#AAIHS2019 Conference: Black Internationalism—Then and Now

In a few short weeks, AAIHS will hold its fourth annual conference at the University of Michigan. The two-day event, taking place on March 22nd and 23rd 2019, will feature a diverse array of sessions that take up the timely theme of Black Internationalism from many different angles. 14 university presses will be at the conference to showcase their publications and we encourage conference attendees to take advantage of the book exhibit hall to meet with editors and to benefit from discounts.

As we prepare to welcome you to Ann Arbor, we are particularly excited to highlight some of the panels, roundtables and interactive sessions that in many ways will be an extension of the vibrant intellectual conversation that is featured daily on Black Perspectives.

The conference will open on Friday, March 22nd with a series of panels that will lay the groundwork for our collective challenging and rethinking of national and colonial borders over the course of the two days. Blogger Chris Tinson will chair a panel on “Black Lives and Black Movements in the Ivory Tower” that will bring together scholars of Black student activism in South Africa and the United States. Blogger Amira Rose Davis will present her timely work on Black athletes’ political engagement on the international stage, as part of a conversation on Black internationalism and sports with several scholars, including bloggers Jermaine Scott and Louis Moore. As we continue to highlight the importance of the Black Pacific to discourses of international engagement, Black Perspectives’ Associate Editor, Guy Emerson Mount’s reading of James Weldon Johnson’s staging of a Black Pacific will make an important contribution to this expanded focus.

Participants are invited to continue these vibrant conversations at the much-anticipated luncheon conversation between Ibram X. Kendi–National Book Award winner (and former Associate editor of Black Perspectives)– and blogger (and AAIHS Treasurer) Ashley Farmer. This luncheon discussion promises to be stimulating and informative, and conference participants who would like to attend are highly encouraged to purchase the last remaining tickets. The day’s interactive sessions will also include workshops on Black queer religiosity and teaching history with digital tools, co-led by Black Perspectives writers James Padilioni Jr. and Kira Thurman respectively. We could not be more thrilled to welcome our keynote speaker, the distinguished scholar Ula Taylor, whose groundbreaking work has been featured on Black Perspectives, and whose talk will be followed by a reception celebrating AAIHS members who have published books in the last year.

Saturday, March 23rd will feature as wide an array of sessions as Friday. These include the roundtable “The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing” featuring editors from the University of Illinois Press, Northwestern University Press, University of North Carolina Press and University of Georgia Press, and a panel on Black women and internationalism featuring Keisha N. BlainBlack Perspectives’ Outgoing Senior Editor (and current AAIHS President), and bloggers Tiffany Florvil and Annette Joseph-Gabriel. Panels on Black queer internationalism, digital humanities and labor activism in the Caribbean will follow. Participants are invited to attend one of two exciting plenary sessions, “Twentieth-Century Black Internationalism: State of the Field” sponsored by the University of Illinois Press, and “The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of Revolution,” sponsored by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Ultimately, regardless of your geographic or historical focus, the fourth annual AAIHS conference will be an occasion to deepen your knowledge through exchanges with colleagues in your field, and to broaden the scope of your engagement with Black internationalism by engaging with the different, sometimes divergent, but always crucial conversations that will attest once again to AAIHS’s commitment to robust intellectual exchange. The AAIHS Executive Committee and the Conference Committee look forward to welcoming you to Ann Arbor.

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Annette Joseph-Gabriel

Annette Joseph-Gabriel is a scholar of contemporary Francophone Caribbean and African literature with interdisciplinary specializations in Black transnational feminisms and slavery in the Atlantic world. She is currently an Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Michigan. Her book, Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire, (University of Illinois Press, 2020) mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonial activism of Black women in the French empire. Her articles have appeared in Small Axe, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Slavery & Abolition, Nouvelles Études Francophones, and The French Review. She is managing editor of Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. Follow her on Twitter @AnnetteJosephG.