About this Project

This interdisciplinary project situates questions of black citizenship in a transnational and global context. Over the last two decades and particularly in the last five years, social movements in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and South Africa have called attention to the limits of legal inclusion in contexts where histories of slavery and colonialism have persistently conceived of blackness as a marker of non-citizenship. The faculty sponsors of this project examine how colonial and postcolonial states mark and define the boundaries of belonging and theorize the diverse practices citizens, activists, and artists employ to reimagine and rethink black citizenship. Understanding citizenship as legal entitlement to rights, as belonging, and as political, social, and cultural activity illustrates the multiple terrains on which black citizenship is contested. Through multi-method and interdisciplinary analyses of vulnerability and resistance to state violence in Latin America, music and cultural practices in the Caribbean, and the ideologies of imperial belonging in Africa and its diaspora, the faculty sponsors’ new research projects challenge contemporary scholarly notions of citizenship and work toward decentering a U.S.-based and binary model of racial inquiry.

Image: Warren Rohner via Flickr

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