Global Blackness: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Date: March 23, 2017 -March 25, 2017
Time: 5:30pm - 4:00pm
Location: SSRI @ Erwin Mill A103

Duke University Department of African and African American Studies
Global Blackness: An Exploratory Proposal

The Department of African and African American Studies at Duke convenes a special symposium event to consider Global Blackness. The symposium will be held at the SSRI offices, room Erwin Mill A103 at 2024 W. Main Street, in Durham. Four international researchers of various disciplines will offer their urgent research during the symposium, which will also include presentations from all faculty affiliated with African and American Studies at Duke. In all, a broad reach of disciplinary formations will be brought to bear on a question of Global Blackness from diverse perspectives including genomics, economics, digital media, histories of violence, literature, political science, visual arts, sociology, national structures of citizenry, and afrofuturism.

The invited keynotes are Patricia Northover, Senior Fellow of the University of the West Indies; Uri McMillan, Associate Professor of English at UCLA; Fatimah Jackson, Director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Library at Howard University; and Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor of Sociology, Birmingham City University. Duke AAAS faculty and affiliates who will speak at the event include Lee Baker, Dasha Chapman, Michaeline Crichlow, William "Sandy" Darity, Jr., Thomas F. DeFrantz, Laurent DuBois, John French, Thavolia Glymph, Kerry Haynie, Tsitsi Jaji, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Wahneema Lubiano, Anne-Maria Makhulu, Mark Anthony Neal, Charles Piot, Richard J. Powell, Charmaine Royal, Stephen Smith, Karin Shapiro, and Joseph Winters.

The symposium intends to inaugurate an appeal for a mode of analysis that at once recognizes the pervasiveness of ‘race’ as construct and assemblage that structures dominance and manages, orders, and delimits rights of belonging through a focus on bodies, spaces, practices, and identities conjured through ‘blackness.’ An approach addressing ‘global blackness’ deals less with affinities of identity; rather, it announces an optic that is attuned to a politics of the non-relational produced within the topologies of hegemonic narratives that constitute man’s ‘being in the world.’ We wonder if attention to the notion of a global-Blackness will promote a deeper comparative study of how others incorporated into the relational hi/stories of freedom and global racial politics counteract the twinned force of ‘going global’ and ‘disavowing place’ by invoking other kinds of politics, perhaps nationalist or religious identities, to establish and secure their presences in the world.

The symposium schedule is as follows:
Thursday, March 23

Keynote Address: Patricia Northover, Senior Fellow, University of the West Indies
Friday, March 24

Keynote Address: Uri McMillan, Associate Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles
Panel 1
Panel 2

Keynote Address: Fatimah Jackson, Professor of Biology and Director, W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, Howard University

Saturday March 25

Keynote Address: Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor of Sociology, Birmingham City University

Panel 4
Panel 5
Open Conversation for All

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