CFP: “The evidence of things not seen” – Queering Europe with James Baldwin

Jovita Pinto's picture

Conference, 22-23 February 2018

Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies ICFG, University of Bern


  • Tina Büchler, ICFG
  • Noémi Michel, Université de Genève
  • Jovita dos Santos Pinto, ICFG
  • Patricia Purtschert, ICFG


James Baldwin’s work is preeminent in discussions around race in the US. Baldwin’s writing, his persona as well as his public speeches, interviews and discussions have been rediscovered, rediffused and revived with the formation of the Black Lives Matter Movement, through Queer of Color Theory and activism, in the critical and artistic writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Clara Rankine, by the Oscar nominated film “I am not your Negro”, and not least within Baldwin studies themselves, as the collected works, anthologies and journals of recent years show. They jointly refer to the pertinence of his analysis of race as a persistent structuring category in neoliberal times, to the aesthetics and eloquence of his writings, as well as to its reverberations for queer-intersectional political activisms and academic approaches.
The conference seeks contributions that speak to one or more of the following agendas, that:

  • reflect the pertinence of Baldwin’s body of work on race beyond the US context and the translatability of it especially for Europe: Where does his work allow to look at Europe differently, and where are its delimitations to think Queer of Color beyond a male-centered gaze?;
  • consider Baldwin’s inquiry of a post-/colonial Europe within his imaginary as a black queer man. We especially welcome contributions that engage with his work on a Black and People of Color presence, also beyond the African and US-American diaspora in France;
  • engage with the reverberations of his text “Stranger in the Village” on the Swiss town Leukerbad, for postcolonial Switzerland and beyond;
  • engage with Baldwin’s trajectory as a black queer person living in Europe;
  • consider the genealogy of the reception of James Baldwin’s work in Europe with regard to a European racialization.

Deadline for submission of abstracts (500 words): 1 December 2017, 5pm.
Send to: Jovita dos Santos Pinto,
Please note: Travel fees for participants cannot be covered by the organizers.

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