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The Erotic Life of Diaspora: Black Queer Formations in the Age of Neoliberalism

ASE Commons (Coordinated by Macarena Gómez-Barris, Sarah Banet-Weiser, and Umayyah Cable)

A Series on Race, Power, and Critical Thought whose aim is to highlight the research of American Studies & Ethnicity (ASE) core and affiliated faculty and graduate students, and to build community through sustained conversations and workshops.

Speaker: Rod Ferguson (University of Minnesota)
Respondent: Nayan Shah (ASE)

In this talk, Roderick A. Ferguson explores the history of black queer artistic production in the nineteen eighties as a way to assess the connections between the emergence of black queer political and artistic cultures in the U.S. and Britain. The talk represents an effort to address the erotic parameters of neoliberal political and economic formations during that time. As a theoretical exercise, the lecture investigates what he calls "the associations"--that is, the ways in which black queer cultural and intellectual workers used categories of race, gender, sexuality, and diaspora to evolve linkages between social processes that presumably bore only the faintest connections, linkages between sexual liberation, anti-racism, fair housing, poverty, and so on.