QDFCT Lecture | “There are no sharks in the sky”: Caribbean Identity and Black Positionality in Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m Yours] by Mayra Santos Febres

by Nicole Roberts (The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad) followed by a discussion with Jeanette Ehrmann (JLU).

The Research Network in Queer Studies, Decolonial Feminisms, and Cultural Transformations (QDFCT) invited you to this semester’s lecture by Nicole Roberts (The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad), “’There are no sharks in the sky:‘ Caribbean Identity and Black Positionality in Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m Yours] by Mayra Santos Febres.“ With the support of Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte of JLUthe lecture took place on the 27th November, between 2 – 4 pm in E207, Philosophikum II.

„Undeniably, much critical attention has been paid to the debate surrounding identity in the Caribbean and indeed it must be noted that Caribbean Cultural Studies is today an area which seeks to legitimise the narration of experiences by those who have lived such. My interest in this paper lies specifically with the representation of identity in the Hispanic Caribbean and on the ways in which contemporary Hispanic Caribbean narrative is a site in which constructions of alterity highlight the re-imaginations of identity. In Consuming the Caribbean, Mimi Sheller argues that the Caribbean is constantly caught up in a “politics of the picturesque.” Arguably then, how the Caribbean frames itself is of paramount importance.
In this paper, I make a close critical reading of the novel Cualquier miércoles soy tuya [Any Wednesday I’m yours] by the Afro-Hispanic, Puerto Rican writer Mayra Santos Febres. Set in contemporary Puerto Rico, the novel is a sort of fiction noir which recounts the transient life of the urban underworld in San Juan and in which two murders take place. My analysis aims to construct possible critical positions for Blacks in popular Caribbean culture and to suggest ways in which these can be viewed as sites of resistance. Throughout the novel, Santos Febres chronicles the experiences of the Caribbean people but perhaps most importantly she also presents Caribbean identity through defiant and at times compromising acts.“

Nicole Roberts obtained a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of Birmingham, England, UK. Presently a Senior Lecturer in Spanish Language and Hispanic Literature at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, she is also a translator. She is the current Head of the department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. She has published widely on race and ethnicity in the Hispanic Caribbean, and afro-hispanic literature and culture. Her recent publications include: Trinidad y Tobago/Cuba: Historia, Lengua y Literatura, co-edited with Armando García de la Torre and Mauricio Núñez Rodríguez, Aduana Vieja Press, 2018 and Border Crossings: A Trilingual Anthology of Caribbean Women Writers, co-edited with Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Jamaica: The University of the West Indies Press, 2012.


QDFCT Lecture | “Feminists and indigenous struggles in Brazil and artistic contexts”

by Flavia Meireles (following discussion with Professor Bojana Kunst)


The lecture addressed some contemporary relationships between grassroots social movements in Brazil and artistic contexts. What can be the connections between artistic activity and social transformation? What are the challenges of the work of the artist facing neoliberal production of subjectivity? Is there a way out of not being trapped in patriarchal, racial and colonial late capitalism? What are the new forms of exploitation and abuse of work?

Focusing on the urban indigenous struggle and the contemporary feminists claims in Rio de Janeiro (BR) Flavia Meireles pointed out some issues of claiming social justice in Latin American context and how art has an ambivalent position when it deals with its social dimensions.

Flavia Meireles (lecturer) is Full Dance Professor at CEFET-RJ (Brazil) and Ph.D. Candidate in Communication and Culture at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She is visiting researcher of the Angewandte Theaterwissenchaft (ATW) at Justus-Liebeg Universität (Giessen) with a scholarship from CAPES – Brasil. The present work was realized with the support of „Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior“ – Brasil (CAPES).

Forschung als politisches Projekt: Kritische Ansätze politischer Forschung am Beispiel Trans Studies

                               Persson Perry Baumgartinger (Mozarteum & Universität Salzburg)


The lecture series “Queer and Feminist Approaches in the Study of Coloniality and Racism” organized by the Research Network in Queer Studies, Decolonial Feminisms and Cultural Transformations (QDFCT) continues this semester with three more presentations. With the support of Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte of JLU and the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Persson Perry Baumgartinger (Mozarteum & Universität Salzburg) held the last lecture of the series, „Forschung als politisches Projekt: Kritische Ansätze politischer Forschung am Beispiel Trans Studies“ on the 6th of February. 

„Warum wird manche Forschung anerkannt, andere  nicht? Ist es von Vorteil für eine Forschungsrichtung, sich zu disziplinieren, um eine Wissenschaftsdisziplin zu werden? Auf wessen Kosten? Wer profitiert davon? Wie steht es mit der Bildung eines Kanons? Welche Rolle spielen dabei Lehrende oder Bibliotheken? Was ist mit dem (Verwaltungs-)Apparat der Akademia, dem Management, den Finanzstellen etc.? Was bedeutet es, wenn eine Person nicht mit gewähltem Vornamen und Geschlecht unterrichten kann? Wie kann vermieden werden, dass sich aktivistische Forschungsrichtungen mehr und mehr vom Aktivismus entfernen? Kann eine Forschungsrichtung in einer so hierarchisch und machtvoll strukturierten Institution wie der Akademia überhaupt kritisch bleiben? Und wenn ja, wie?
Die Fragen scheinen endlos. Die Liste ist lang und es gibt noch viel Raum für Alternativen. Am 6. Februar gehe ich auf einige Überlegungen zu kritischer, politischer Forschung am Bespiel der Trans Studies ein und freue mich besonders auf einen gemeinsamen Austausch alternativer Möglichkeiten.“

Persson Perry Baumgartinger ist Senior Scientist am universitätsübergreifenden Kooperationsschwerpunkt Wissenschaft & Kunst (Salzburg) sowie selbständig tätig als Lektor & Trainer. Seine Schwerpunkte sind aktivistische Forschung, diskriminierungskritische Sprache, Trans Studies, Kritische Diskursanalyse,  Sozialgeschichte, Diversity, zeitgenössische Kunst & Kulturproduktion sowie Trans–Arts. Im Rahmen des Doktorats war er assoziiert an das Graduiertenkolleg „Geschlecht als Wissenskategorie“ und Gastwissenschaftler an der HU Berlin sowie Visiting Fellow der Universität Bern. 2017 hat er seine Dissertation zu „Staatlicher Regulierung von Trans“ abgeschlossen, die mit mehreren Preisen ausgezeichnet wurde. Im gleichen Jahr erschien sein Einführungsbuch „Trans Studies„. Seine Forschungserkenntnisse setzt er in diversen künstlerischen Praktiken sowie in der Erwachsenenbildung um, diese Prozesse wiederum informieren seine wissenschaftlichen Tätigkeiten. Seit 2006 etwa hat er im Rahmen des Vereins ][diskursiv diverse Aktionen und Forschungen durchgeführt, u.a. entstand eine Studie zu TransPersonen am österreichischen Arbeitsmarkt sowie der zweitägige Workshop „TransGender Studies“ in Wien (in Kooperation mit dem Referat Genderforschung, Universität Wien). Weiters ist er Begründer des kritischen Lexikonprojektes „queeropedia“.


HERstories: What happened to Marielle Franco? Lecture by Katucha Bento 

Marielle Franco was born in July 1979 in the Maré favela complex, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A mother, with Masters in Public Administration, self-identified as bisexual, the 5th most voted council woman in Rio de Janeiro, Marielle Franco raised the Human Rights issue against the militarisation of the favelas in the city. On the 14th March 2018 she was assassinated, along with her driver, Anderson Gomes. Some questions remain unanswered: Who killed Marielle and Anderson? How can we seek Justice for their deaths? However, Brazilian population have been responding to the genocide of Black people with strategies that can be seen in the last elections with more presence of Black women elected. This lecture will cover the HERstory of Marielle Franco to portray how intersectional oppressions are present in the Brazilian setting, as well the voices of resistance that have been flourishing. Topics on police brutality, the increase of Black women in the politics and Queer performativity will be the focus of this discussion.
Katucha Bento studied her BA in Sociology and Politics at the Foundation School of Sociology and Politics of Sao Paulo (FESPSP, Brazil) with a partial grant from a project called Políticas da Cor (Politics of Colour) funded by Ford Foundation. Before her MA she was involved in Educational projects, activism and teaching. Her MA programme was in Sociological Research at the University of Barcelona (UB, Catalonia). During this time, she worked as a researcher in two projects: one about migration flow in six different countries in Europe, the other with Transgender Women in Spain analysing the public Heath Care during their transition. Her MA research was on the construction of white lesbian desire challenging paradigms of whiteness and the possibilities of activism in the LGBTQI community. She is currently finishing her PhD on how the (post)colonial British setting affects Black Brazilian Women diasporic experiences. She is a visiting researcher at Leeds Beckett University, in the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality (CRED) and associated in QDFCT at the Justus-Liebig-Universitat in Giessen.



The Research Network in Queer Studies, Decolonial Feminisms and Cultural Transformations (QDFCT) is happy to document the conversation event „20th Century Left Feminisms: A Decolonial Reading“ from the 7th of November, at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC).
With the support of Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragte of JLU, Carole Boyce Davies (Cornell University) and Rhoda Reddock (The University of West Indies) joint us at the event. Carole Boyce Davies is a professor of English and Africana Studies. She has held distinguished professorships at a number of institutions, including the Herskovits Professor of African Studies and Professor of Comparative Literary Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994) and Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008). Rhoda Reddock is Professor of Gender and Development and Head of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies. Her academic career included positions at Cipriani Labour College and at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague as well as the Institute for Social and Economic Research and the Department of Sociology, UWI St. Augustine campus. She was actively involved in the process leading up to the institutionalisation of gender studies at UWI and assumed her current position in 1994. Her publications include seven books, three monographs, four special journal issues and over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.