Lecture series "Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives" Dec. 2022 - Feb. 2023

© Eva Tanita Kraaz

The lecture series “Black German Studies: Transatlantic Perspectives” responds to the question posed by Tiffany Florvil and Vanessa Plumly in their 2018 volume Rethinking Black German Studies: “Who and what do we engage with when we use the category of Black German Studies?” Co-organized by the Chair for German Literature, Comparative Literary Studies and Transatlantic Literary History and the Chair for English, Postcolonial and Media Studies in partnership with the Transatlantic Studies Network, the series seeks to offer space for exchange and reflection on the research field of Black German Studies and for engagement with scholars, authors/artists, and activists who contribute to this discourse. With a particular focus on transatlantic exchange, the lecture series consciously includes multiple, differently-located voices, drawing attention to scholarship from across the Atlantic that invigorates the study of Black German texts, as well as recognizing and centering the work that is being done in this area particularly by Black scholars, artists, and activists, located in Germany. In doing so, continuities between the transatlantic transfer that has been recognized, for example, in Audre Lorde’s impact in the Afro-German movement of the 1980s and the impact of Black US-American scholars in German Studies today are made apparent, as are the problematic implications of the tendency to look to the U.S. when it comes to discourses of Blackness in Germany. Such topics will be explored by several academic lectures, a film screening, a reading, and an evening dedicated to the poetry and transnational activism of May Ayim. In recognition of the continued potential for scholarship, discussions, and ethical practices emerging from Black German Studies to offer lessons and impulses for research and teaching beyond the emergent discipline, the lecture series makes space for these discussions at the University of Münster, inviting students, colleagues, and community members to take part.

Lecture Series Program:

04.12.22, 19:00 (Studiobühne) Film screening »Ivie wie Ivie« (2022) and Discussion with the director Sarah Blaßkiewitz
16.12.22, 19:00 (Studiobühne) »Riverside Drive – Hannah Arendt, Ralph Ellison und W. E. B. Du Bois« Marie Luise Knott (Tractatus Prize Winner 2022)
12.01.23, 19:00 (JO1) »Zur Institutionalisierung von Schwarzem Wissen in Deutschland« Natasha A. Kelly 
19.01.23, 19:00 (JO1) »Afrodiasporisch, widerständig, subversiv – Schwarze deutsche Literatur als Literaturtradition lesen« Jeannette Oholi
26.01.23, 19:00 (Studiobühne) Reading »Adas Raum« (2021) and Discussion with Sharon Dodua Otoo (Bachmann Prize Winner 2016)
16.02.23, 19:00 (JO1) »The Kids Aren’t Alright – Futurity and Black German Childhood in Biskaya« Priscilla Layne
18.02.23, 17:00 (JO1) »Tracing May Ayim's Radicalism« Tiffany Florvil, Film screening Hoffnung im Herz, Reading of May Ayim's Poetry