Transcending Diaspora: Whiteness, Performativity and the Politics of the Body. Inaugural Workshop of the DFG Young Scholars Network Black Diaspora and Germany

Transcending Diaspora: Whiteness, Performativity and the Politics of the Body. Inaugural Workshop of the DFG Young Scholars Network Black Diaspora and Germany

Christina Oppel, Holger Droessler, Silke Stroh, Frank Mehring
Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, Englisches Seminar, Johannisstrasse 12-20, 48143 Muenster, Germany
From - Until
03.12.2010 - 04.12.2010
Christina Oppel

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since summer 2010, the Young Scholars Network “Black Diaspora and Germany“ will host its opening workshop at the English Seminar, Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, Germany. Under the header “Transcending Diaspora: Whiteness, Performativity and the Politics of the Body” the workshop will address the potential and limitations of current conceptualizations of diaspora as a category of analysis and identity construction in the German context. Aiming to re-evaluate the suitability of the terminology of a ‘Black diaspora’ in the case of Germany and to determine the factors that differentiate the Black diaspora from other collective identities, the workshop will locate the concept of diaspora on the basis of specific case studies within the force field of nationality, transnationality, and ethnicity and interrogate it as to its transgressive potential. Exemplary studies dealing with the interdependencies of the body, politics, ethnicity, culture, the territorial state and deterritorialized identities will illuminate transnational parameters and transcultural practices and deconstruct essentializing definitions of diaspora.

The thematic spectrum of the workshop participants ranges from
counterhegemonic approaches rooted in critical whiteness studies over analyses of the performativity of diaspora to aspects of body history that understands physical as well as imagined bodies as arenas of power and discursive conflict.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers are Prof. Dr. Tina Campt (Associate Professor of Women's Studies, History and German, Duke University; Visiting Professor of Women's and Africana Studies , Barnard College, Columbia University) and Prof. Dr. Alexander Weheliye (Associate Professor of English, African American Studies, Northwestern University); network members speaking at the opening workshop are Holger Droessler (Harvard/LMU), Dr. Frank Mehring (FU), Christina Oppel (WWU Muenster) and Dr. Silke Stroh (WWU Muenster).

For further information and workshop registration please contact the workshop organizers at
bdg[ad]; for further information see


YSN Inaugural Workshop: Transcending Diaspora: Whiteness, Performativity and the Politics of the Body
December 3-4, 2010
English Seminar, WWU Muenster

Friday, December 3, 2010

14:30 Workshop Opening: Introduction

15:00–16:00 Christina Oppel (Münster): Transcending Diaspora? Relations of Power, (Dis)identification and the Human

16:00–16:30 Coffee Break

16:30–17:30 Dr. Frank Mehring (Berlin): Performing Anthropological Authenticity: Franz Boas, Zora Neale Hurston, and the Transatlantic Blues

17:30–18:00 Break

18:00–19.30 Keynote 1
Prof. Dr. Alexander Weheliye (Northwestern)
Without Comparison: W.E.B. Du Bois's and Walter Benjamin's Modernities

20:00 Dinner

Saturday, December 4, 2010

09:00–10.30 Keynote 2
Prof. Dr. Tina Campt (Duke/Columbia)
title t.b.a.

10:30–11:00 Coffee Break

11:00–12:00 Dr. Silke Stroh (Münster): Transperipherality as a Model for Diaspora Studies? Interfaces of Race, Class and (Post)colonialism

12:00–13:00 Holger Drössler (Harvard/München): Contested ‚Third-Bodies‘: Body Politics and Interracial Relationships in the US and Germany at the Turn of the 20th Century

13:30 Lunch: Schlosscafé

14:30 Roundtable Discussion: Transcending Diaspora? Concepts and Contexts
Discussion of Organisational Matters (Network Members Only)

16:30 End of Workshop

Contact (announcement)

Christina Oppel
DFG Young Scholars Network Black Diaspora and Germany, Engl. Seminar, WWU Muenster