11/17/17 Conversations Yvette Christianse, PhD – Reading The Register of Liberated Africans in the Seychelles

CONVERSATIONS WITH YVETTE CHRISTIANSE

DATE & TIME:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017

4:00PM TO 6:00PM

TOPIC: READING THE REGISTER OF LIBERATED AFRICANS IN THE SEYCHELLES
YVETTE CHRISTIANSË
Chair, Africana Studies Department; Professor, Africana Studies & English and Comparative Literature, Barnard College


Yvette Christiansë is a South African-born poet, novelist, and scholar. She is the author of two books of poetry:Imprendehora (published in South Africa by Kwela Books/Snail Press 2009) and Castaway (Duke University Press, 1999). Imprendehora was a finalist for the Via Afrika Herman Charles Bosman Prize in 2010 and Castaway was a finalist in the 2001 PEN International Poetry Prize. Her novel Unconfessed (Other Press, 2006; Kwela Books, 2007; Querido, 2007) was a finalist for the Hemingway/PEN Prize for first fiction and received a 2007 ForeWord Magazine BEA Award. It was also shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2008, and nominated for the Ama Ata Aidoo Prize 2010. Her poetry has been published in the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Canada, France and Italy. She is also the recipient of The Harri Jones Memorial Prize for poetry (Australia).
She teaches poetry and prose of former English colonies (with an emphasis on South Africa, the Caribbean and Australia), narratives of African Diaspora, 20th Century African American Literatures, poetics and creative writing. Her research interests include the nexus between theories of race and gender, class and postcoloniality. She has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center and a Visiting Professor at Princeton University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts. She has also been a National Research Council Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand and a visiting writer at the University of Cape Town. Her manuscript on Toni Morrison’s poetics and is forthcoming from Fordham University Press. She is currently writing a book on representations of Liberated Africans or Recaptives between 1807 and 1886.Poet and fiction writer, Yvette Christiansë, was born in South Africa under apartheid and immigrated with her parents to Australia at age 18. Her work has been published internationally, and her poetry collection, Castaway, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN International Poetry Prize. Her acclaimed first novel, Unconfessed, is based on the life of a slave woman in the Cape Colony and was a finalist for the 2007 Hemingway/PEN International Prize for First Fiction.
Academic Focus:
Poetry (with an emphasis on South Africa, the Caribbean and Australia)


Education:
Ph.D., B.A., University of Sydney

Related Web Sites:
Personal Website
Christiansë Page on RedRoom
South Africa – Poetry International Web
Africana Studies


Location:
Columbia University
758 Schermerhorn Ext.

Source: Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University

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10/20/17 Conversations – “Genealogies of Race and Religion in Colonial Senegal”

Convos2017-10-20
“Genealogies of Race and Religion in Colonial Senegal”
Speaker: Wendell Hassan Marsh, PhD Candidate
Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies-Columbia University
+++Free and Open to the Public++

Abstract:
Many scholars have noted the importance of a racialized understanding of religion in the French colonial project in the areas in and around contemporary Senegal.

Islam noir — the concept that distinguished African Muslims from so-called white Muslims of the Arab heartlands, by virtue of a personal and charismatic model of devotion institutionalized in Sufi orders, a syncretic and non-textual orientation to religious practice, and an easily governable docility — is now said to be a relic of a racist colonial past that must be got beyond. In this talk, I propose that some of the ways that contemporary scholars have tried to go beyond race fail to appreciate the work that different ideas of race did in negotiations between colonial administrators and Muslim notables.
The theory of a racialized Islam was used in the production of durable structures during the colonial period that have shaped the way Islam has been understood, lived, and governed. Instead of either discarding race or enshrining it as a transhistorical human category, I examine the Franco-Senegalese racial project and its development of Islamic structures during the colonial moment by reading a genealogy of the saintly figure al-Hajj Umar Tal by Shaykh Musa Kamara. Taken from The Most Deicious of Sciences and the Best of the News in the Life of Hajj Umar, this excerpt of a 1935 text offers a critical view of what was emerging as the joint racial project of the colony-state and indigenous elites as well as the powerful structures of the Sufi brotherhoods in a process of mutual accommodation.

Source

12/2/16 Conference – the caribbean digital III

the caribbean digital III

2 December 2016
Maison Française | Columbia University

Over the course of this day of multiform panel presentations, we will engage critically with the digital as praxis, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities presented by the media technologies that evermore intensely reconfigure the social, historical, and geo-political contours of the Caribbean and its diasporas. Presenters will consider the affordances and limitations of the digital with respect to a wide range of disciplines and methodologies. Discussions will pick up themes addressed in our 2014 inaugural event, our focused conversations at last year’s colloquium, as well as in a special section of sx archipelagos, the peer-reviewed Small Axe Project publishing platform dedicated to Caribbean digital scholarship and scholarship of the Caribbean digital.

Please take the time to explore our site. For each of the conference panels, our generous discussants have proposed differing “ways in” to their respective sessions – some engage pointedly the specifics of panelists’ interventions, while others evoke broader questions about the Caribbean (and the) digital. We have placed these discussion questions below the panel abstracts.

Also plan to join us on Thursday, 1 December, 4-6PM at the Studio@Butler for an information session and workshop devoted to multimedia mapping project In the Same Boats: Toward an Intellectual Cartography of the Afro-Atlantic.

#SXCD2016

This conference is free and open to the public.
Proceedings will be recorded and Livestreamed.

http://caribbeandigitalnyc.net

© 2016, Small Axe.

IRAAS Conversations Lecture – “Feeling Arab and Black: Conversations about Race and Disability in Literature”

IRAAS Conversations Lecture 

Thursday March 26th, 2015 6:15pm -8:15pm

Columbia School of Social Work – Room C03

“Feeling Arab and Black: Conversations about Race and Disability in Literature”

with  

Theri Pickens, Assistant Professor of English – Bates College

 In her first book, New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States, Therí Pickens begins with following premise: In the increasingly multi-racial and multi-ethnic American landscape of the present, understanding and bridging dynamic cross-cultural conversations about social and political concerns becomes a complicated humanistic project. What can the experience of corporeality offer social and political discourse? And, how does that discourse change when those bodies belong to Arab Americans and African Americans? By way of answer, she argues that Arab American and African American narratives rely on the body’s fragility, rather than its exceptional strength or emotion, to create urgent social and political critiques.

Suturing critical race studies, and disability studies, Pickens turns to Du Bois’s question “how does it feel to be a problem?” since it hovers over her book project. She zeroes in on the verb “to feel,” accepting the invitation for phenomenological inquiry. In this talk, she examines Du Bois’s question as a framework that opens up new possibilities in analyzing Arab American author Rabih Alameddine. Alameddine’s fiction not only lingers on what it means to ‘feel’ like a problem but also proffers the space of the hospital as a way to orient a critique. Side-stepping the erasure of “Arab as the new Black,” Pickens proffers the conversation between Du Bois and Alameddine as a way to answer the exigencies of feeling, and being now.

Speaker Bio
Her research focuses on Arab American and African American literatures and cultures, Disability Studies, philosophy, and literary theory. She authored New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States, which asks: How does a story about embodied experience transform from mere anecdote to social and political critique?

Her critical work has appeared in MELUS, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Women & Performance, Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, Disability Studies Quarterly, Al-Jadid, Journal of Canadian Literature, Al-Raida, the ground-breaking collection, Blackness and Disability: Critical Examinations and Cultural Interventions, and the critical volume, Defying the Global Language: Perspectives in Ethnic Studies (Teneo Ltd). She also has more upcoming critical work in the journal, Hypatia.

She is also a creative writer. Her poetry has appeared in Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Save the Date, and Disability Studies Quarterly. Her drama has been performed at the NJ State Theater.

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Contact Information
Columbia University

Institute for Research in African-American Studies

1200 Amsterdam Avenue, 758 Schermerhorn Ext – MC5512

New York, NY 10027