“Global Black Consciousness”

Hôtel Sokhamon, Dakar, Senegal
11 May 2014 - 12 May 2014

“Global Black Consciousness”

The Institute for Comparative Modernities (Cornell University) and the Institute of African American Affairs (New York University) will hold the international conference “Global Black Consciousness” on May 11 and 12, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal.  The conference is coordinated by Margo Natalie Crawford and Salah Hassan (Cornell University) and Manthia Diawara (NYU). The conference will coincide with the opening days of the Dakar Biennale (Dak’Art 2014), which opens on May 9, 2014. The two-day gathering will focus on the theme of “Global Black Consciousness,” with invited participants who will present new and unpublished work.



Now that we have such tremendous scholarship on particular identities shaped by the African diaspora (Afro-German, Black British, African American, Afro-Latina/o, Afro-Caribbean, and many more) and tremendous theories of the value and limits of Pan-Africanism, Afro-pessimism, and many other “isms,” how do we create a space for the critical and nuanced analysis of global black consciousness as both a citing of diasporic flows and a grounded site of decolonizing movement? This multi-event and multi-site conference aims to explore the confluence between theories of diaspora and theories of decolonization. Moreover, the crisscrossing of visual art, literature, film, and other cultural productions will be explored alongside the crosscurrent that shaped the transnational flow of black consciousness. The scholars participating in this conference will situate their work in the space of the crisscrossing that occurred as the Black freedom struggle became a layering of locations and dislocations and past, present, and future.

The 1960s and 70s will be the pivot point as we think about the precursors and legacies of the 1960s and 70s black freedom struggles. From May 9 to June 8, 2014, Dak’Art, la Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, will be held in Dakar. The theme and the occasion allow to revisit major Black and Pan-African intellectual movements and festivals (such as the Dakar’s Festival of World Negro Arts of 1966, Algiers of 1969, and FESTAC 1977 in Lagos, Nigeria, among others) in addition to revisiting individual artistic and intellectual work tied to Africa and the African Diaspora.

As a keynote event, there will be a screening of Manthia Diawara’s film Edouard Glissant: One World in Relation (2010), on the Martiniquan philosopher and poet Edouard Glissant.

The conference’s papers will be published in a co-edited volume entitled Global Black Consciousness.



Sunday | May 11, 2014

10:00 • Opening Session
Manthia Diawara – Welcoming Remarks
Margo Natalie Crawford – Introducing the Conference
Salah Hassan – Introductory Remarks

10:30 AM-13:00 PM • Blackness, Pan-Africanism, and Internationalism
Moderator: Joanna Grabski
The Third Pan-African Conference and Black Internationalism / Zita Nunes
Of Black Gloss: Reading Bingo Magazine in the Age of Pan-African Festivals / Tsitsi Jaji
Blackness and Pan Africanism: Le Festival Panafricain d’Alger 1969 / Ahmed Bedjaoui
Discussants: Manthia Diawara and Souleymane Bachir Diagne

13:00 PM • Lunch Break

14:00 PM–14:30 PM
Special Presentation: Melvin Edwards: Journey of a Sculptor and the Poetics of Relations (Melvin Edwards: Parcours d’un sculpteur et poétique de la relation) / Lydie Diakhaté

14:30 –16:30 PM • Blackness and Pan-Africanism: Literary and Visual Aesthetics
Moderator: Kokahvah Zauditu-Selassie
Re-Reading Senghor today / Souleymane Bachir Diagne
The Dak’Art Biennial and Global Black Cultural Politics in the 20th Century / Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
“Listen Up!”: Black Consciousness in South African Art of the 1970s / Shannen Hill
Encounters with Africa: James Baldwin and the Making of Global Black Consciousness / Dagmawi Woubshet
Zita Nunes and Tsitsi Jaji

16:30 PM • Reception: Coffee and Tea

Keynote Address: “Présence Africaine and the 1956 First International Congress of Black Writers and Artists”
Manthia Diawara, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Film, New York University.

Film Screening: Manthia Diawara,
Edouard Glissant: One World in Relation
(Color, 52 Minutes, French and English, 2010, K’a Yéléma Productions).

Moderator: Samba Gadjigo
(45, Bd. de la République, Dakar)


Monday | May 12, 2014

10:00 AM–12:30 PM • Global Black Consciousness: Aesthetically Speaking
Moderator: Selene Wendt
The Diasporic Power of Black Abstraction: “Black” as a Unifying Concept and a Strategic Abstraction / Margo Natalie Crawford
Bandung Holograms: The Black Voice as Movement Technology / Shana L. Redmond
Sudanesia / Richard J. Powell
The Collision of African American Modernities at the 1966 World Festival of Negro Arts, Dakar / Penny M. Von Eschen
Discussants: Elvira Dyangani Ose and Dagmawi Woubshet

12:30 PM–14:00 PM • Lunch break

14:00 PM-14:20 PM
Special Presentation: The Photography of Bob Crawford: FESTAC’77 / Romi Crawford

14:30 PM-16:30 PM • Global Blackness Localized
Moderator: Amanda Gilvin
Harlem to the Kasbah: Claude McKay, the Jazz Age and the Gnawa Movement / Hisham Aidi
The Representation of Slavery in Literature and Popular Culture in Arabia and the Gulf / Ahmad Alawad Sikainga
Global Blackness Localized: Rethinking the Color Line in Sudan / Salah M. Hassan
Discussants: Margo N. Crawford and Shana L. Redmond

16:30- 17:00 PM • Poetry Reading/Closing Session: Quincy Troupe

20:00 • Dinner Reception/Party


All sessions will take place at:

Hôtel Sokhamon,

Avenue du President Fr. Roosevelt,

Dakar, Senegal, Tel. +221 33 889 71 00


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