February 2, 2021

Register for the 2021 Writer’s Discussion Series

Join us this semester via Zoom teleconference for the 2021 edition of our Writer’s Discussion Series. All discussions are free and open to the public and take place at 3:30pm EST. Each year, we invite authors and scholars to share their newest research on topics in African American and African Diaspora history and culture. This year’s lineup will feature Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vasquez and Ricardo A. Wilson II.

2021 Writer’s Discussion Series: Yomaira Figuerao-Vásquez
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March 23, 2021, 3:30PM


Decolonizing Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Atlantic Literature

Mapping literature from Spanish-speaking sub-Saharan African and Afro-Latinx Caribbean diasporas, Decolonizing Diasporas argues that the works of diasporic writers and artists from Equatorial Guinea, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba offer new worldviews that unsettle and dismantle the logics of colonial modernity. With women of color feminisms and decolonial theory as frameworks, Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez juxtaposes Afro-Latinx and Afro-Hispanic diasporic artists, analyzing work by Nelly Rosario, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, Trifonia Melibea Obono, Donato Ndongo, Junot Díaz, Aracelis Girmay, Loida Maritza Pérez, Ernesto Quiñonez, Christina Olivares, Joaquín Mbomio Bacheng, Ibeyi, Daniel José Older, and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Figueroa-Vásquez’s study reveals the thematic, conceptual, and liberatory tools these artists offer when read in relation to one another.

About the Author

Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vasquez is an associate professor of global diaspora studies in the Department of English at Michigan State University.


2021 Writer’s Discussion Series: Ricardo A. Wilson

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April 1, 2021, 3:30PM


The Nigrescent Beyond: Mexico, the United States, and the Psychic Vanishing of Blackness

Despite New Spain’s significant participation in the early transatlantic slave trade, the collective imagination of the Mexican nation evolved in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to understand itself as devoid of a black presence. In The Nigrescent Beyond, Ricardo Wilson proposes a framework for understanding this psychic vanishing of blackness and thinks through how it can be used to both productively unsettle contemporary multicultural and post-racial discourses within the United States and further the interrogations of being and blackness within the larger field of black studies.

Ricardo A. Wilson II is an assistant professor in the Department of English and affiliate faculty in the Program in Comparative Literature at Williams College.