UF: Colonial & Postcolonial Asian and African Diasporic Interactions; Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016

Full event information is on the Department of English website and copied below for ease.

Postcolonial Symposium
September 30 and October 1, 2016
All events will be held in Dauer 215
Co-Sponsored by the English Department, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s “Humanities Fund,” and the African American Studies Program
For questions please contact aamoko@ufl.edu or malini@ufl.edu
Friday, September 30 9–10.30am: Gaurav Desai, professor of English, University of Michigan, “Gandhi as Allegory.” This paper addresses Mahatma Gandhi’s time in South Africa, race relations and the possibility of trans-oceanic connections.
11am–12.30pm: Lisa Lowe, “Archives, Ports, Museums,” Based in part on her recent book, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke 2015), this paper examines the relationships among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, in particular, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism.
2.30–3.30pm: Bill Mullen, Professor of American Studies, CUNY Graduate School and University Center), “Gaza is Burning: James Baldwin, the Arab and Afro-Palestine Solidarity.” Engaging with the work of James Baldwin and T Nehesi Coates, this talk is an historical assessment of the African-American response to Palestine that includes a discussion of the role of Palestine in the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Saturday, October 1 9am–11am: Graduate Students Panel: 1. Amrita Bandopadhyay, PhD, English, University of Florida, “Glamorous Jamaica: Jamaican-Chinese Women and Nationalist Aesthetics.” 2. Randi Gill-Sadler, PhD English, University of Florida, “How Much Can You Lend Me on this Honolulu Crow? Queen Liliuokalani, Black Feminism and US Empire.” 3. Yeonhaun Kang, PhD, English, University of Florida, “Black Rural Modernity and the Global Ecofeminism in Toni Morrison’s Paradise.” 4. Kedon Willis, PhD English, University of Florida, “Constructing ‘Mr. Chin’: The Daily Gleaner’s Role in the Imagining of Chineseness and the 1918 Anti-Chinese Riots.”
For too long the imperatives of area studies, the divisions of neocolonial color lines and the compartmentalization of ethnic and nationalist identity politics have separated the histories and cultures of Asia and Africa. In the last decade, however, scholars such as Bill Mullen and Vijay Prashad have been challenging these divisions in order to explore the interrelated histories of Asians and Africans primarily in the United States. Two publications are significantly expanding this work, Gaurav Desai’s Commerce with the Universe: Africa, Asia, and the Afrasian Imagination (Columbia 2013) which examines the Indian culture and history in East Africa and Lisa Lowe’s Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke UP 2015) which explores the connections between North African slavery, Asian labor in North Africa and the Caribbean, and indentured Asian labor in the Caribbean and Africa. This symposium brings together three scholars who have led the scholarly inquiry into the complex relation of Asian and African descended people in literary and cultural studies.
Invited Speakers
Professor Lisa Lowe is distinguished professor of English and the Director of the Humanities Center at Tufts University. A leading scholar of Postcolonial and Asian American studies, she is author of Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (1991), Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. (1996), The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital with David Lloyd (1997), and The Intimacies of Four Continents (2015). She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Mellon Foundations, and the American Council of Learned Societies
Bill V. Mullen is Professor of English and American Studies at Purdue. His books include AfroOrientalism (2004) a study of interethnic anti-racist alliance between Asian and African Americans, and Popular Fronts: Chicago and African American Cultural Politics 1935-1946 (1999). He has edited five other books in collaboration with Sherry Lee Linkon, James Smethurst and Fred Ho. He has been a Fulbright lecturer at Wuhan University in the People’s Republic of China. He is faculty adviser to Students for Justice in Palestine at Purdue.
Gaurav Desai is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. He is author Subject to Colonialism: African Self-fashioning and the Colonial Library (2001) and Commerce with the Universe: Africa, India and the Afrasian Imagination (2013); Professor Desai is also editor of Teaching the African Novel (MLA, 2009) and co-editor with Supriya Nair of Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism (2005). He is the recipient of a National Humanities fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation award, and an ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship.


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