Black (European) Studies

Mapping Academia

The panel on Black (European) Studies surveys the current state as well as the history of Black Studies in Europe and Germany, also in relation to the evolution of Black Studies in the United States. With Natasha Kelly, Peggy Piesche and Vanessa E. Thompson. Moderated by Mahret Ifeoma Kupka. The panel is part of the performative discussion event UNEXPECTED LESSONS – Decolonizing Memory and Knowledge, June 11-12 2021 at Academy of the Arts, Berlin, in Nairobi and online.

Black Studies can be defined as ‘’the study and critique of Western civilization’’ which also includes the imagining of new worlds and possible futures. A transdisciplinary liberation project, it encompasses arts and sciences and is strongly committed to struggles and epistemologies of liberation. Black Studies has always been about the production of counter hegemonic knowledge by Black and other multi-marginalized groups. Vanessa Thompson proposes the idea of Transnational or International Black Studies – with that concept in view, how to grasp Black (European) Studies? The panelists share their views and multifold experiences in their own work as scholars, artists and activists.

Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology with a research focus on colonialism and feminism. Born in the UK and bred in Germany the author, curator and lecturer has taught at numerous universities in Germany and Austria. In her publications e.g. »Afroism« (2008), »Sisters & Souls« (2015), »Afrokultur« (2016) and in her creative works she combines theory and praxis at the intersection of academia, art and society. Furthermore, she has been active for the Black German Community for several years. 

Peggy Piesche, born and raised in Arnstadt/ GDR, is a literary and Cultural Studies scholar. She is heading the department of political education and plural democracy at the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) with the main topics of diversity, intersectionality and decoloniality. She is also an activist at ADEFRA –„Schwarze Deutsche Frauen und Schwarze Frauen in Deutschland“ (Black German women and Black Women in Germany) and a board member of ASWAD (Association of the Worldwide Study of the African Diaspora).

Vanessa E. Thompson is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in comparative social and cultural anthropology at European University Viadrina, teaching and working in the fields of black studies (especially black social movements), critical racism studies, postcolonial feminism, critiques of policing and abolition. She has published on blackness and black movements in France and Europe more broadly, black abolitionist struggles and Fanonian thought. 


UNEXPECTED LESSONS – Panel Black (European) Studies – English
UNEXPECTED LESSONS – Panel Black (European) Studies – German