PostRacial Transmodernities: Afro-European Relations, Mediterranean Trajectories & Intercultural Reciprocities
Learn more about the ongoing intercultural, trans-continental and trans-Mediterranean relations between Africa and Europe and the recently developing Afropean cultures← Back to courses
- CIVIS focus area
- Society, culture, heritage
- Open to
- Field of studies
- Social Science and humanities
- CIVIS Hub 4
- Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
- Course dates
- 1 February- 12 April 2024
The long relations between Africa and Europe require that we rethink the concepts of the human, the citizen-subject and community from below, at the political and cultural sites where radical transformations are taking place. Europe and Africa meet in a variety of practices and experiences that, once thought together, necessitate the decolonisation of our political and theoretical vocabulary about hospitality, migration, racisms, forgiveness and care. The course focuses on how racisms are challenged and transgressed by decolonising and creolising discourses that actively oppose xenophobia, nationalisms and ethnocentrisms. It reflects on ongoing relations between Africa and Europe by focusing on Afropean cultures that have emerged within communities of Afro-European descent across the northern and southern territories of the European continent and are interrelated with different places and temporalities in Europe and Africa.
Our programme responds to the “time of the now”. It aims to generate a framework that attends to the urgent need for discourses, aesthetics, and methodologies that destroy racisms and decolonise the ways by which we understand the human, the citizen-subject and community in the present. Decolonising our methodologies means to reckon with dominant philosophical, political, and aesthetic frameworks, and to attend to what it means to be human and live together beyond racisms in the present.
This BIP course stems from the experience and momentum gained from a CIVIS international workshop that was organized in Athens under the auspices of a CIVIS seed funding scheme for joint projects with CIVIS' African partner universities.
Main theoretical aims:
- Contemplate postracial transmodernities that challenge and transgress the “overrepresentation of the white, bourgeois, heteronormative, Christian Man” (Sylvia Wynter)
- Explore the vernaculars that dismantle the “Great Divides” (Donna Haraway) that are othering entities such as women, transgendered identities, enslaved humans, racialized beings, servants, noncitizens, migrants, refugees, exotified others, subalterns, indigenous and native peoples
- Affirm the cultural practices that oppose what Étienne Balibar calls “differential racisms”
- Develop new methodological approaches to concepts that associate discrepant, realities/events/histories and reinvent community poetics, human and civil rights beyond ethnocentric and nationalist biases
- Construct and/or revise concepts that address artistic, political, social, cultural events and phenomena that cannot be accounted for nor reduced to race thinking
- Create a decolonial manifesto for critical practices, strategies of reading, and aesthetic creations
Moreover, the programme is connected to two of the five CIVIS themes, Cities, Territories and Mobilities and Societies, Culture, Heritage. Engaging Global South epistemologies. Building on the associations between decolonial thinking and postcolonial studies, the programme focuses on transmodern aesthetics,discourses and histories and aims at the dissemination and production of new knowledges. We address issues crucial to democracy, justice and equality, and explore the ongoing transformations in the public and political spheres in order to develop critical tools that are imperative for social change.
This programme is green and expands the discourses of sustainability into the fields of theoretical, historical and literary studies.
Main topics addressed
The course will be organized in the following strands that reflect the expertise of the teaching team:
- Migration: We will focus on the past and present histories of migration as constitutive of politics, and human rights in the long present. We will explore the histories of migritude and coolitude as well as the new forms of inhabitancy emerging in the present
- Race Thinking/Racisms: We will analyse race and racism through the histories of new and differential racisms that target new bodies and collectivities. The dissemination of minority histories and narratives that reveal the racial assemblages in the past and in the present generate creole ways of reinventing the concept of the human as being-with and becoming-with
- Forgiveness: The politics and poetics of forgiveness and justice in view of the past and present histories of disaster (including but not limited to the histories of totalitarian regimes, concentration camps, slave plantations)
- Hospitality: The politics and poetics of hospitality and interculturality centered on ethnopoetic and cultural practices that can be developed into “practices of becoming worldly” (Haraway)
- Decolonial Poetics: We will examine artistic examples that contemplate humanity as a condition that is non-linear and non-hierarchical and that places the human in a deep relationality with other species
The course offers research tools, pedagogies and methodologies against neo-racism, xenophobia and neo-nationalisms that plague democratic societies in Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa today.
By the end of the course, students will have:
- Strengthened and expanded their perspectives on trans-cultural values and practices across Europe and Africa
- Engaged research methodologies and theoretical frameworks to a wide variety of issues across national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries
- Reinforced their capability of formulating cultural responses to urgent challenges
- Developed their own research or creative project (essay, podcast, documentary film/photography, other creative work) that promotes postracial and trans-cultural research/production
- Mapped their own digital archive of concepts and of primary and secondary sources that can be used as a reference tool for the development of individual and collective research and outreach projects
|Dates: 1 February - 12 April 2024
|Language: English (C1)
|Location: Athens, Greece
|Workload: 160 hours
|Contact: email@example.com (Mina Karavanta)
*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.
The physical mobility part will be running from 8 to 12 April in Athens University History Museum, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
The offline component will consist of morning and afternoon sessions that will further elaborate on the thematic component of the webinars and will be delivered by the academic staff, as well as by the invited artists and cultural practitioners. The aim is for the students to create a hybrid archive of research material and practices that will include the creation of a digital mapping of key concepts and texts, the organization of cultural practices such as documentary art/photography exhibits with work done by the students, and the presentation of short research projects.
The virtual part will be running from 1 February to 28 March 2024 .
The following eight webinars will focus on the themes of the course:
- Introduction to the Course: Main Aims and Themes
- Race Thinking/Racisms
- Decolonial Studies
- Post?Racial Narrations, Anti-racist Imaginaries
- Transmodern(ist) Poetics
This course is open to Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in the following fields of study: Literary Studies, History, Sociology, Semiology, Gender Studies, Visual Studies, Cultural Studies, or any other fields related.
A background on research methods and scientific writing is desirable.
A level C2 in English is also desired.
NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility
To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.
This course is also open to students with the same academic profile, who are enrolled at a CIVIS strategic partner university in Africa. Please check here, if you can apply and this particular course is open to applications from your university. Successful applicants will receive an Erasmus+ grant covering travel and subsistence costs during their stay. Applicants should be willing to extend their stay at the host university for 1-3 weeks for additional research and/or training purposes.
Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 7 November 2023.
Students will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Motivation letter
- Level of English- according to CEFR
As far as the assessment of the course it is foreseen:
- An anonymous evaluation of the course by the students
- A Faculty assessment of the program
Blended Intensive Programme
This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.
Stéphane Baquey is a poetry critic and an Associate Professor in Modern Literature at Aix-Marseille Université. He is the author of the preface to Kiril Kadiiski’s Poèmes (2006), published jointly by L’Esprit des Péninsules and Kliment Oxhridski University of Sofia, (to be reissued by Belles Lettres). For the last five years, his research has known a new inflection towards the poetics of the place telling from an ecopoetics perspective.
Raluca Bibiri is an Associate Professor of Film and Women's Studies at the Center of Excellence in Image Studies, University of Bucharest. She has authored two books on the concept of femininity in philosophy, psychoanalysis, culture, and the arts. Her ongoing research projects focus on intersectional posthumanist methodologies exploring social exclusion and institutionalized forms of knowledge and power. She is actively involved in the exchange between academia and society as a documentary filmmaker, reflecting on the instrumentality of the historical archives for the production of new forms of knowledge about the past, through a wider, more inclusive perspective.
Anne Reynes-Delobel is an Associate Professor of American Literature at Aix-Marseille Université. She has published widely on American modernisms and the international avant-gardes, and more specifically on their transatlantic circulation in the interwar period. She is the current president of The Kay Boyle Society (an ALA and SSAWAA affiliate) and a co-founder of the Banjo Society-ClaudeMcKay (AMU). She also participates in the CIVIS project on PostRacial Trans-Modernities and the BIP project CARE.
Stamatina Dimakopoulou teaches US literature and culture at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at New York University and has guest-lectured at Paris-Nanterre. She has published transatlantic avant-gardes across literature and the visual arts. She is a founding member and co-editor of Synthesis, an Anglophone Journal of Comparative Literary Studies. She has co-founded Transitive Modernities and participates in the CIVIS projects, CARE, and PostRacial Trans-Modernities. With Vassilis Vlastaras (Athens School of Fine Arts), she co-organised practice-based workshops to be followed by an exhibition at Atoposcvc. Currently working on a manuscript on home/lessness.
Saliou Dione is an Associate Professor, a Lecturer and Researcher at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, in Senegal, where he teaches African and Postcolonial Studies. He holds a Doctorate in African and Postcolonial Studies, a Postgraduate Diploma in American Literature and Civilization, and a Bachelor's Degree in British Literature and Civilization. His main areas of academic interest and research include society, culture, conflict, ethnicity, theories, international relations, politics, economy, language, discourse, health, Pan-Africanism, the Diaspora, postcolonialism, African literature (oral and written literatures), gender, sexuality(ies), migration, race issues, and development issues. He has published a wide range of articles covering these issues. Dr. Dione has been a Senior Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (USA), hosted by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Rutgers-based Center for African Studies in the United States of America. As a Senior Fulbright Fellow and as part of the Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund Award, Dr. Dione has delivered lectures at Coastal Carolina University, at Horry Georgetown Technical College, in South Carolina (USA), at Ohio Wesleyan University and Denison University, in Ohio (USA), and at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Jersey (USA), and presented conference papers at Howard University, in Washington D.C. (USA), at the City College of New York and Colombia University, in New York (USA), at Tübingen University (Germany), among others. Dr Saliou DIONE has been also a CODESRIA Gender Fellow at the CODESRIA Gender Institute for gender and African Sexuality(ies).Dr Saliou DIONE is currently the Head of the English Department and the Director of the African and Postcolonial Studies Laboratory at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, in Senegal.
Fataneh Farahani is a Professor in Ethnology at the department of Ethnology, History of Religion and Gender Studies, at Stockholm University. Her main field of study is migration and displacement. In placing gender and sexuality at the centre of her research, she has engaged with issues of forced migration, citizenship, otherness, subjectivity, agency and marginality within different Western multicultural contexts. Her work builds on critical cultural theories and methodologies that conceptualize the intersection of the discourses through which (un)desirable femininities and masculinities are constructed in different diasporic spaces. By examining the interanimations between social differences through empirical materials, she stretches the theorization of migration experiences and positioning in new directions. Through multi-sited ethnographies, her work has illuminated the contribution of ethnological methodologies to forced and transnational migrations.
Stephen Forcer is a Professor of French at the University of Glasgow. His publications include Modernist Song: The Poetry of Tristan Tzara (Legenda 2006) and Dada as Text, Thought and Theory (Legenda 2015), which was shortlisted for the 20016 Gapper Book Prize. In 2020-2021 he was a co-investigator on an AHRC research grant into the use of comedy and other performing arts in tackling sexual and gender-based violence, supported by NGOs in Sierra Leone and South Africa. He also participates in the CIVIS project on PostRacial Trans-Modernities.
Astrid Franke is a Professor of American Literature and Culture at University of Tübingen. She is the author of Keys to Controversies: Stereotypes in Modern American Novels (1999) and Pursue the Illusion: Problems of Public Poetry in America (2010) as well as articles on popular culture, poetry, and injustice, and the contemporary American novel. She is a principal investigator in the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Center Threatened Orders with a project on the resilience of the racial order in the US. She also participates in the CIVIS project on PostRacial Trans-Modernities.
Mina Karavanta is Associate Professor of Literary Theory, Cultural Studies and Anglophone Literature in the Faculty of English Studies of the School of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She holds degrees in English Language and Literature from the National and University of Athens (BA), and in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton (MA and Ph.D). She specializes in postcolonial studies, gender and race studies and comparative literature and has published articles in international academic journals such as boundary 2, Callaloo, Feminist Review, Modern Fiction Studies, Mosaic, Symplokē, Journal Of Contemporary Theory. Her work has also appeared in transnational edited volumes. She has co-edited Interculturality and Gender, with Joan Anim- Addo & Giovanna Covi, (London: Mango Press, 2009); Edward Said and Jacques Derrida: Reconstellating Humanism and the Global Hybrid, with Nina Morgan (London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008) and “Posthumanisms,” a special issue of Symploke, with Nathan Snaza. She is a founding member and co-editor with Stamatina Dimakopoulou of the peer- reviewed electronic journal Synthesis that promotes transcultural and interdisciplinary research and features international Editorial and Academic Boards. https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/synthesis. She has launched the CIVIS project, PostRacial Trans-Modernities, and participates in the BIP project CARE.
Danai Mupotsa is senior lecturer in African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a BA in Africana Studies and Women’s Studies (Luther College), a B. Soc. Sc. (Hons, First Class, UCT) in Gender and Transformation, an M. Soc. Sci in Gender Studies (UCT), and a PhD in African Literature and Cultural Studies (PhD). She specialises in gender and sexualities, black intellectual traditions and histories, intimacy and affect and feminist pedagogies. Danai is a member of the editorial collective of Agenda Feminist Media, and recently co-edited the Agenda special issue “Covid-19: The Intimacies of Pandemics” (2021) with Moshibudi Motimele. Danai has edited several other volumes, including a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies titled “Time Out of Joint: The Queer and the Customary in Africa” with Neville Hoad and Kirk Fiereck. Danai was part of the research team working in collaboration with Urgent Action Fund - Africa that recently published IDS Working Paper 576 (2022), Contextualising Healing Justice as a Feminist Organising Framework in Africa. In 2018, she published her first collection of poetry entitled feeling and ugly. The Portuguese translation, feio e ugly was published in 2020 by Editora Trinta Zero (Maputo). Danai has performed on several poetry stages, including the Poeta’s D’Alma Festival Internacional de Poesia e Artes Performativas in Maputo in 2018, and the Poetry Africa Festival hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2021. Danai is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equality.
Joan Anim-Addo, is Emeritus Professor and Director of the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (Goldsmiths, University of London). She is a poet, librettist and scholar. Her writing includes Janie, Cricketing Lady (poetry); Imoinda (libretto); Longest Journey: A History of Black Lewisham and Touching the Body: History, Language and African- Caribbean Women’s Writing. She is Associate Editor of Callaloo, Journal of Diaspora Arts and Letters and a Senior Fellow, HEA. She is a member of the editorial board of Transition Magazine (Harvard). Her recent publications include the co- authored This is the Canon: Decolonize your Bookshelf in 50 Books (Greenfinch 2021).
Stephanos Stephanides is a poet, essayist and memoirist, translator, ethnographer, and documentary filmmaker and former Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Cyprus. He began his academic career teaching literature at the University of Guyana for six years, where he developed a deep interest in Caribbean Creole and Indian diasporic communities, and thereafter a lifelong engagement with India. He was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cyprus until 2017. Selections of his poetry have been published in more than twelve languages. He is a Writing Fellow of the International Writers Program of the University of Iowa. He was awarded first prize for poetry from the American Anthropological Association, 1988, and first prize for video poetry for his film Poets in No Man’s Land at the Nicosia International Film Festival. He has served as judge for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (2000, 2010, 2022). He is a Fellow of the English Association, and Cavaliere of the Republic of Italy. Representative publications include Translating Kali’s Feast: the Goddess in Indo- Caribbean Ritual and Fiction (2000), Blue Moon in Rajasthan and other poems (2005), and most recently The Wind Under My Lips/«Ο Άνεμος κάτω απ’ τα χείλη μου», a bilingual anthology with Greek translation by Despina Pirketti (Rodakio: Athens, 2018).