Universität Wien FIND

135813 KO KO: Black Europe. Imagining Europe/ans in African and African Diasporic Narratives (2021W)

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 30 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

The first session on October 6 will be digital via BigBlueButton – the link will be provided in Moodle (you will be automatically registered for Moodle prior to this). Depending on registration numbers (up to 24 students are allowed for seminar room 3), we will continue thereafter mostly on-site (with the option for voluntary digital self-study via Moodle) or, if the group is over 24, digitally. I will be more specific about the hybrid mode in the first session.

Update (27.9.): After the first session we will meet alternately on site, in seminar room 3, and digitally (Zoom).

Mittwoch 06.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Digital
Mittwoch 13.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 20.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 27.10. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 03.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 10.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 17.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 24.11. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 01.12. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 15.12. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 12.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 19.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG
Mittwoch 26.01. 12:30 - 14:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum 3 Sensengasse 3a 1.OG


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

A color-blind, haven-like continent that allows African-Americans to be “born again in a new condition” (Gilroy 1993, 18). A refuge “from the prejudiced restrictions of the New World” (Larsen 2014 [1928], 96), which one is free to enjoy as long as one does not mind being exoticized as “veritable savage” (ibid., 69) or “pet dog” (ibid., 70). A supposedly free and peaceful part of the world, which for some Black Europeans felt as if they lived in “the belly of the beast” (Hall 1990, 223) or side by side with the threatening “specter of a Europe united against Africa, Asia, and Latin America” (Oguntoye/Opitz/Schultz 1992, xix). A heavily guarded fortress where life is said to correspond to a miraculous “European dream”, though the very notion of a “Dream of Europe” was already disputed at a 1988 conference of the same title, where Audre Lorde bluntly remarked that Europe did not civilize but enslave the world for “two thirds of the world’s population, People of Color” (2020, 268), ...
Given their differences of nationality, gender, class, sexual orientation etc., writers of African and African diasporic descent have created a great variability of images of Europe/ans. This course aims at studying these images, which reverse the colonialist European gaze at ‘the Other’, within a transnational and inclusive framework. Although broad categories such as “African”, “African diasporic”, and “Europe” run the risk of missing the heterogeneity of people represented by them, the discussion of related concepts such as the “Black Atlantic” or “Afropean” has proven their usefulness both for the political consciousness of marginalized diasporic communities and for understanding the transcultural and intertextual character of African (diasporic) cultural productions.
In addition to more traditional areas of comparative literature and cultural studies such as imagology (which has established a solid methodology for the study of national auto- and hetero-images, but suffers from its often Eurocentric orientation), we will draw on methods and concepts from the fields of postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and gender studies.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

(in presence and/or digitally, depending on the health situation):
* Active participation (in class, in Moodle forums, via Zoom, regular reading and preparation of texts)
* Expert role in a round table discussion (Each student will participate once towards the end of the semester – three dates in December/January – as an 'expert' in a round table discussion about a novel; I will send out questions for preparation, which have to be answered in writing in advance.)
* Submission of a topic proposal for the final paper or poster including a short bibliography by February 9 (about one page)
* Final paper or poster by March 31

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

There will be shorter texts or text extracts (provided in advance on Moodle) to read and prepare on a continuous basis. Since almost all texts are written in English, a good knowledge of the English language or the willingness to deal intensively with English-language fictional and theoretical texts is assumed.

Each student will take part in a round table discussion, focusing on a longer work of fiction (the novels/story collections are communicated at the beginning of the semester, everyone can then choose one). In a small group of experts (approx. 4-6 students, depending on the size of the group), who have all read the same novel/story collection and have studied it intensively beforehand, you will discuss the text and especially the images of Europe/ans in it.
I will provide discussion questions in advance for orientation and will moderate the conversation. All colleagues, i.e. also those who are not currently acting as experts in the round table, are invited to participate with questions and comments.

At the end of the semester (by 31 March 2022 at the latest), a final paper or poster (in English or German) must be submitted. The topic must be agreed with me in advance in the form of a short written proposal including a brief bibliography.

The final grade is therefore made up of four components:
1. active participation (15%)
2. participation as an expert in the round table (incl. written preparation and follow-up) (20%)
3. submission of a topic proposal including a short bibliography (15%),
4. submission of a paper or poster (50%)


The literature discussed during the semester. The theoretical and (shorter) fictional texts (narratives, short stories) that we discuss in the first units are compulsory for all to read / prepare. They will be provided on Moodle.

The (longer) primary works (novels, story collections) that are discussed in the round tables are to be read in full by the experts. Each student will be in the expert role once during the semester, i.e. one longer text per person is compulsory to be read in full.


Selection (preliminary):

Primary literature (most of the texts we read in excerpts):
* A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as Related by Himself (slave narrative, 1772)
* The History of Mary Prince (slave narrative, 1831)
* William Wells Brown: Three Years in Europe (travel narrative, 1852)
* Nella Larsen: Quicksand (novel, 1928)
* James Baldwin: Stranger in the Village (essay, 1953)
* Ama Ata Aidoo: Our Sister Killjoy: or Reflections from a Black-eyed Squint (novel, 1977)
* Bernadine Evaristo: Soul Tourists (novel, 2005)
* Chika Unigwe: On Black Sisters' Street (novel, 2007)
* Alice Endamne: Afropean (YA novel, 2008; French orig.: C’est demain qu’on s’fait la malle)
* Johny Pitts: Afropean. Notes from Black Europe (travelogue, 2019)

Secondary literature (this is an extended bibliography; we do not read all of these texts, I will announce the selection of compulsory texts in our first session):
* Edwards, Brent Hayes: “The Uses of Diaspora.” In: Social Text 66, 19/1 (2001), pp. 45–73.
* Gilroy, Paul: The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso 1993.
* Hall, Stuart: “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” In: Rutherford, Jonathan (ed.): Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. London: Lawrence & Wishart 1990, pp. 222–237.
* hooks, bell: “Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination.” In: Grossberg, Lawrence/Nelson, Cary/Treichler, Paula A. (eds.): Cultural Studies. New York: Routledge 1992, pp. 338–46.
* Leerssen, Joep: “Imagology: On Using Ethnicity to Make Sense of the World.” In: Iberic@l – Revue d’études ibériques et ibéro-américaines 10 (2016), pp. 13–31.
* Lorde, Audre: Dream of Europe. Selected Seminars and Interviews 1984–1992, ed. Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro. Chicago: Kenning Editions 2020.
* Oguntoye, Katharina/Opitz, May/Schultz, Dagmar (eds.): Showing Our Colors. Afro-German Women Speak Out. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press 1992.
* Olanıyan, Tejumola / Sweet, James H. (eds.): The African Diaspora and the Disciplines. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press 2010.
* Ponzanesi, Sandra: Diasporic Subjects and Migration. In: Thinking Differently. A Reader in European Women's Studies. Ed. by Gabriele Griffin and Rosi Braidotti. London/New York: Zed Books 2002, p. 205–220.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis


Letzte Änderung: Do 23.03.2023 00:18