2014 Conference

REGISTRATION

Registration for the 8th Annual CAAH Conference is open!

All lectures, panels, and receptions are free and open to the public.

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Hilton Orrington
Heritage Ballroom, 2nd Floor

2:00PM • OPENING CEREMONIES & REMARKS

Master of Ceremonies: Sherwin K. Bryant, Director, CAAH
Dwight A. McBride, Dean of TGS
Sarah Mangelsdorf, Dean of WCAS
Martha Biondi, Chair AFAM

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

Zinga Fraser
“Ella’s Song”
“Everything Must Change”

2:30PM • OPENING ROUNDTABLE

Cathy Cohen
Fred Harris
Mark Anthony Neal
Valerie Smith
Harvey Neptune
Moderator: Alex Weheliye

4:00PM • REFRESHMENTS
4:30PM • BLACK LEFTISM

Minkah Makalani • “The Politically Unimaginable and the Black Left: De/Coloniality and Black Radical Thought After Richard Iton’s In Search of the Black Fantastic”
Donna Murch • “Living for the City: Black California, Black Consciousness, and State Repression in the Postwar US”
David Austin • “The Road to Revolution: Iton’s Routes and the Making of the Black Fantastic”
Moderator: Damon Sajnani

6:30PM • CRITICAL INTERLUDE

Pauline Ekholt, Writer/Performer • “How to be a Minority for White People”

7:00PM • RECEPTION
SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014

Hilton Orrington
Conference Room, 9th Floor

9:00AM-11:00AM • RACE, LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY

Debra Thompson • “Politics Without Guarantees”
Lester Spence • “Off to Battle: Reflections on Politics and the Political in Black Popular Culture”
Juliet Hooker • “Affirmative Action and the Paradoxes of Contemporary Black Politics”
Moderator: Zinga Fraser

11:30AM-12:30PM • LUNCH • MEMORIAL MOMENT
1:00PM-3:00PM • BLACK POPULAR CULTURE

Fred Moten • “Air Shaft /Rent Party”
Margo Crawford • “Ghetto Fabulous Meets Neo-Natural Black: Uncovering the Black Fantastic of Black Body Politics”
Shana L. Redmond • “Swimming Pools: The Quiet Life of Nickerson Gardens”
Moderator: Christine Goding

3:00PM • REFRESHMENTS
3:30PM-5:00PM • INTERSECTIONALITY AND COLONIALITY

Katherine McKittrick • “Fantastic/Still/Life: On Richard Iton (A Working Paper)”
Rinaldo Walcott • “Funk: A Note on the Black Human”
Aaron Kamugisha • “‘That area of experience that we term the new World’: Sylvia Wynter, Richard Iton, and Coloniality”
Michelle A. Stephens • “Feeling Black: Race, Sexuality, Affects of Difference and the Trope of the Skin”
Moderator: Assata Kokayi

5:00PM-6:00PM • CONCLUDING DIALOGUE

Sherwin K. Bryant and Barnor Hesse • “Dread Beat an’ Blood: Archiving the Blues in Black Fantastic Forms”
Moderator: Jean-Pierre Brutus

ABOUT RICHARD ITON

Richard Iton, a colleague and special friend to many at Northwestern University and Toronto University, passed away unexpectedly on April 24, 2013. He was 51 years old. Richard lived inside the cultural and political membrane that entangled and connected the western nation and the Black diaspora. The roots and routes of his intellectual biography can be located within and between four main cities with significant black populations. Born in Montreal, he undertook his undergraduate studies there at McGill University. Baltimore was where he attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. Toronto was where he secured his first academic appointment at the University of Toronto, Department of Political Science and where he gained tenure. Chicago was where he lived while he was teaching in the Department of African American Studies, Northwestern University, where he became a full professor. Richard, whose parents migrated to Montreal from the Caribbean (Jamaica and St. Vincent), was deeply marked by these animations of Blackness, in profound and subtle ways. They registered in the forms of cultural, political and intellectual activisms that he brought to his life as a black professor in the academy. Richard’s work as a political and cultural theorist becomes legible critically only once we begin to appreciate the worlds of modernity, coloniality, race, Blackness and diaspora that he both inherited and inhabited. He came of age during the liberal consolidations and conservative reversals around race governance that fused during the post- colonial and post-civil rights resolutions and elaborations of racial hierarchies and racial segregations. Especially evident in the US, Canada and Britain during the late 1980s–1990s, this background informed Richard’s work where he navigated the meanings of uneasy truces and at times antagonistic rapprochements that occurred between anti-racisms and racisms, as well as between the exoticizations and pathologisations of Black diaspora populations. However, it was not simply within the academy that Richard understood these things. He often reflected on the time he had spent as a hospital porter in Montreal observing diverse human distress and his experience as a DJ in Toronto’s club scene during the 1990s that especially endeared him to the power of black music in creating communities, affinities, and possibilities. Richard was a political thinker on the Left of politics, particularly the Black Left, although many aspects of progressive politics, particularly progressive Black popular culture, galvanized his interests, commitment and attention. Richard published two books Solidarity Blues – Race, Culture and the American Left (University of North Carolina Press) in 2000; and In Search of the Black Fantastic – Politics and Popular Culture in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Oxford University Press) in 2008. Richard’s last published work, the seminal essay “Still Life,” appeared in the journal small axe (March 2013, 40). There Richard announced a new trajectory in his thinking, leaving evinced in tantalizing relation, questions of postcoloniality, diaspora, and Black politics, disseminated in temporalities of affect, intimations of the avant-garde and the song-musings of his Blues archive.