International Summer Graduate
Performing African Diasporas
This third year of the seminar will focus on black
performativity and cultural production from the perspective of aesthetics,
poetics, and representation in four weekly modules. The relationship between
cultural production, performance, and representation, on the one hand, and the
production of black subjectivity and cognitively inscribed popular conceptions
of blackness on the other, will be examined. Popular culture and the deployment
of literary, visual, auditory, and other forms of sensory technologies will be
explored and interrogated,
historicized and framed within the practices of conjunctural and comparative
analysis. These deployments will be examined in the production and contestation
of blackness and black subjectivity; in the
reinforcement and contestation of black inferiority; in the production and
contestation of racialized discourses of difference; in the production of
ideologies of racialized inferiority, superiority, and equality; and in
politics of rebellion, opposition, reversal, transformation and reinforcement.
Ambiguity, contradiction, conflict,
and opposition will be issues that form part of the examination of African
diasporic performativities and cultural production.
We expect the admitted seminar participants to arrive in
Miami on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006. Two introductory sessions, during which
theorizing about Diaspora will be discussed, will take place on Thursday, July
6th and Friday, July 7th. The conference that will mark the end of the seminar
will take place on Monday, August 7th, 2006. This will give more time to the
enrolled seminar participants to prepare a "final" draft of their
paper, which will be presented during the conference.
"Performance as Method"
This module will examine African diasporic performances in the public and
private spheres, both collective and individual, as a method through which
black subjectivities may be interrogated, analyzed, and communicated. It will
also focus on the methodologies through which black subjectivities are
produced through performance. The focus will be on the interrogation of the
performance of African diasporic aesthetics, poetics, and politics, and their
production and reproduction.
Week 2: "Festivities and
Celebrations: Aesthetics, Poetics, and Politics"
This module will examine public collective performances of black
subjectivities, their imbrications in the structural politics of blackness,
their function as manifesto, their signification of the black presence
nationally, transnationally, and in particular localized sociogeographies,
and their role in the production of diasporic subjectivities. Festivities and
celebrations will be examined with respect to local social geographies,
comparatively in national, trans-national, and inter-national dimensions. The
focus will be on the different and conflicting representations and practices
of black subjectivity and their insertion in the particularities of their
specific social geographies.
Carlos Julião Cortejo da rainha negra
na Festa de Reis, 1776, Aquarela colorida.
Week 3: "Visualizing Blackness: Corporeality, Collectivity, and
This module will examine the deployment of visuality in the production of
black subjectivity, in the representations of blackness and its contestations,
in the poetics and the aesthetics of blackness, and in the way these
imageries are deployed in the structural politics of race. The seminar will
focus on the visualization of black bodies, of black collective identities,
and on the relationship between visuality and the production of black
Mardi Gras Indian, New Orleans
Week 4: "Popular Culture: The
Marketing of Blackness"
This module will focus on the production, distribution and consumption of
black popular cultures and their relationships to the market forces that
drive such production, distribution, and consumption. The emphasis will be on
the relationship between the representations of blackness and their cognitive
constructions in popular imagination; how black subjectivities are influenced
by market forces; how conceptualizations of racialized peoplehood and
belonging are affected by the marketing of black popular cultures, etc. The
module will also focus on marketing as the instrumentality for the hybridized
incorporation of black forms into the aesthetics, poetics, and discursive
practices of the nation through incorporation into mainstream culture. The
focus will also be upon the relationship between market forces and the
production of transnational black identification.
Ecuadorian advertisement for a brand of
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This seminar is made possible thanks
to a grant from the Ford Foundation.