Theorizing Blackness Conference April 4th.

The Africana Studies Group (ASG) invites you to join us and engage in an intellectually stimulating daylong conference. The CUNY Graduate Center Africana Studies Group’s Theorizing Blackness conference will run from 8 am to 7 pm on Friday April 4th, 2008. The conference will feature presentations from artists, activists, and scholars investigating how Blackness has been contextualized from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Our keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Mark Anthony Neal at 11 am. He is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Director of the Institute for Critical U.S. Studies (ICUSS) at Duke University. The evening plenary session, moderated by the esteemed Dr. William Cross Jr., will take place from 5 to 7 pm and will feature renowned speakers whose foundational work contributes to critical debates surrounding black experiences throughout the African Diaspora: Mahen Bonetti, Dr. Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Dr. Johanna Fernandez, and Dr. Donette Francis. The conference will take place on the concourse level of the CUNY Graduate Center. Registration is free and all are welcome.

Keynote speaker Mark Anthony Neal is the author of four books: What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003), New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005), and co-editor of That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004). He is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies and Director of the Institute for Critical U.S. Studies (ICUSS) at Duke University.

Plenary participants include:

Mahen Bonetti, founder and Executive Director of African Film Festival Inc. (AFF), a non-profit art organization founded in 1990.
Dr. Jacqueline Nassy Brown (CUNY) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and is teaching at the Graduate Center’s Department of Anthropology this spring. Dr. Brown is also the author of the book Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail: Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool.
Dr. William E. Cross Jr. (CUNY, Graduate Center) is the head of the Social-Personality Psychology Ph.D. subprogram at the Graduate Center and author of Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity. Dr. Cross is also affiliated with the Africana Studies interdisciplinary concentration.
Dr. Donette Francis (SUNY, Binghamton) is an Assistant Professor of English and author of Fictions of Citizenship: Sexual Violence and a Caribbean Feminist Poetics, forthcoming in 2009.
Dr. Johanna Fernandez (CUNY, Baruch College), Assistant Professor of History and Black Studies, is working on a book on the Young Lords Party, the Puerto Rican counterpart to the Black Panther Party.

Throughout the day, panels will be moderated by doctoral students and faculty members such as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Leith Mullings and Jerry Watts, Professor of English and Sociology and Interim Director of the Institute for Research in the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).
For more information please email theorizingblackness@gmail.com