NYU Seminar: Pan-Africanism Beyond the 1960s

Jean-Philippe DEDIEU's picture
Type: 
Seminar
Date: 
November 4, 2016 to April 24, 2017
Location: 
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, African History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Political History / Studies
SEMINAR
 
PAN-AFRICANISM BEYOND THE 1960S
INTELLECTUAL HISTORY & POLITICAL PRACTICES
 
Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

A joint seminar
organized for CIRHUS by Jean-Philippe DEDIEU & Pauline GUEDJ
in partnership with
NYU Africa-Diaspora Forum
coordinated by Professor Michael GOMEZ and Alaina MORGAN
 
Co-sponsors:
CIRHUS, NYU History Department, NYU Africa-Diaspora Forum
 
Dean's Conference Room, CIRHUS, 2nd Floor, 4 Washington Square North
Each session: 12:30 pm - 02:00 pm
 

The idea of Pan-Africanism was elaborated by intellectuals and activists since the 18th century on all sides of the Atlantic. Spreading across the African continent since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been central to the establishment of relationships of solidarity between Africans and Afro-descendants in the Americas and in Europe. It has acted as a significant political tool in both the struggles for independence on the continent and in the liberation movements that emerged at the heart of the diaspora, such as the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power. In the literature, the golden age of Pan-Africanism is often dated to the 1960s and 1970s. The decade of the 1960s was, for instance, one in which the Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, after having received his education in universities in the UK and the United States, launched his famous call for union: Africa must unite. The 1970s experienced the great Pan-African cultural festivals that cemented relationships between artists in Africa and the Americas. Since this era however, Pan-Africanism is often considered as having experienced a period of decline, characterized by the difficulties that the African Union has had in acting on the international stage, by the numerous conflicts that have arisen on the continent, and by the emergence in the Americas and Europe of new trends in political struggles that have undermined their historical international connections.

Questioning this process of decline, the participants in this seminar, engaged in contextualized research focused on the African continent and/or the diaspora, share the view that Pan-Africanism remains a force decidedly present in contemporary Black political movements. Moreover, they consider it as having been prevalent in the identification processes set in motion by some of those in Africa and the Americas since the 1970s. Far from believing in the death of Pan-Africanism, they note its presence in discourse and its use in the efforts being carried out by various parties to establish transnational relations between Africa, the Americas and Europe. In doing so, our seminar proposes the use of focused case studies in order to examine the changes in Pan-Africanism since the 1970s and the contemporary realities of this ideology. Which individuals and organizations make reference to Pan-Africanism? How do they define the concept, and what tangible effects do they attribute to it? What forms of solidarity and conflict arise due to the call for Pan-African unity? What is the nature of the relationships that Pan-Africanism, as a political ideology, forms with various social aspects such as the arts, religion and the media?

SESSION # 1
November 4, 2016
Maboula SOUMAHORO
Université Blaise Pascal, Bennington College
Black French Matters
Afrodiasporic Practices in the Land of Colorblindness
 
SESSION # 2
January 2017 (date to be determined)
Jean-Philippe DEDIEU
CIRHUS, New York University
&
Aïssatou MBODJ-POUYE
IMAF, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Révolution Afrique:
Pan-Africanism from Below in the 1970s in Post-Colonial Paris
 
SESSION # 3
February 27, 2017
Alaina MORGAN
New York University
Memories of Malcolm X
Pan-Africanism, Islam and Transnational Black Activism in 20th Century London, 1982-1995
 
SESSION # 4
March 20, 2017
Seth M. MARKLE
Assistant Professor, Trinity College
A Motorcycle Journey in Africa
Robert F. Williams and the Limits of Pan-Africanism, 1968-1970
 
SESSION # 5
April 3, 2017
Alison OKUDA
New York University
“Towards a United Black Front”
The Cultural Practice of Pan-Africanism in London
 
SESSION # 6
April 24, 2017
Geoffrey TRAUGH
New York University
A Nation Cannot Be Bought
Nationhood and Neocolonialism in Decolonization-era Malawi