Online Roundtable–Lorgia García Peña’s ‘Translating Blackness’

September 11, 2023 to September 15, 2023

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online roundtable on Lorgia García Peña’s Translating Blackness: Latinx Colonialities in Global Perspective (Duke University Press, 2022). In Translating Blackness Lorgia García Peña considers Black Latinidad in a global perspective in order to chart colonialism as an ongoing sociopolitical force. Drawing from archives and cultural productions from the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe, García Peña argues that Black Latinidad is a social, cultural, and political formation—rather than solely a site of identity—through which we can understand both oppression and resistance. The roundtable begins on Monday, September 11, 2023 and concludes on Friday, September 15, 2023. It will feature essays by Robin D. G. Kelley (UCLA); April J. Mayes (Pomona College); Crystal M. Fleming (SUNY Stony Brook); and Shana L. Redmond (Columbia University), At the conclusion of the roundtable, the author Lorgia García-Peña (Princeton University) will respond.

During the online forum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 6:00AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter/X or @AAIHS23 on Instagram; like AAIHS on Facebook; or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

About the Author

Lorgia García-Peña is a professor of Latinx Studies in the Department of African American Studies and the Effron Center for the Study of America at Princeton University where she teaches courses that examine the legacies of colonialism and slavery as the shape the lives of Latinx people, particularly Black Latinx, in the diaspora. She is the author of Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color (Haymarket Books, 2022); and Translating Blackness: Latinx Colonialities in Global Perspective (Duke University Press, 2022). She is the Co-Founder of Freedom University Georgia, a school that provides college instruction to undocumented students, and the Co-Director of Archives of Justice, a transnational digital archive project that centers the life of people who identify as Black, queer and migrant. Dr. García Peña’s first book, The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradictions (Duke University Press, 2016), won the 2017 National Women’s Studies Association Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize, the 2016 LASA Latino/a Studies Book Award, and the 2016 Isis Duarte Book Prize in Haitian and Dominican Studies.

About the Participants

Robin D. G. Kelley  is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include the prizewinning Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009); Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression (1990); Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (1994); Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (1997), which was selected one of the top ten books of the year by the Village Voice; and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002). He is a coauthor of Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century (2001) and a coeditor of Black, Brown, and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora (2009), recipient of an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; and To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (2005). His most recent book is Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (2012). Dr. Kelley is a prolific author and editor. He is working on three book projects including “Black Bodies Swinging: An American Postmortem,” a genealogy of the Black Spring protests of 2020 by way of a deep examination of state-sanctioned racialized violence and a history of resistance; a biography of Grace Halsell, the Texas-born journalist and granddaughter of Confederate slave owners; and a collaborative survey of African American history.

April J. Mayes is Associate Dean and Professor of History of Pomona College. She focuses her research on the Dominican Republic and teaches courses in Colonial Latin American history, Afro-Latin American history, women’s and gender studies, and Africana studies. A graduate of Pomona College, Mayes was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship she used to examine Protestant women’s social justice movements in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Ecuador. Afterwards, she attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where she earned a Ph.D. in history (2003), with an emphasis in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, gender, ethnicity and race in the Americas, comparative post-emancipation studies and anthro/history. Mayes is the author of the book, The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and National Identity in the Dominican Republic (University Press of Florida) and has published various articles in women’s and gender history: “Why Dominican Feminism Moved to the Right: Class, Colour and Women’s Activism in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1940s,” Gender & History; “Tolerating Sex: Prostitution, Gender, and Governance in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1924,” Health and Medicine in the Caribbean: Historical Perspectives; and with Stephanie Román, ” ‘A Patriarchal Right of Passage’: An Exploration of Gendered Migration Histories and the Erasure of Women,” Al-Raida, Journal of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World. She is currently finishing a two-volume collection of archival materials related to the history of Dominican Feminism, Cien Años de Feminismos Dominicanos, 1861-1965, in collaboration with Prof.  Ginetta Candelario (Smith College) and Prof. Elizabeth Manley (Xavier University). Her current project is a textbook, Women, Feminism, and Politics in Latin America, under consideration at Rutgers University Press.

Crystal M. Fleming is a critical race sociologist, the author/editor of four books and an internationally recognized expert on racism and antiracism. Her work empowers people of all backgrounds to become change agents and dismantle white supremacy. She is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at SUNY Stony Brook where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on racism and ethnic relations, sociological theory and qualitative methods. Dr. Fleming’s passion for speaking truth to power and promoting social transformation infuses her scholarship, writing and pedagogy. She earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University and graduated with honors in Sociology and French from Wellesley College. Her research appears in leading journals such as Social ProblemsThe Sociology of Race and EthnicityEthnic and Racial StudiesPoeticsDu Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race and Mindfulness. Her first book Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France (Temple University Press, 2017) uses critical race theory and qualitative research to significantly advance scholarship on racism in France and Europe. The book marshals ethnographic data, archival research and in-depth interviews with French activists and Afro-Caribbean descendants of slaves to consider how commemorations of enslavement and abolition both challenge and reproduce the racial order. Her critically acclaimed primer, How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide (Beacon Press, 2018), combines memoir, critical race theory, social commentary and satire to debunk common misconceptions about racism. The book earned a starred Kirkus review and has been widely praised as essential anti-racist reading by everyone from Publisher’s Weekly to BustleESPN/The Undefeated to the Los Angeles Lakers, Buzzfeed, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and MarketWatch. Dr. Fleming’s recent book, RISE UP! How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy, is a YA nonfiction published by Henry Holt for Young Readers, that explores the roots of racism and its modern day legacies while empowering young people with actionable ways to create a more just and equitable world. RISE UP! was recognized as a Best Book of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist.  Fleming is also the co-editor of Beyond White Mindfulness: Critical Perspectives on Racism, Wellbeing and Liberation published in 2022 by Routledge. She is currently completing a fifth book, Words to Remake the World: A People’s Dictionary for Social Change, under contract with Beacon Press. 

Shana L. Redmond is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race (CSER) at Columbia University. A writer and interdisciplinary scholar of race, culture, and power, she is the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (NYU Press, 2014) and Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson (Duke UP, 2020), which received a 2021 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation with the special citation of the Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Award for Criticism. Named a “Best Book of 2020” by National Public Radio (NPR), Everything Man also received the 2022 Irving Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music, 2021 Judy Tsou Critical Race Studies Award from the American Musicological Society, a 2020 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title, and finalist and honorable mention designations for the Sterling Stuckey Book Prize from the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora and the inaugural book prize of the Association for the Study of African American Life & History. In addition to being co-editor of and contributor to Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (Duke UP, 2016), she has published chapters, articles, and essays in outlets including The Futures of Black Radicalism, Current MusicologyBlack Camera, Black Music Research Journal, Race & Class, and Brick: A Literary Journal as well as NPR, the BBC, Boston Review, and Mother Jones. Her work with artists includes the critical liner essay to the soundtrack vinyl release for Jordan Peele’s film Us (Waxwork Records, 2019) as well as the notes for String Quartets, Nos. 1-12 by Wadada Leo Smith (TUM Records, 2022). Redmond’s current projects include a study of Black music’s possible impossible and a forensic listening to Black life before mourning. She is co-editor of the University of California Press series “Phono: Black Music and the Global Imagination” and President of the American Studies Association (2022-2023).

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Comments on “Online Roundtable–Lorgia García Peña’s ‘Translating Blackness’

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    Please email me the access to this round table; I do not see it listed.

    Dr. Reginald A. Bess

    • Avatar

      Hi Dr. Bess, the roundtable will be posted here on the blog starting September 11, 2023 to September 15, 2023.

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    Will this roundtable be archived and made available?

    Best regards,
    Dr. S. O.Y. Keita

Comments are closed.