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April 17 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
In-Person: An Evening with Jafari S. Allen & UM Center for the Humanities
Books & Books and UM Center for the Humanities present…
AN EVENING WITH JAFARI S. ALLEN
There’s a Disco Ball Between Us: A Theory of Black Gay Life
Monday, April 17th, 6:30 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables
RSVP HERE FOR FREE
Join us in-person at Books & Books as Jafari Allen discusses There’s a Disco Ball Between Us: A Theory of Black Gay Life.
This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event so make sure to stay after the talk for a book signing! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.
About the Book:
In There’s a Disco Ball Between Us, Jafari S. Allen offers a sweeping and lively ethnographic and intellectual history of what he calls “Black gay habits of mind.” In conversational and lyrical language, Allen locates this sensibility as it emerged from radical Black lesbian activism and writing during the long 1980s. He traverses multiple temporalities and locations, drawing on research and fieldwork conducted across the globe, from Nairobi, London, and Paris to Toronto, Miami, and Trinidad and Tobago. In these locations and archives, Allen traces the genealogies of Black gay politics and cultures in the visual art, poetry, film, Black feminist theory, historiography, and activism of thinkers and artists such as Audre Lorde, Marsha P. Johnson, Essex Hemphill, Colin Robinson, Marlon Riggs, Pat Parker, and Joseph Beam. Throughout, Allen renarrates Black queer history while cultivating a Black gay method of thinking and writing. In so doing, he speaks to the urgent contemporary struggles for social justice while calling on Black studies to pursue scholarship, art, and policy derived from the lived experience and fantasies of Black people throughout the world.
About the Author:
Jafari S. Allen, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, is jointly appointed with the Department of African American Studies, and works at the intersections of [queer] sexuality, gender and blackness – in Cuba, the US, and transnationally. A recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Program, and Rockefeller Foundation [Diasporic Racisms Project]; he teaches courses on the cultural politics of race, sexuality and gender in Black diasporas; Black feminist and queer theory; critical cultural studies; ethnographic methodology and writing; subjectivity, consciousness and resistance; Cuba and the Caribbean.
Dr. Allen’s critical ethnography, ¡Venceremos?: Sexuality, Gender and Black Self-Making in Cuba [Perverse Modernities series of Duke University Press, Fall 2011], marshals a combination of historical, literary, and cultural analysis– most centrally, ethnographic rendering of the everyday experiences and reflections of Black Cubans—to show how Black men and women strategically deploy, re-interpret, transgress and potentially transform racialized and sexualized interpellations of their identities, through “erotic self-making.” ¡Venceremos? argues that mutually constituting scenes in Havana and Santiago de Cuba– like semi-private, extra-legal parties of men who have sex with men; HIV education activism; lesbian performance and incipient organizing of women who have sex with women; hip-hop and la monia (US R&B/soul music) parties and concerts; sex labor; cigar “hustling”; and informal Black consciousness raising networks– represent a gravid space for becoming new revolutionary men and women, with new racial, gender and sexual subjectivities.
His current research project, Black Queer Here and There: Movement and Sociality in the Americas, traces cultural and political circuits of transnational queer desire—in travel, tourism, (im)migration, art and activism.