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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of English and American Studies

W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures - Winter Semester 2020/2021



24 November 2020

Yehuda Sharim (University of California, Merced): “We & We: Cinema of Two”
6.30-8 p.m. (Central European Time)
Please register for this online-event: evangelia.kindinger@hu-berlin.de

In this talk, scholar and filmmaker Yehuda Sharim will screen and discuss excerpts from his films Songs that Never End (2019) and Seeds of All Things (2018) that have been screened at film festivals and universities across the world. They offer comparative perspectives on immigration and displacement and the changing constructions of home, nation, and belonging. His interest lies in exploring the role film, and art can play in better our experiences as communities, primarily as we cross borders to find solace, as we decolonize and uncolonize oppressive tools of violence, as we struggle to locate justice, and as we reimagine notions of community and community building.

Bio: Yehuda Sharim is a filmmaker and a poet. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Global Art Studies Program, University of California, Merced. He holds a Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures program (2013). His most recent film, Songs that Never End (2019), nominated for the Best International Documentary Film for 2020 at the International Documentary Film Festival in Vienna, is concerned with the experiences of refugee youth. His upcoming book manuscript, We Are In It: An Anthology of Border Crossing presents personal histories and accounts by refugees and those who seek refuge without documentation. Comprised of interviews in monologue form, his projects reveal the fear, trauma, and resilience of immigrants and refugees. For more, please go to: https://www.sharimstudio.com.

14 January 2021

A Conversation with E. Patrick Johnson (Northwestern University)
6-7 p.m. (Central European Time)
Please register for this online-event: doingsouthernstudies@gmail.com

E. Patrick Johnson, Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, performance artist and author of books such as Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South (2008), Black. Queer. Southern. Women. – An Oral History (2018) and Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women (2019) joins Evangelia Kindinger (HU Berlin) and Anne Potjans (HU Berlin) in a conversation about his oral history projects and the intersections of African American Studies, Queer Theory and Southern Studies. This conversation is part of the program of the international conference “Doing Southern Studies Today” that will take place from 13-15 January, 2021.

BIO: E. Patrick Johnson is Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor at Northwestern University. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Johnson’s work has greatly impacted African American Studies, Performance Studies, and Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He is the author of several books, including Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (2003); Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South – An Oral History (2008); Black. Queer. Southern. Women. – An Oral History (2018); Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women (2019), in addition to a number of edited and co-edited collections, essays, and plays.   


16 February 2021

Sina A. Nitzsche (Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts)

„besinne mich unserer Pflicht, geb' dir Geschichtsunterricht“: Hip-Hop Knowledge, Germany’s Colonial History, and Afrodiasporic Masculinities in Platz an der Sonne (2017)

6.30-8 p.m. (Central European Time)
Please register for this online-event: evangelia.kindinger@hu-berlin.de

In her talk, Sina Nitzsche analyzes the album Platz an der Sonne (Place in the Sun) released in 2017 by the Berlin-based Afrodiasporic rap crew Black Superman Group (BSMG). BSMG consists of Dutch-Nigerian-German rapper Megaloh, Sierra Leonean-German rapper Musa, and Ghanaian-German producer Ghanaian Stallion. Focusing on the song “Geschichtsunterricht” (“History Lesson”), the talk will consider how the rap song negotiates the consequences of Germany’s colonial past by engaging in a larger hip-hop tradition of sharing knowledge. It will also show how the song draws on African American and Afrodiasporic histories, musical styles, and narratives to respond to ideas of racial equality formulated by the global Black Lives Matter movement. Nitzsche ultimately argues that Platz an der Sonne attempts to fill the collective gap of knowledge about Germany’s colonial past and postcolonial present by teaching a new rap audience poetic lessons about marginalization, self-empowerment and the re-formulation of a Black German identity.

BIO: Sina A. Nitzsche is a researcher and coordinator in the Department of Digital Teaching and Learning at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. She is the author of Poetic Resurrection: The Bronx in American Popular Culture (2020) as well as co-editor of Hip-Hop in Europe (2013) and Popular Music and Public Diplomacy (2018). Bridging the gap between academia and community, she founded the European Hiphop Studies Network and has organized several hip-hop education projects, workshops, and events in the Ruhr Area and beyond. Her research interests include hip-hop studies, popular culture studies, urban studies, and digital culture studies.