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Workshop: Cultures of the Contemporary African Diaspora: A Project of the Intitute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean and the John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies

Workshop CUNY

Workshop CUNY

Convener(s): Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Graduate Center; Martin Luethe, JFKI

From April 18th until 20th 2018 the fine work begun by the “Contemporary African Diaspora: Travelling Cultures in the New African Diaspora,” workshop held in June 2017 at the Freie Universitaet was continued in this workshop at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In the spirit of a true “workshop” we were able to discuss where and how we would like to move ahead with our shared research agendas. Thus, we divided the workshop into three broad panels and asked each participant to prepare a short statement on the panel’s topic. An open conversation between panelists—and the audience—about “where do we go from here?” in relation the study of the contemporary African Diaspora followed. 


  • Dominique Haensell (Freie Universitaet)
  • Dagmawi Woubhet (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Gary Wilder (Graduate Center, CUNY)
  • Herman Bennett (Graduate Center, CUNY)

Prompt: How has the large number of post World War II African migrants to Europe and the United States affected the state of African Diaspora Studies, African American Studies, and African European Studies? What are the primary categories we have available to understand the intellectual and cultural histories that attend African migrations? What new conceptual tools have developed out of this process? What tools need to be developed?


Popular and Contemporary Culture 

  • Martin Luethe (Freie Universitaet)
  • Tavia Nyong’o (Yale University)
  • Daniel Stein

Prompt: How has the production of film, art, literature, and music by more recent African migrants affected the cultures of the more long standing communities, African and otherwise, whom they meet in Europe and in the United States? What is the relation of diasporic contemporary African cultures to contemporary cultures produced—and largely consumed—on the continent itself?



  • Rebecca Brückmann (Kassel/Cologne)
  • Gigi Adair (Potsdam) 
  • Robert Reid-Pharr  (Graduate Center, CUNY)
  • Khary Polk (Amherst College)

What (new) forms of gender and sexuality attended—and attend—the movement of Africans and persons of African descent in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries? Are there specifically male and female modes of expatriation and repatriation? What is the relation of “queer” sexualities and gender-non conforming identities to the contemporary diaspora?