Alice Goffman’s On the Run—Subjecting Black Life to Scholarly Scrutiny

Read here Christina Sharpe's take on Alice Goffman's new book: On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City—which came out to rave reviews internationally, including long most positive articles in DIE ZEIT, SUEDDEUTSCHE and other European press. Sharpe's article is entitled: "Black Life, Annotated." Click here. For further reading on this topic, click here.

The Biannual CAAR Conference in Liverpool is Coming up

Our biannual conference is approaching quickly. It will be held in Liverpool at Liverpool Hope University, UK, on June, 24-28, 2015. Click here for the Call for Papers. Click here for the conference website.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 12, 2014:

"Ausgelöst wurden die Unruhen am Samstag in einem überwiegend von Afro-Amerikanern bewohnten Vorort von St. Louis, als ein Polizist einen unbewaffneten schwarzen Jugendlichen erschoss. Dieser soll den Beamten laut Polizei während einer Auseinandersetzung in sein Dienstfahrzeug gedrängt haben. Zeugen berichteten hingegen, der Jugendliche habe sich ergeben und zum Zeitpunkt seiner Erschießung die Hände in die Höhe gehalten. "

"The unrest broke out on Saturday in a predominantly African-American suburb of St. Louis when a policeman fatally shot an unarmed teenager. The teenager, according to police allegations, pushed himself - in a wrangle with one of the policemen in the car - into the police car. Witnesses report, however that the teenager surrendered and - at the moment of being shot - had his hands in the air." (my translation)

That makes me think of Hortense Spillers, again, in an article long time ago, quoting African-American wisdom.:”Sticks and stones might break our bones but words will certainly kill us.”  “Sich ergeben” - SURRENDER? Was this a war? Who were the warring parties? Why would the kid have to “surrender” - walking down his own neighborhood? Enemies have to “surrender” - the teenager, we white readers who the FAZ banks on, we thus learn, was by force of being who he was, an enemy of the police. Even a German self-proclaimed liberal newspaper buys that story by using this phrase, cementing the logic of white against black undeclared warfare… what did Michael Brown have to give up other than his bare life?  “Erschießung” in German, a perfect euphemism: the being shot. SHOT? Killed is more the word, lynched while black. “SICH ERGEBEN” and Erschießung speak of the complete and lethal absence of civil contract. What investments does the German press have in consolidating this absence - preparing for similar situations with black Lampedusa refugees claiming space in German cities’neighborhoods? Killing that space, and its possible claimants with words before it has even been demanded.

August 13, 2014 / weserhagblog|sabinebroeck

Projects, Publications, Events

  • CAAR conference, Liverpool Hope University, UK, 24-28 June 2015. The Website is up and running: Click here.
  • CfP: After Revolutions: Versions and Re-Visions of Haiti. UCLAN, Preston, 9–10 July 2015. Click here.
  • Publication Announcement: Arriving in the Future: Stories of Home and Exile, by Asoka Esuruoso & Philipp Khabo Koepsell. This is a 252 page volume of poetry and creative writing by twenty-five Black writers, poets, and activists in Germany.
  • Fountainhead Tanz Theâtre. Black International Cinema Berlin Anniversary 2015. Click here.
  • New Publication: Amy Kirschke. Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance, 2014, featuring essays that explore how a system of patronage and sexism marginalized some remarkable visual artists. 
  • Conference Announcement and CfP: Approaching Blackness. HU Berlin, Nov 13-15, 2014. Click here.
  • Institute for Black Atlantic Research (at the University of Central Lancashire, UK) launches their new website. Check it out at
  • Bremen Black Studies/University Library Bremen proudly announce that they have acquired "Black Europe - sounds and images of black people in Europe pre 1927." This exceptional collection - of which there are only 500 copies availabe wordwide - consists of 44 CDs and two books and is now available to students and researchers. Click here to view the collection and here for the catalogue of the university library Bremen. Click here for an interview with Rainer E. Lotz, who is the discographer of the collection (in German).