Friday, April 4th, 2008
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue (at 34th Street)
New York, NY 10016
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
The Africana Studies Group (ASG) of the CUNY Graduate Center invites you to join us for a day of presentations and discussion.
On April 4th, 1968 the esteemed civil rights leader and social philosopher, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee thus marking what many regard as the closing bookend of the mainstream African-American Civil Rights Movement. Since that pivotal moment in 1968 (a watershed year in numerous other respects) momentous sociopolitical, technological, and cultural changes have occurred both within the United States and around the world. In light of those substantial changes, "Theorizing Blackness" asks: What does blackness mean in the current day? How is blackness conceived, constructed, represented, and consumed. How has it changed or remained the same?
Professor Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Director of the Institute for Critical U.S. Studies (ICUSS) at Duke University.
Professor Neal is the author of four books: What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003), and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005), and co-editor of That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004).
Dr. William E. Cross Jr. is the Director of the Social-Personality Psychology Ph.D. program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity.
Mahen Bonetti is the founder and Executive Director of African Film Festival Inc. (AFF), a non-profit art organization founded in 1990.
Jacqueline Nassy Brown is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College (CUNY). Dr. Brown is the author of Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail: Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool.
Donette Francis is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. She is currently writing a book defining the "third wave" of Caribbean women writers, Fictions of Citizenship: Rewriting Sexual Histories in Third Wave Caribbean Women's Literature, forthcoming in 2009.
Throughout the day, panels will be moderated by doctoral students and faculty members such as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Leith Mullings and, Jerry G. Watts, Professor of English and Sociology and Interim Director of the Institute for Research in the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).
Theorizing Blackness is FREE and OPEN to the public!!!
Theorizing Blackness Conference Schedule
Friday, April 4th, 2008
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street)
New York, NY 10016
8:00am - 9:00am: Registration / Breakfast
Please note that all events aside from the evening reception will be held on the Concourse Level of The Graduate Center
Bluestocking Books will be selling books on the Concourse Level from 4-6:30 pm
9:00am - 10:30am: Session 1
Panel 1 - Room C-197
Moderator: Kevin McGruder (CUNY Graduate Center)
La Marr Jurelle Bruce (Yale University): "Possessing the 'Body Beautiful': Black Drag Queens, White Heteronormativity, and 'Happily Ever After' in American Cinema"
Angelique Harris (California State University, Fullerton): "Sexuality and Homosexuality in the Black Church"
Panel 2 - Room C-202
"Cope, Conform or Resist?: How Blacks "Use" their Blackness at Predominantly White University" (University of Delaware)
Moderator: Dr. Yasser Payne
Brittany Pearl Battle
Mamawa Lemon Fofana
LaMar Rashad Gibson
Thea James Ogunusi
Panel 3 - Room C-201
Moderator: Hank Williams (CUNY Graduate Center)
Donald Levit (CUNY Graduate Center): "The Spiritual Present: The Inextricable Relationship Between Jazz and the Black Arts Movement"
Algernon Austin (The Thora Institute): "Mapping the Afrocentric Era, 1988-1998"
Leah M. Wright (Princeton University): "Constructions of Conservatism: Black Republicans, 1932-1964"
Panel 4 - Room C-198
"The Politics of the Black Atlantic Body and the Body of Black Atlantic Politics: Nation, Identity, and Resistance"
Moderator: Akissi Britton (CUNY Graduate Center)
Natalie Belisle (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Spiritual Discourse and the Black Revolutionary Struggle in O Ano Em Que Zumbí Tomou O Rio"
Jessica Krug (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "Social Dismemberment, Social Remembering: Contested Kromanti Identities, Nationalism, and Obeah, 1675-Present"
T.J. Desch-Obi (Baruch College, CUNY): "Embodying Honour: Liberating Enslaved Identities Through the Body"
Jarett M. Fields (U. Wisconsin, Madison): "Blackness, the Body, and the 1968 Olympics"
Panel 5 - Room C-203
Moderator: Dr. Deborah Vietze (CUNY Graduate Center)
Julian Ellison: "Melanesia: Pacific Blacks in the African American Consciousness"
Kelly Baker-Josephs (York College, CUNY): "Afrofruturism from a Caribbean Past: The Local Orientation of a Black World Vision"
10:45am - 11:45am: Keynote Lecture:
Professor Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University)
"Fragments of a Feedback Loop: Blackness in Conversation"
12:00pm - 1:15pm: Lunch
1:30pm - 3:00pm: Session 2
Panel 6 - Room C-201
Moderator: Dr. Angelique C. Harris (California State University, Fullerton)
Alan R. Takeall (CUNY Graduate Center): "Black Uplift in the New Racial Domain"
Jacqueline Jones (Francis Marion University): "Pondering the Strange Meaning of Being Black or How Black Can I Be At Work?"
Panel 7 - Room C-198
"Theorizing the African Diaspora": (U.C. Berkeley African Diaspora Studies Graduate Group)
Moderator: Anamaria Flores (CUNY Graduate Center)
Vielka Cecilia Hoy: "Race, Multiple Diasporas, and Points of Departure: Creating a Framework for Theorizing Afro-Latinos"
Petra Raquel Rivera: "'Soca, Reggae, Reggaetón, Tropical Mix': Afro-Latino Spaces and Notch's Reggaetón"
Asia Leeds: "Redeeming Black Womanhood: Newspaper Portraits and Notions of Femininity in Marcus Garvey's Negro World"
Robeson T. P. Frazier: "From Mao to Yao: Chinese–African American Exchanges in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century"
Panel 8 - Room C-197
Moderator: Rashida Bumbray (Assistant Currator, The Kitchen)
Johanna Faith Cacho Almiron (University of Hawaii, Manoa): "Still Not For Sale: Basquiat's Blackness & The Reeboppers"
Jordana Saggese (Santa Clara University): "Basquiat's Blackness: Re-defining an African-American Aesthetic"
Panel 9 - Room C-202
Moderator: Kazembe Belagun (The Brecht Forum)
Janette Yarwood (CUNY Graduate Center): "Deterritorialized Blackness: (Re)making Coloured Identity Among Youth in Post-Apartheid South Africa"
Sara Nichole Artes (American University): "We are, But We Aren't: Constructing African American Identity Through Cultural Heritage Performance on the US/Mexican Border"
Alexander Lamazares (Bronx Community College, CUNY): "Afro-Cuban Aesthetics: The Africa Decade, Secret Societies, and Racial Politics"
Panel 10 - Room C-203
Moderator: Gregory Pardlo (CUNY Graduate Center)
Marissel Hernández-Romero (CUNY Graduate Center): "Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Female Literature: A Threat to an Imagined Nation?"
Katherine Baxter (University of Hong Kong): "New Black Fiction of the Far East"
Ronald Tyson (Raritan Valley Community College): "The Changing Same": Essentialized Blackness in Contemporary African American Popular Fiction"
Panel 11 - Room C-204
"The Ontologies of James Baldwin"
Moderator: Dr. Jerry G. Watts (CUNY Graduate Center)
Sam Han (CUNY Graduate Center): "An Encounter of Mitsein: The Ontology of James Baldwin's Ethics of Victimhood"
David Stein (Yale University): "(Re)naming/Revealing: James Baldwin's Theorizations of Racialized Formations Under the Terror of State Sanctioned Violence"
3:15pm - 4:45pm: Session 3
Panel 12 - Room C-197
Moderator: Dr. Leith Mullings (CUNY Graduate Center)
Yamuna Sangarasivam (Nazareth College): "'Terrorist' as Fugitive Slave: Blackness in the Foundations of Citizenship and Democracy"
Robin Hayes (Santa Clara University): "African Liberation, Black Power and a Diasporic Underground"
Juliana Smith (University of California, San Diego): "Freedom Dreams: Political Exile, U.S. Social Movements, and Post-Revolutionary Cuba"
Panel 13 - Room C-201
Moderator: Leslie Craigo (CUNY Graduate Center)
Daren Graves (Simmons College): "Critical Racial Awareness, Racialized Aspects of School Culture, and Academic Achievement: Listening to the Voices of Black High School Students"
Jessica Ruglis (CUNY Graduate Center): "The Graduation Rate Crisis: Adverse Consequences and the Construction of Blackness in the Context of Cultural Oppression"
Gail Perry-Ryder (CUNY Graduate Center): "Making Race Real: Exploring the Intersection of Race, Academic Performance and Educational Culture in Our Public Schools and Colleges"
Brian Purnell (Fordham University): "From "Negro" to "Black": Black Power Politics in New York City's Public Schools During the Mid-1960s – The Story of Jitu Weusi (Les Campbell) and the Origins of the Afro-American Teachers' Association"
Panel 14 - Room C-198
Moderator: Lise Esdaile (CUNY Graduate Center)
La Marr Jurelle Bruce (Yale University): "Looking for Lauryn: Madness, Genius, and the Black Prophetess,"
Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Vanderbilt University): "Salvaged Tongue: Transnational Translations of English Between Black Feminists"
GerShun Avilez (University of Pennsylvania): "'Once You Go White': Inter-racial Desire and Contemporary Black Female Identity in Film"
Stacie McCormick (CUNY Graduate Center): "From Jolly Joe's Lady Minstrels to Madea Simmons: Enduring Representations of Black Womanhood through Impersonation"
Panel 15 - Room C-202
"How Much and What Kind of Blackness is Enough?": (University of Delaware Black American Studies Department)
Moderator: Dr. James M. Jones (University of Delaware)
James M. Jones and David Wilson: "Black Enough?: Dimensions of Blackness and Attitudes toward Black Leaders"
Carol Henderson: "Boxing' on Paper: Authenticity in the Preservation of a Black Self"
Antonia Randolph: "Retreating from Race: The Social Cost of Erasing Black Ethnicity"
Yasser Payne: "Street Life Black Men: A Culture of Honor, Respect and Resilience"
Maggie Ussery: "Not Just any Job: The Development of Work-related Identity in Young, Black Workers"
Panel 16 - Room C-203
Moderator: Dr. James DeJongh (The City College of New York, CUNY)
Richard Perez (CUNY Graduate Center): "Archives, Knowledges, and Detours: Rereading the Black Atlantic with and against Ian Baucom's Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History"
DeWitt King (University of California, Santa Barbara): "Theorizing Black Geographies"
Panel 17 - Room C-204
Moderator: Tyler Schmidt (CUNY Graduate Center)
Alessandra Raengo (Georgia State University): "Counterfeit Currency: Race at Face Value"
Jonathan Gray (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY): "Black Cultural Artifacts and the Conditions of Democracy"
Danielle Jackson: "Beyond Race: Black People and the Multicultural Idea in Contemporary Magazine Culture"
5:00pm – 6:45pm: Evening Plenary:
Moderator: William E. Cross Jr. (CUNY Graduate Center)
Mahen Bonetti (African Film Festival, Inc.)
Jacqueline Nassy Brown (Hunter College, CUNY)
Donette Francis (Binghamton University, SUNY)
7:00pm – 9:00pm: Closing Reception/Party – Room 5414