Donnerstag, 29. Juni 2023, 18:00 - 20:00 iCal

The 6th Vienna Lecture in Canadian Studies

Lecture by Dr. Andrea A. Davis (York University, Toronto): Black Women's (Im)Mobilities: Memory, History and Diasporic Entanglements

Schreyvogelsaal, Institut für Theater-, Film und Medienwissenschaft
Hofburg, Batthyanystiege, 1010 Wien


In 2016, the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Vienna has initiated lecture series entitled “Vienna Lectures in Canadian Studies / Conférences de Vienne en Études Canadiennes” (VLCS), which is hosted annually by one of the Centre’s two directing departments: English and American Studies or Romance Studies. This will be the 6th lecture in the series.

This year's Vienna Lecture in Canadian Studies is organized in partnership with the "Mobile Cultures and Societies: Interdisciplinary Studies on Transnational Formations" Research Platform, the “GAIN - Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities” Research Platform, and the Embassy of Canada to Austria.

In this conversation, Andrea A. Davis theorizes a raced and gendered understanding of Black women’s diasporic histories in Canada that unsettles the construction of Canada’s exceptional multicultural democracy through a refusal of the terms of competitive citizenship and a demand for a future now. Extending the work of Tina Campt, Davis proposes the concept of the future now as a lived practice of relational social justice and examines how this mode of Black livingness is narrated, visualized and made audible by a wide range of Black women artist-activists. Specifically mapping the desire for a future now on to the tropes of the horizon, sea, and sound, the talk narrates both the frustrated hope and relentless hopefulness of Caribbean and African women in their various diasporic journeys through close readings of the fiction and poetry of Caribbean and Canadian writers, including Esi Edugyan, Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip and Grace Nichols. Incorporating diaspora theories, Black feminist criticism, social and cultural history, personal reflection and autobiography, Davis seeks to offer a complex and nuanced examination of Caribbean and African women’s locations in and beyond nation states, revealing the ways in which these women reinvent, reimagine and rearticulate their present and future possibilities.

Dr Andrea A. Davis is Professor of Black Cultures of the Americas in the Department of Humanities at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her research is rooted in anti-racism feminism and analyzes questions of race and gender through a focus on the literary and cultural productions of Black women. Her most recent book, Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean and African Women’s Cultural Critiques of Nation (2022) imagines new reciprocal relationships among Black, Indigenous and other racialized women, and offers new reflections on the relationship between the Caribbean and Canada.

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Department of English and American Studies


Marta Werbanowska
Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna