samantrai

The significance of Black Europeans perhaps is nowhere clearer than in the historical formation and contemporary expression of British national identity. Originally a derogatory term for the various peoples of the empire, “Black” became a weapon of the weak in the British movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Refusing the racial divisions of British imperialism, people of African and Asian descent joined under the umbrella of the “Black British” to emphasize their experiential commonality under colonialism and their centrality to the material and symbolic history of their nation. “Black British” exemplifies the complex relationship between global diasporas and their local settings, for it at once invokes global geographic and historic routes while emphasizing their irreducibly local performances. The concept of a Black Britain has contested successfully the consolidation of a national identity predicated upon the disavowal of empire and its consequences. But the Little England that once relegated its Black population to the status of interlopers causing problems for an otherwise homogeneous and harmonious community has not simply disappeared. On the contrary, Blacks in Britain, like their counterparts across Europe, face a new attempt to contain their presence—with the very old device of the racial zone.


Between Black and African: on being homeless at home in Europe

Mogobe B. Ramose

The colour Black has got many associations such as the connotation of evil. It is also used in reference to the pre-historic ancestral home of the peoples originating from Africa south of the Sahara. Colonisation and the trans-Atlantic slave trade followed by the need for more labour in the industrializing West ensure the spread of the Black peoples around the world into countries far from their motherlands. Thus were the Black peoples initially strangers by coercion. They became a homeless people uprooted from their motherlands and provided with buildings for protection against the sun and cold.


Skin Color, Labeling and Crime Throughout the African Diaspora

Everette B. Penn

Black children become aware of their “inferior” status at a very young age. According to classic studies about Black children (some under the age of five), skin-color sensitivity led most to choose a white doll instead of a black doll (Clark & Clark, 1947; Morland, 1969). Black children learn through media and self-assessment of their own living conditions, that beauty, status, and success come with white skin (Kvaraceus, 1965). Even preschool children are aware that light skin is preferred over dark (Hopson & Hopson, 1992). With preference comes advantage in society. McIntosh (2002) articulates the privilege of being a white person in “White Privilege, Color, and Crime: A Personal Account”. She lists sixty-two statements about her privilege such as number twenty-nine: “Criminality is not imputed to me as a genetic component of racial character; I am not assumed to belong to a group of people predisposed to crime” (47).


Traveling through “Black” Bodies and Finding the German Nation

Damani J. Partridge

In this paper, I will examine the ways in which idioms of “Blackness” circulate after Auschwitz, and how these idioms become instrumental to the process of the post-Wall German unification. I want to think through representations and appropriations of “Black” male and female bodies as vehicles for this unification. I will do this by analyzing the specific East and West German material and aesthetic appropriations of “Black” bodies and then move to the moment of unification itself with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent project of re-nationalization. Here, I take seriously the “African-American” military presence in West Germany as well as the socialist brotherhood/sisterhood in East Germany that actively pursued African laborers (among others) from places such as Angola and Mozambique.


No Title

Laverne Page

I am very much interested in attending and in participating in this conference because of my job which involves identifying and acquiring research material on Africana topics in all formats, including material in electronic form, and in making it available to researchers. I am compiling material and data relating to Africans in Europe for a project which will appear as an online bibliographic compilation.


Priests, Penitents, Pilgrims and Parishioners: Afro-Lusitanians and Religion

Thomas Orum

There is no method to measure piety and religious faith, however, Portugal was an acknowledged bastion of first Christianity then post-Reformation Catholicism. In the eighteenth century observers characterized the Lusitanian religious atmosphere as where the “Roman Catholic persuasion” was” carried to the greatest height of enthusiasm” and all “ who profess a different religion are heretics”. Among the Afro-Lusitanian population, slave or free, religion was a constant companion. The numerous public processions and celebrations which both included or were exclusively for people of color made it impossible to ignore the dominant faith. This proliferation of religious activity provided at the same time social space within society.


Black Europeans: The Quest For Relevance And Acceptability

Michael Ogbeidi

This research aims at discussing the quest of the blacks in Europe using Great Britian as our reference point for economic and political relevance and acceptability. It has been established that the Europeans participated in the trans-atlantic slave trade,and that a result of this was the settlement of some freed black slaves in some European countries such as Portugal,Holland,and Great Britian. In this fact,lies the origin of blacks in Europe.The wave of black migrants to Europe during the colonial period also contributed to the emergence of a black population in Europe and Great Britian in particular.


Refugee Writing – Writing the Refugee

Jopi Nyman

The aim of this paper is approach critically the notion of Black Europe by focusing on the figure of the refugee and its cultural construction. While the issue has been foregrounded in the social sciences by examining the questions of forced migration from social, political and media studies perspectives, critical studies of the cultural production by and about the refugee(s) are hitherto rare.


Race and Identity: A Comparative Study of the Experiences of Black Immigrants in Britain and France since the 1920s

Raphael Chijioke Njoku

SLAVERY and colonialism left a negative image of Africa on the minds of Europeans. Black racism, in turn, left a strong impact on the intellectual traditions of modern African elite and people of the African Diaspora. European perception of Africa as a place of aberration is, though with decreasing intensity, a continuing determinant of European interaction with Blacks in Europe. I propose to highlight the changing images and experiences of people of African Diaspora in Great Britain and France since the 1920s. This study will focus on the effects of racial prejudices on prominent Black personalities in Europe and how this force of racialism generated a particular form of discourse, racial identity and mobilization within Black migrant communities.


Do they understand themselves as black, de-localized Africans and/or as part of an international community?

Stanley Mungwe

Well before i got the idea about this conference , i was already interested and started asking a lot of questions about , how the black Europeans regard themsevels.Do they think they are here in Europe because natural forces beyond their control and due to historical constraints?, do most of them even know their country of origin, that is to say the country of one or all of their parents? what do they think about the culture of where their parents come from and what do they plan to do to improve on the status of life of their continent of origin.


Representations of the "Hottentot Venus" and the development of nineteenth-century french national identity

Robin Mitchell

My research interests include the study of race and gender in French history, specifically the intersection of these constructions in the development of nineteenth-century French national identity. My dissertation examines how and why widespread and surprisingly commonplace representations of black women were produced, propagated, and utilized between the 1780s and 1914 in Parisian society, especially in relation to French colonialism. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803, for example, resulted in the stunning and transformative loss of France’s most important colony, Saint Domingue, and led to the creation of the Negro State of Haiti in 1804. When the reputed “savages” defeated the French military, France’s previous vision of its own racial and tactical superiority suffered a profound setback.


Negotiating Identity: African Students in British and American universities

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Africans have been studying in British and American universities in significant numbers for much of this century. To this day, some of Africa's most prominent political leaders, scholars, and professionals, have been educated in Britain or the US. The expectations of a Western educated African are high (both within Africa and abroad), yet to date, there has been little study of these Africans. There is scant knowledge of how students, who come from many different socio-political and economic backgrounds, experience and negotiate those aspects of their identity, which they, or others, define by race, class, and nationality.


Telling the untold story of Black Britons – through Levy’s highly acclaimed Small Island

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Small Island is a hitherto untold story of post World War II England. It is a novel that successfully undermines centuries of writing, which have previously ignored the history of the former colonials, their contribution to European wars, and their subsequent lived experiences in British society. Levy not only subverts what has largely been ignored about this historical period and black Europeans in particular, but by choosing to write in the first person for both her Jamaican and British characters, she further challenges status quo.


Mapping Conceptual Paradigms for the Memories of Black Europeans

Angela M. Leonard

What constitutes the locus of the memory of mixed-nationals, of Black European Diasporans? As part of a larger research project, this paper is primarily attentive to the memories and history of Blacks who have resided in late 18th and early 19th centuries in Britain. Not unlike today, this black population was a mixture of Africans, West Indians (African-Caribbeans), East Indians (African-East Indians, sometimes referred to as Lascars), African-Australians, Afro-Europeans, etc. This paper begs a number of questions:


Cultural diversity as a challenge for the construction and enlagement of the public sphere of rights in brazil

Gesuína de Fátima Leclerc

The Federal Brazilian Government, together with the Ministry of Education, recently created the Secretary of Continuous Education, Alphabetization and Diversity (SECAD), which results from the fusion of the Extraordinary Secretary of Eradication of Analphabetism (SEEA) and of the Secretary of Educational Inclusion (SECRIE). Both of these last two institutions were created, before that fusion, at the outset of the actual federal administration. The SECAD has been designed to articulate the programs of alphabetization and of continuous education (for young and adult people), with the sectors of Native and Environmental Education as well as the sector of Education in rural communities. The idea is to strongly relate demand and program, in each one of these areas. As a matter of fact, the ideal of racial democracy and the hearty explanations of discrimination are ingredients of the perverse social construction of analphabetism of Indians, Black and Dark-skinned persons in Brazil.


No Title

Bruce King

Research interests: I recently finished writing a book about the history of black British literature since 1948, an area in which I continue to do research. My concerns have been mostly empirical: chronology, description of texts (of narrative, themes, form, language, society, politics), evaluation, influences, evolving traditions, allusions, along with periodization. I have also been concerned with such matters as the racial, political, social, and ideological contexts. I am especially aware of difference: differences between generations, between those of different origins, classes, religions, how each author is distinctive, how and why consciousness changes, where and why ethnic, class, or national origins create affiliations and find expression. Besides asking how and why is black literature dissimilar or similar to white literature, I discuss how do, for example, writers from Jamaican origins differ from those from Nigeria, and how black British literature is based on a multiplicity of social positions.


African Diaspora, Everyday Racism, Trauma

Grada Kilomba

At the center of my work is the experienced reality of everyday racism told by women of the African Diaspora in Europe. The intersection between race and gender in the realm of (post)colonialism take here an immediate place, since I explore the impact of gender on forms and experiences of racism, the so called gendered racism.


Destined to Witness: Afro-European Identity as a Locus for Research in the Diaspora

Steve James

One of the first questions that I ask in my African American literature class is “How long does it take for a contemporary African immigrant (a Ghanaian, for example) to become an African American?” The answers usually cover several possibilities, ranging from “immediately” to “never.” African American students will almost universally agree that a Ghanaian, for example, will discover that he is African American as soon as he tries to hail a cab in midtown Manhattan. Though the Ghanaian students might agree with the problem, they will often emphasize that they are not African Americans. The ensuing debates about African American identity will inform our readings for the remainder of the semester. It will begin with the arguments and demonstrations made to counter the claims that Africans were inferior, at best, and possibly subhuman.


The Berlin Mission Society and Black Europeans: The cases of Klaus Kuhn, Jan Sekoto and Gerard Sekoto

Hans Friedrich Heese

The Berlin Mission Society (Berliner Missionsgesellschaft, or BMS) started mission work in South Africa in 1834 among a number of different African language/ethnic groups, including the people of mixed origin in the former British Cape Colony. The missionaries were (initially) all German speaking Christians of various parts of Germany and Europe confessing the Lutheran faith. Except for bringing the Christian message of salvation to the African people, they especially concentrated on school education as a way of advancement for the people concerned. They were also strong believers in bringing the Gospel to the people in their own language and, in this way, Berlin missionaries often were the first people to translate the Bible into indigenous languages and also to publish dictionaries and grammars.

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