Black Women’s (Im)Mobilities: Memory, History and Diasporic Entanglements

29.06.2023 18:00

Vienna Lecture in Canadian Studies #6

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 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 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 Black Cultures of the Americas in the Department of Humanities at York University in Toronto and Academic Convenor of the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences to be held at York. Prior to this role, she was inaugural Special Advisor on the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies' Anti-Black Racism Strategy (2020-2021). A former Canadian commonwealth scholar, Dr. Davis earned a BA in English and Spanish Literatures from the University of the West Indies (Mona) and MA and PhD degrees in English at York University.  Dr. Davis' research is rooted in anti-racist 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.

Schreyvogelsaal, Hofburg, Batthyanystiege (dome next to Michaelerplatz, staircase to the right of the Sisi Museum, 1st floor)