Students formed the Africana Studies Group (ASG) in the Fall of 2000, the goal being to provide an arena for ideas regarding the field and to establish an official concentration in Africana Studies at The Graduate Center. The ASG, by definition, is interdisciplinary and encourages input and participation from students and faculty from the various fields that help comprise Africana Studies. While the ASG periodically elects co-chairs, its structure is loose, based upon the needs of students and the evolving and competing articulations of Africana Studies.
The Africana Studies Group has a listserv, which serves as a forum for all those interested in the scholarly pursuit of Africana Studies. The listserv will post ASG announcements and events, as well as serve as a space for discussion. To subscribe please email the IRADAC office: email@example.com, providing your name, institutional affiliation, and interest of study.
The Africana Studies Group in conjunction with the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora Presented: “Any enemy of the Black man is the enemy of me”:Departures and Definitions of Afro-Latino Identity in the New Millennium, which was an all day Conference held on, Friday, March 17, 2006 at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Click here to view the conference website
The Africana Studies Group presented its first conference, "Black Feminisms," held at The Graduate Center in March 2004. A first of its kind at The Graduate Center, the all-day conference attracted over 300 people. Scholars across the country, including those from Canada and abroad, presented works engaging black feminisms as a theory, and political instrument, for equality. Also included was a panel featuring CUNY undergraduates. Ann duCille (Wesleyan University) provided the keynote address. Click here to view the program.
"Black Masculinities" was an all day conference organized and sponsored by the Africana Studies Group of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This conference seeks to clear a space for a strategic, systematic interrogation of Black masculinities, exploring the complexity of representations and performances of Black masculinity, and analyzing the simultaneous commodification and dehumanization of Black males. The closing roundtable will included: Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Village Voice; Rev. Osagyefo Sekouof New York Common Ground; Keith Boykin,author of Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America; Greg Tate, cultural critic; and Margaret Rose Vendryes, Professor of Art History, York College and the CUNY GraduateCenter.
In the past, IRADAC and The CUNY African American Network CAAN) have sponsored a bi-annual conference that showcases the works of CUNY scholars. Past featured speakers have included:
- Tuzyline Jita Allen (Baruch College; author of Womanist and Feminist Aesthetics: A Comparative Review and editor of Women Writing Africa): "Lindsey Collen: Postcolonial Considerations"
- Emily Bernard (University of Vermont-Burlington; author of Remember Me to Harlem: The Correspondence of Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes): "His Ways With White Folks: Langston Hughes and the Price of Interracial Intimacy"
- Faye V. Harrison (University of Tennessee, Knoxville; editorof African-American Pioneers in Anthropology and Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further Toward an Anthropology for Liberation):"Justice for All: Meeting the Challenges of Advocacy Research in the Global Age"
- Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie (SUNY Binghamton; author of Freed people in the Tobacco South, Virginia, 1860-1900): "Black Militias and Emancipation"
- James King (SUNY College at Old Westbury): "'Neither Fish Nor Fowl': Charles W. Chesnutt and the Harlem Renaissance"
- Charlotte Pierce-Baker (Duke University; author of Surviving the Silence: Black Women's Stories of Rape): "Surviving the Silence to Where We Are Now"
- Jerry Watts (City College/The Graduate Center; author of Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual): "Despair and the Black Intellectual: from Baraka to Harvard's 'Dream Team'"
Our film series, organized by Lise Esdaile, have included viewings and discussions of:
- Shirley Clarke's 1969 documentary, A Portrait of Jason, moderated by Village Voice and Film Comment contributor Melissa Anderson
- John Cassavetes' 1959 indie film Shadows, along with issues of passing and appropriation, moderated by Jon-Christian Suggs
- Oscar Micheaux's 1920 silent classic Within Our Gates, moderated by Michele Wallace.
An African diasporic film festival, organized by Jerry Carlson, host of CUNY-TV's City Cinematheque, and Jon-Christian Suggs, took place on Saturday, October 23, 2005.
The Graduate Center, whether in conjunction with the Africana Studies Group or IRADAC, also has events relating to Africana Studies. Please visit the The Center for Humanities and The Continuing Education and Public Programs, as well as our events calendar for Africana-studies related events.