Keynote speakers

Geneviève Fabre (Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, France)

Geneviève Fabre is Professor emeritus at the University Paris Diderot-Paris 7 where she is director of the CEAAD (Cercle d’Etudes Africaines Américaines et Diasporiques). She has contributed to several collective volumes and encyclopedias and published many essays or books on James Agee, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen Crane, Joyce Carol Oates. She is the author of Le théâtre noir aux Etats-Unis (Publications du CNRS, 1982, translated into English as: Drumbeats, Masks and Metaphors: Contemporary Afro-American Theatre, Harvard University Press, 1983). She has edited or co-edited several volumes, among which: Toni Morrison (Profils Américains 1, 2, 1992); Célébrations des communautés ethniques aux Etats-Unis (Revue de l’AFEA No. 51, 1992); Configurations de l’ethnicité aux Etats-Unis (Cahiers Charles V no. 15, 1993); with Claudine Raynaud, ‘Beloved, She’s Mine’, Essays on Toni Morrison (CETANLA/Université Paris III, 1993); Parcours identitaires aux USA (Publications de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 1994); with Robert O’Meally, History and Memory in African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 1994); with Ramon Gutierrez, Feasts and Celebrations in North American Ethnic Communities (University of New Mexico Press, 1995); with Michel Feith, Jean Toomer and the Harlem Renaissance (Rutgers UP, 2001); with Jurgen Heideking, Celebrating Ethnicity and the Nation (Berghahn NY, 2001); with Klaus Benesch, African Diasporas in the New and the Old Worlds (Rodopi, 2004). She received fellowships, grants, and invitations from the American Antiquarian Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockfeller Center, the University of Iowa, the University of North Carolina, the National Humanity Center, the University of Mississipi, the University of California, San Francisco, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, at Harvard University. The theme of  her current "work in progress" is "Sense and Sensibility in African American History and Culture".

Cathy J. Cohen (University of Chicago, USA)

Cathy J. Cohen (University of Chicago, USA) Cathy J. Cohen, is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1993. She began her academic career at Yale University where she received tenure. In 2002 Cohen joined the faculty of the University of Chicago. Cohen is the author of the award- wining book The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press, 1999). Cohen is also co-editor with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU, 1997). Her work has been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, GLQ, NOMOS and Social Text. While her general field of specialization is American politics, Cohen’s interests include African-American politics, women and politics, lesbian and gay politics, social movements and Black feminist theory. Cohen is currently completing a book project on the lives and political world of African American youth. Cohen is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert Wood Johnson Investigator’s Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Fellowship and a major research grant from the Ford Foundation for her current work on African American youth. She serves on a number of national advisory boards and is the co-editor with Frederick Harris of a book series at Oxford University Press entitled "Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities". In addition to her academic work, Cohen continues to be politically active. She was a founding board member and former co-chair of the board of the Audre Lorde Project in NY. She was also on the board of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press as well as the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY. Cohen was a founding member of Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM!) and one of the core organizers of the international conference “Black Nations / Queer Nations?”. Cohen has also served as an active member in numerous organizations such as the Black Radical Congress, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves and the United Coalition Against Racism.

Lewis R. Gordon (Temple University, USA)

Lewis Gordon is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, where he also is the founding director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies. He is the author of seven books, co-author of one, editor of one, and co-editor of three: Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities Press, 1995), Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and the Human Sciences (Routledge, 1995), Her Majesty’s Other Children: Sketches of Racism in a Neocolonial Age (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), which won the Gustavus Myer Award for Outstanding Book on Human Rights in the United States, Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (Routledge, 2000), Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Paradigm Publishers, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), and, with Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age (Paradigm Publishers, 2009); Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy (Routledge, 1997); with T-D Sharpley-Whiting and R. T. White, Fanon: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Publishers, 1996); with Jane Anna Gordon, A Companion to African-American Studies (Blackwell Publishers, 2006) and Not Only the Master’s Tools: African-American Studies in Theory and Practice (Paradigm Publishers, 2006). His forthcoming book is No Longer Enslaved Yet Not Quite Free: Essays on Freedom, Justice, and the Decolonization of Knowledge (Fordham UP). Before joining Temple, Professor Gordon taught at Brown University, where he was the founding chairperson of the Department of Africana Studies. Professor Gordon also teaches as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica and taught at Purdue University, Yale University, and Brooklyn College (where he was the Jay Newman Professor of Philosophy of Culture). He was President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association (2003–2008).

Sabine Broeck (Bremen University, Germany)

Professor Dr. Sabine Broeck teaches (African)American Studies, Gender Studies and Black Diaspora Studies at the University of Bremen with a focus on the intersections of race, class, gender and sexualities. Her research commitment is to a critique of the coloniality of transatlantic modernity, in particular in studies of western modernity as social formations and cultures of (post) – enslavement. She has been a longstanding and active member of the European American, and African-American Studies community; at present, she is President of the international scholarly organization Collegium for African American Research (CAAR), as well as director of the University of Bremen Institute for Postcolonial and Transcultural Studies (INPUTS). For more information, see  She published widely in journals of American and African American Studies like Amerikastudien, or Callaloo. Her two previous monographs are Der entkolonisierte Koerper (1988) and White Amnesia-Black Memory? American Women’s Writing and History (1999). She is currently at work on a book-length manuscript entitled: Abjection and Metaphor: (Post) Slavery and the White Rhetoric of Gender contracted with SUNY Press.

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