Friday, March 18, 2011

2nd Workshop of the YSN "Black Diaspora and Germany"


Sandra Gunning, Tera W. Hunter and Michele Mitchell posited in 2003* that “[t]he use of gender as a category of analysis remains something of a challenge for African Diaspora studies.” Stephen Small later argued: “[O]ne does not and cannot define, conceptualize, theorize, or research the Black Diaspora in Europe without bringing gender ideologies and the experiences of Black women to the foreground.”**

The focus of the second “Black Diaspora in Germany” Young Scholars Network workshop entails three aspects. First, we will address the theoretical and methodological implications of the issue of gender within the Black Diaspora in Europe. The social construct known as the Diaspora can neither transcend gender, nor can it serve as an epistemological or historical category of analysis without careful consideration of the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Utilising the theoretical and methodological interface between Diaspora and Gender Studies, we seek to underscore the significance of gender in our analysis and theorisation of Black diasporic experiences in Europe and with a particular focus on Germany.
Secondly, this workshop will examine and analyse the development of a collective Afro-/Black German identity and this group’s political activism during the mid-1980s and thereafter. The emergence of a self-defined name, e.g., Afro-/Black German, and “imagined” Black diasporic community in West Germany was primarily advanced by Afro-/Black German female activists and based on specifically ‘Black female’ experiences and analyses. African American feminists, and other feminists of colour contested the construction of a Black Diaspora based on universalized patriarchal parameters. These women notably influenced not only Afro-/Black German activism, but also the development of Afro-/Black German Studies.
Lastly, the workshop will call into question constructions of Black masculinities and femininities, along with the issue of agency and counter-discourses of Black men and women throughout various periods of German historiography.
The members of the organising team cordially invite you to the workshop “Gendering the Black Diaspora”. We are delighted to have with us as keynote speakers: Dr. Gloria Wekker, Professor at the Institute for Media and Culture Studies and Director of GEM, Centre of Expertise on Gender, Ethnicity and Multiculturality, Universiteit Utrecht; and Judy Gummich, long-time Human Rights activist, Black Feminist and Diversity Trainer. We are also happy to announce that Author and Producer Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schultz, emer., will be with us to introduce a new film project on Audre Lorde’s years in Berlin, which is scripted and directed by Filmmaker Zara Zandieh, and to present the film “Hoffnung im Herz: Mündliche Poesie – May Ayim” by Maria Binder.
The workshop organisers: Susann Lewerenz, Cassandra Ellerbe-Dueck and Katharina Gerund willl present conference papers, and anticipate two days of lively and interesting discussions.

The “Gendering the Black Diaspora” workshop will take place at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg on 15 April 2011 and 16 April 2011. For travel and accommodation information, please see below.
For further information and conference registration, please contact the workshop organisers at
Should you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Susann Lewerenz, Cassandra Ellerbe-Dueck, Katharina Gerund

* Sandra Gunning, Tera W. Hunter and Michele Mitchell, Introduction: Gender, Sexuality, and African Diaspora, in: Gender & History, Vol 15, No. 3 (Special Issue: Dialogues of Dispersal: Gender, Sexuality and African Diasporas, ed. by Sandra Gunning, Tera W. Hunter and Michele Mitchell), November 2003, pp. 398 f.

** Stephen Small, Introduction: The Empire Strikes Back, in: Black Europe and African Diaspora, ed. by Darlene Clark Hine, Trica Danielle Keaton and Stephen Small, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press 2009, p. xxviii.


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