Walsh School of Foreign Service

INAF 358 – Queer Africas

Kwame Otu

Tuesdays  12:30 pm – 3:00 pm

In this interdisciplinary undergraduate seminar, we will discuss what it means to “queer” Africa and what it means to “africanize” Queerness. First, we will explore how “Africa” shapes queerness and consider how “Africa,” which is simultaneously a geographic location and an idea, is inherently queer. Second, we will illuminate how the African (Black)/Queer body provides a glimpse into those worlds currently rendered impossible by what the radical African feminist, Patricia McFadden, describes as the “neoliberal and neocolonial collusion.” What does it mean to be Black and African in a highly racialized world? And what work does “queering” Africa do to retain Blackness and its myriad vitalities? Similarly, we will deliberate on the work that “africanizing” Queer—which has always been attached to whiteness—does to recover the blackness inherent to queerness. In sum, we will contend with how queering Africa amplifies the complexities animating Africanness in the face of global white supremacist capitalist-heteropatriarchy and the assault and siege this regime unleashes on Afro/Black queer lives.