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Black Feminism and Afro-German, Afrofuturist Theater
April 23 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Compared to the rest of the African diaspora, Germany’s Black activist movement is especially unique, because of the prominence of women in the movement. An important factor in this difference is the role that African American feminist and poet Audre Lorde played in unifying and mobilizing Black German women in the 1980s. In this presentation, Dr. Priscilla Layne will provide context for understanding the development of Black German activism in the postwar era and the important role played by feminism. She will also consider how Black German artists’ recent turn towards Afrofuturism interacts with Black feminist thought and in combination proposes new forms of resistance and offers liberating visions of the future.
Priscilla Layne is Assistant Professor of German and Adjunct Assistant Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at UNC. After completing her BA in Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, where she concentrated on German and English literature, Priscilla spent three years in Germany. The majority of her time was spent in Berlin, but she also lived in Düsseldorf and Bonn for a few months. As an exchange student, she studied at the Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität in Berlin. From 2003 until 2004, she spent one year as a Fulbright TA teaching English at the Werner-von-Siemens Gymnasium in Zehlendorf. Afterwards she received a scholarship from the Study Foundation of the Berlin Parliament, which allowed her to conduct a qualitative analysis of the leftist skinhead scene in Berlin/Brandenburg. During her three years in Germany, she also gained some professional experience during two internships: one with the Ebersbach publication house in Berlin and one working as a translator with the Deutsche Welle in Bonn. In 2005, she continued her studies at the University of California at Berkeley where she received her MA in 2006 and her PhD in 2011. In fall 2011, she joined the faculty of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at UNC. Her book, White Rebels in Black: German Appropriation of Black Popular Culture is being published with the University of Michigan Press this April. And in the Fall she’ll be in Berlin with a fellowship from the American Academy, working on her second book which is about Afro-German Afrofuturism.
This event is organized by the Feminisms Here and Now: Continuities and Contradictions Speakers Series.