Blackness as a Universal Claim. Contradictions of Solidarity and Research Practices in Constellations of Noncitizenship

Prof. Damani J. Patridge (U Michigan)

06/21/2023 10:00 am 12:30 pm

U Bremen GRA 2 0030

As we navigate the complexities of society, systemic racism, nationalism, and global migration remain at the forefront of our conversations. Damani J. Partridge’s ethnography, “Blackness as a Universal Claim: Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen Futures, and Black Power in Berlin” (2022), explores the intersection of race, history, memory, and contradictory systems of power in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the Cold War in Germany. Partridge investigates how Blackness is simultaneously claimed, denied, asserted while being shaped by historical traumas, political structures, and cultural practices. The methodology of “Blackness as a universal claim”, which we aim to better understand in this workshop, can be summarized as social research in the form of observational participation. Partridge examines Theater X in Berlin Moabit, a social, artistic and political space for noncitizens among others. He describes its significance as follows: “The theater not only takes on the questions of democracy, but also the questions of capitalism and living space. Inasmuch as it also involves the body, it does this not only in terms of abstract theoretical trajectories, but also as everyday practice” (Partridge, 2022, p. 28). This is a place to think about radical change, networks and to explore alternative narratives and aspirations for those marginalized by citizenship’s exclusions and restrictions. Together, we will discuss how to translate these methods and analytical perspectives into other research settings as well as talk about the difficulties of academically working within struggles for social liberation.

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“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka
every day

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Gisela Febel
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Kerstin Knopf
name contradiction

“Contradiction becomes real where someone names contradiction.”

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