The Collegium for African American Research’s 10th International Conference:
Dreams Deferred, Promises and Struggles: Perceptions and Interrogations of Empire, Nation, and Society by Peoples of African Descent
Musings from Hotlanta
With well over two hundred conference participants, the 2013 CAAR conference in Atlanta has proven to be a successful collaboration between international scholars and local and regional institutions of higher education. The College of Charleston is one such collaborating partner, sponsoring today’s keynote address by esteemed theater professor and radical thinker, Dr. Frank Wilderson of University of California-Irvine. His talk, “Afro-pessimism and the Paradox of Political Engagement” will be given this evening at the Atlanta Fulton Library.
The wide breadth of paper topics has touched on just about every area of Black history, life, and culture. One of my favorites so far has been “Blackness, Sexuality, and Gender in Transcultural Spaces featuring Dr. Charles Nero of Bates College, whose paper, “ A Democracy of Sin: the Failure to Transform in E. Lynn Harris’ Queer Black Nationalism,”:
Professor Gayle Baldwin ( University of North Dakota), whose paper, “ The Black Gay Quilt as Theological Resistance” chronicles the Black Church response to the murder of Sakia Gunn, a black lesbian teenage in Newark, New Jersey; and finally, the work of Dr. Pekka Kilpelainen, University of Eastern Finland, whose paper, “ Like the Sound of Crumbling Wall: Transcultural Spatiality in James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head was engaging, creative, and a tribute to the genius of Baldwin and his contribution to Black liberation epistemologies.
Other highlights include the screening of Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years, and the SCLC exhibit sponsored by MARBL ( Manuscripts and Rare Books Library) of Woodruff Library at Emory University.