The international research group Afroeurope@ns: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe was established in 2004 as a network connecting academics, artists, and cultural workers committed to the study of black cultures across different European countries and institutions. The comparative study of the theory, literature and arts produced by African Europeans in the last decades is aimed to explore both the cultural specificities and the internal diversity of black communities in Europe, as well as their connections with the Black Atlantic as a whole.
Linguistic barriers within our continent, inherited by immigrants arrived from post-colonial contexts, have prevented until now the fluid exchange of information between African Europeans and Africanists working in different languages. One of the main objectives of this project is to create and develop a virtual workspace, shared by theorists and artists working in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English, that may help overcome this situation. Cultural studies and debates over multiculturalism in contexts different from the European such as Australia, Canada and the USA, but also in Europe, and particularly in Great Britain, have brought to the forefront the essential role of culture (music, literature, cinema, the plastic arts and so on) in the processes of creation and negotiation of collective identities. The creation of a formal network of relations between Africanists and African Europeans working in different countries and languages is a decisive step towards the configuration of a tolerant and plural European identity, respectful of diversity.
This network acts as a link between research groups and private and public institutions working in similar fields with the aim of promoting the cultural dialogue within Black communities in Europe, and also between North and South, from anti-essentialist, inclusive and transdisciplinary perspectives. The reflections elaborated by this research group are aimed to be useful also for policy makers and all the people involved in the process of constructing a culture of dialogue in the context of a heterogeneous Europe and a globalized world.
Over the past years, Afroeurope@ns have organized several international conferences (2006 and 2008 in León and an international congress in Cádiz in 2011), published a collective volume of essays Afroeurope@ns: Cultures and Identities (Cambridge Scholars, 2008). From 2007 to 2009 it was also publishing the peer-reviewed e-journal AFROEUROPA. The project is currently funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology.
We are continuing to commission entries for the German section of the Encyclopedia of Afro-European Studies.
AFROEUROPE@NS: BLACK CULTURES AND IDENTITIES IN EUROPE V
University of Münster, Germany
September 16-19, 2015
Link: Conference website