CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
Join us on December 1st at Slought Gallery for the "Claiming Blackness" event, to include film screening, conversation, and a book release with our Fall 2022 CEE Fellow Damani Partridge. At the event, Damani will discuss his Filming the Future of Cities project, as well as his new book "Blackness as a Universal Claim: Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen, and Black Power in Berlin", released November 2022 with the University of California Press.
In this bold and provocative book, Damani J. Partridge examines the possibilities and limits of a universalized Black politics. Young people in Germany of Turkish, Arab, and African descent use claims of Blackness to hold states and other institutions accountable for their everyday struggle. Partridge tracks how these youth invoke the expressions of Black Power, acting out the medal-podium salute from the 1968 Olympics, proclaiming "I am Malcolm X," expressing mutual struggle with Muhammad Ali and Spike Lee, and standing with raised and clenched fists next to Angela Davis. Partridge also documents the demands by public-school teachers, federal-program leaders, and politicians that young immigrants account for the global persistence of anti-Semitism as part of the German state's commitment to antigenocidal education. He uses these stories to interrogate the relationships among European Enlightenment, Holocaust memory, and Black futures, showing how noncitizens work to reshape their everyday lives. In doing so, he demonstrates how the concept of Blackness energizes, inspires, and makes possible participation beyond national belonging for immigrants, refugees, Black people, and other People of Color.
Damani J. Partridge is the Fall 2022 Fellow at the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Professor of Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. He is also an affiliate with the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and has published broadly on questions of citizenship, affect, urban space, sexuality, decolonization, post-Cold War “freedom,” Holocaust memorialization, African-American military occupation, Blackness and embodiment, the production of noncitizens, the culture and politics of “fair trade,” and the Obama moment in Berlin. He has also made and worked on documentaries for private and public broadcasters in the United States and Canada, and currently directs the Filming Future Cities Project in Detroit and Berlin (see filmingfuturecities.org). His first book, Hypersexuality and headscarves: Race, sex, and citizenship in the new Germany, was published in the New Anthropologies of Europe series with Indiana University Press in 2012. His forthcoming book, Blackness as a universal claim: Holocaust heritage, noncitizen politics, and Black power in Berlin will be published with the University of California Press in 2022.
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