The Yale Department of African American Studies is pleased to announce an upcoming graduate student conference --Pan-Africanisms: The Work of Diaspora Within and Without the Academy—-that will be held April 20-22, 2006 in New Haven, CT. The conference will provide a forum for emergent voices in the field to address the constructions of nationalism, diaspora, and community that animate the scholarship and activism of African American Studies.
This conference will also engage a dialogue of commemoration and reflection. Nearly forty years since the first black studies departments entered the academy, the relevance of their work has continually been the subject of debate. In the past year, academic press querying the state of black studies and its apparent “identity crisis” has concerned exigent questions about what constitutes and distinguishes African American Studies, as well as the institutional and theoretical relationships between the field and other traditional and multi-disciplinary departments. The crucial issues imbedded in the debate about how (and why) to delineate the field of African American Studies are central concerns of the conference.
Conference panels will explore the particular work of African American Studies by addressing the historical, literary, political and philosophical strands of Pan-Africanisms. Rather than positing a distinct ideology, the term Pan-Africanisms refers to the multiplicity of movements, philosophies and scholarly innovations that complicate the boundaries of black diasporic studies. Themes of discussion include: literature, visual culture, gender formation, religious discourse and transnational activism.
Prof. Farah Jasmine Griffin, director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature, will deliver the keynote address.
The conference is free and open to the public, but we ask that all our guests register through the conference website: www.yale.edu/afamstudies/panafam.
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