Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora
Associate Professor of English Nadia Ellis examines the concept of African diasporic belonging as it comes into being through black expressive culture. Living in the diaspora, Ellis asserts, means existing between claims to land and imaginative flights unmoored from the earth — that is, living within the territories of the soul. Occupying this territory, being neither here nor there, creates in diasporic subjects feelings of loss, desire, and a sensation of a pull from elsewhere. Engaging with the work of Jose Muñoz, C.L.R. James, Nathaniel Mackey, James Baldwin, and others, and drawing upon queer and affect theory, Ellis shows how geographies claim diasporic subjects in ways that nationalist or masculinist tropes can never fully capture.
After an introduction by Jovan Scott Lewis (African American Studies and Geography), Ellis will speak briefly about her book and then open the floor for discussion.