SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Reimagining Liberation
Annette Joseph-Gabriel

Date: 11 February 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 11 February 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

Black women living in the French empire played a key role in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. As thinkers and activists, these women lived lives of commitment and risk that landed them in war zones and concentration camps and saw them declared enemies of the state.

Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonialist endeavors of seven women. Though often overlooked today, Suzanne Césaire, Paulette Nardal, Eugénie Éboué-Tell, Jane Vialle, Andrée Blouin, Aoua Kéita, and Eslanda Robeson took part in a forceful transnational movement. Their activism and thought challenged France's imperial system by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.

About the Author

Annette Joseph-Gabriel is a scholar working at the intersection of French and Afro-diasporic culture, literature, and politics. She conducts research and teaches courses on race, gender, and citizenship in France, the Caribbean, and Africa. Her areas of expertise include Black women’s writings, anticolonial activism, and slavery in the French Atlantic. Her work centers the voices and experiences of Black women thinkers and activists and shows how their contributions can offer us new ways to think about contemporary cultural and political questions.

Dr. Joseph-Gabriel is an assistant professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She holds a B.A. (cum laude) in Comparative Literature from Williams College and a Ph.D. in French with a graduate certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies from Vanderbilt University. Her research has been supported by awards from several organizations and institutions including the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages, the American Philosophical Society, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Chair: Dr Awino Okech, Reader at the Centre of Gender Studies

Registration

This event is open to the public, however registration is required. Online Registration

Organiser: SOAS Centre of African Studies

Contact email: cas@soas.ac.uk