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The First Biennial of Issues in Critical Investigation(ICI): The African Diaspora at Vanderbilt University

ICI: African Diaspora 2011 Fall Symposium. Go to: www.vanderbilt.edu/ICI. Read & Register for symposium on “Symposium” page. Hotel: Embassy Suites Hotel (which is listed on the registration page).

Please join us for the first biennial of Issues in Critical Investigation(ICI): The African Diaspora at Vanderbilt University, 29 September-1 October 2011.

For the past decade, the “African Diaspora” appears to have displaced Pan-Africanism, the time-honored evocation, as a way to name the enormous geopolitical collective, globally dispersed, that is Africa-related. While Pan-Africanism sought to accord these disparate world populations, cultures, and events a commonality of political aims, “Diaspora” promises to juxtapose them in their discrete historical instance. “Diaspora,” then, not only refers to a welter of facts and historical subjects “on the ground,” so to speak, but has also been transposed into a critical and theoretical paradigm that bears both a short hand and an elaborative possibility. At Issues in Critical Investigation: The African Diaspora at Vanderbilt, “Diaspora” takes on an institutional function that lends a collective name to a number of curricula objects that converge on the study of Africana, or Africanity in its near-endless configurations of meanings and habitations.

The ICI biennial symposium is designed to study the problem of the African Diaspora as a critical, social, historical, political, conceptual, and discursive thematic and to celebrate those participants in the ICI biennial book competition, as well as those colleagues and friends who have encouraged the ICI project by serving as members of its board of readers and the executive/advisory board of the project. 2011 marks the inaugural year of the ICI Biennial and serves as the official introduction of the project to public audiences.

The topic that we have adopted for the 2011 symposium is “Defining the African Diaspora.” Specifically related to it is “The Problem of Representation” by way of the seven arts, with particular attention to the art of the film. We hope to incorporate film showings into the two-day event, as well as film critique from a few film makers.

Speakers include:

Rich Blint, Ph.D. candidate, Program in American Studies, New York University

Nahum Chandler, Visiting Scholar, Office for History of Science and Technology, University of California, Berkeley

Cyraina Johnson-Rouillier, Associate Professor of Modern Literature and Literature of the Americas, University of Notre Dame

Ronald Judy, Professor of Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Fred Moten, Helen L. Bevington Professor of Modern Poetry, Duke University

Ifeoma Nwankwo, Associate Professor, English Department, Vanderbilt University

Lou Outlaw, Professor of Philosophy and of African American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Tiffany Patterson, Associate Professor, African American Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

Alice Randall, Writer-in-Residence, Department of English, Vanderbilt University

Winfried Siemerling, Professor, Department of English, University of Waterloo

Hortense J. Spillers, Gertrude Conaway Professor of English, Vanderbilt University

Nicole Waligora-Davis, Assistant Professor of English, Rice University

Robyn Wiegman, Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies, Duke University

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