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Freiburger Afrikagespräche: Onookome Okome - Contemporary racism and the rest of us

”Donald Trump, former President of the United States of America, gave a speech during which he said, among other incendiary things, "Why are we allowing these people from shit-hole countries to come here?" Although not directly meant for the general public, this utterance, as always, questions Black presence in the US, more specifically recent Haitian migrants looking to make the good life in America, "the land of the free." Describing people of African descent in this manner is common, uncensored. This is not unique to this President. Indeed, anti-Black sentiments have always been part of the linguistics map of the Americas for over 600 years. Perhaps, what is unique about former President Trump’s declaration is the brazenness of the utterance of what has always been the dinner-table banter. Not surprisingly, the descriptor, “shit-hole,” comes with associations that are political and cultural; political because it panders to presumed sense of white superiority, and cultural because it is taken from the playbook of this history of linguistic violence against people of African descent. In this presentation, I will briefly investigate the cultural history of this linguistic violence by privileging personal and anecdotal evidence of its persistence in Canada. Prefacing iteration of this language register in the works of three major European authors allows me to show patterns in the use of linguistic violence against black bodies in historical and political perspective. My hope is not only to track the continuity of this violence but also to provide practical evidence if its persistency in contemporary time.” (Text: Onookome Okome)
Wann 25.01.2022
von 20:00 bis 22:00
Wo Zoom
Termin übernehmen vCal


Onookome Okome is currently full Professor of Anglophone Literature and Cinema at the Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He was formally at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. He trained at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, where he earned the Masters and PhD degrees in Theatre and Cinema studies. Dr. Okome researches and publishes in the fields of African literature, African and Third world cinemas, critical race and Fanonian studies as well as African popular literatures. A pioneer in Nollywood Studies, he has written extensively on this popular cinema. His recent publications include Global Nollywood: The Transnational Dimensions of An African Video Film Industry (with Matthias Krings, 2013), Popular Culture In Africa: the Episteme of the Everyday (with Stephanie Newell, 2014) and "Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption (The Screen Reader: The History, Theory, and Culture of the Screen, 2017).


Moderation: Prof. Dr. Andreas Mehler, Direktor Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut



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