On the Matter of Blackness in Europe: Transnational Perspectives

SA Smythe
African American Studies
UC Los Angeles

“On the Matter of Blackness in Europe: Transnational Perspectives” is a two-day international symposium taking place at UCLA on October 10-11, 2019. The symposium, co-organized by SA Smythe (UCLA) and Vanessa Thompson (Goethe) seeks to dismantle the perceived homogeneity of Black transnational and anticolonial experiences by attending to how various struggles for Black lives unfold. Scholars, artists, and activists will discuss articulations of relational Black solidarities and struggles for Black lives across Europe, foregrounding less-explored paradigms of Black formations, creations, improvisations, and struggles throughout Europe and beyond. Participants will engage with the lived experiences of Blackness and Black political struggles across various geopolitical sites and dynamic encounters within the European context. Further, the symposium will interrogate the power relations at work within academic scholarship that determines what becomes monolithically referred to as “Black Europe.” The symposium will feature a keynote address from Gloria Wekker (Utrecht University).

Photo: Rebecca Racine Ramershoven, “Why can’t you see me?” (2014).