Black/Queer/Diaspora: A Roundtable Discussion

NOV 06, 2013 | 6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




November 06, 2013: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM






In a special issue of GLQ, Jafari Allen beckoned us to see that "Black/queer/diaspora is an organic project of multivalent and multiscalar reclamation, revisioning, and futurity (yes, all at once)." This event brings together preeminent writers and thinkers at the forefront of engaging with this work. Issue editor Jafari Allen (Yale) and contributor Vanessa Agard-Jones (Columbia) present research from their new projects emerging from the conversations of the special issue. Robert Reid-Pharr (CUNY Graduate Center), Lisa Paravisini-Gebert (Vassar), and Rosamond S. King (Brooklyn College) will offer responses to this new work, informed by their own scholarship and research interests. Collectively, they will each present new research that considers and expands the methodological and conceptual inquiries grounding the issue.

Co-sponsored by Africana Studies and IRADAC.

Vanessa Agard-Jones earned her Ph.D. from NYU’s joint program in Anthropology and French Studies. Her ethnographic research focuses on the intersections of sexual and environmental politics and their relationship to debates about sovereignty in Martinique, a French territory in the Caribbean. She is Managing Editor of Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism and is co-editor of the volume Transnational Blackness: Navigating the Global Color Line (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) with late historian Manning Marable. Vanessa is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University, and in Fall 2014 will join Yale University’s faculty as Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Jafari S Allen is Associate Professor of African American Studies, and Anthropology at Yale University. He is the author of the critical ethnography of race, gender, sexuality and revolution, ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba; editor of the GLQ special issue, Black/Queer/Diaspora; and numerous scholarly and popular articles, book chapters, and blog posts. Professor Allen is currently working on a new book project—Black/Queer Here and There: the Social Poesis of Diaspora-- which traces cultural and political circuits of transnational Black queer desire, in travel, art, and activism, in and between the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, and North America.

Rosamond S. King, Ph.D. is a critical and creative writer and artist teaching in the English Department at Brooklyn College. Her book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination is forthcoming from the University Press of Florida. King’s community and professional service has included being a board member of the Audre Lorde Project and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Robert Fitzgerald Reid-Pharr is Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English and American Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has had appointments at Johns Hopkins University, College of William and Mary, American University of Beirut, University of Oxford, University of Oregon, and University of Chicago. A specialist in African American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, he has published Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American (Oxford University Press, 1999); Black, Gay, Man: Essays (NYU Press, 2001); and Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual (NYU Press, 2007). His essays have appeared in, among other places, American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Women and Performance, Social Text, Transition, The African American Review, and Radical America. His research and writing have been supported by grants from The Ford Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.