“A Language to Dwell In”: James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions

Hat tip: Angela Shaw

AUP is proud to announce its upcoming conference “A Language to Dwell In”: James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions from 26-28 May 2016.

The conference will represent a broad international and interdisciplinary explorations of Baldwin’s life and writing, with a special emphasis on the Paris he inhabited, both what it was and what it is today as a result of the marks he left behind, and on his experiences in Europe, Africa, and Turkey. Stressing the importance of James Baldwin, the conference hopes to be an international point of intersection for all those interested in Baldwin’s writing from literary and cultural critics, to political activists, poets, musicians, publishers and historians.  We seek the widest range of academic and public intellectual discussion around Baldwin’s work which has influenced so many and so much.

Opening Round Table Discussants:

  • D. Quentin Miller, Suffolk University, Boston
  • Doug Field, Manchester University
  • Claudine Reynaud, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier
  • Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary University, London
  • Cora Kaplan, Queen Mary University, London

Plenary Speakers:

 “A Language to Dwell In”: James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions “A Language to Dwell In”: James Baldwin, Paris, and International Visions

  • Bill Mullen, Purdue University
  • Robert Reid-Pharr, CUNY Graduate Center
  • James Campbell, Baldwin Biographer

Call for Papers

The American University of Paris announces a call for papers for the International James Baldwin Conference to be held 26-28 May 2016 at the American University of Paris. Other Paris venues crucial to Baldwin’s experience of the city will be used as additional settings, thus taking conference participants into “Baldwin’s Paris.”

The Conference encourages broad international and interdisciplinary exploration of Baldwin’s life and writing, with emphasis on the Paris he inhabited (intermittently from 1948 onwards), both for what it was and for what it is today as a result of the marks he left behind. An emphasis on his versatility in terms of style, genre and socio-political concerns is also of primary concern. Stressing the importance of Baldwin’s life, work and literary relations, the conference will be an intersection for all those interested in Baldwin’s work: from literary and cultural critics, to scholars of gender and queer theory, to political activists, poets, filmmakers, historians and musicians as well. We seek a wide range of academic and public discussions which can engage with Baldwin’s work.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Baldwin and Expatriate Paris: Friends and Enemies
  • Baldwin as a Global Explorer: The Fire Yet Again?
  • Global Influence: Baldwin’s Work in Non-U.S. Settings
  • Baldwin in a Post-Racial Imaginary
  • Baldwin and Genre
  • Baldwin and Literary Journalism
  • Baldwin and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Teaching Baldwin Today
  • Baldwin and the Other Arts

Proposal for papers should include:

  1. A brief (250-300 word) abstract
  2.  A one to two page vita.

Submissions to Alice Craven at acraven@aup.edu and William Dow at wdow@aup.edu

Deadline for Submissions: December 1, 2015.


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Arlette Bomahou, 2 World champion titles and 2-time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014.

92470A0C B235 4C71 85DF5D823CDE17E7 W630 H403 Arlette Bomahou, 2 World champion titles and 2 time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014.

Arlette Bomahou is a 39 years French native lady living in Dublin, Ireland for the past 9 years, She is a full time student in digital and social media marketing in Blackrock Further Education Institute. She works part time looking after social media marketing for Tony Quinn Health centre.

Arlette is a member of the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association since August 2013, and member of the Dundrum South Athletic club since November 2013

Experience in training:

10 years of weight training and 1 year of strength & conditioning

Qualification in Sports:

Level 3 Gym instructor and Level 4 Personal trainer certificate recognized by REP in May/June 2014

75E9495D C122 4D84 AC4003B5F84FC161 Arlette Bomahou, 2 World champion titles and 2 time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014.

In her own words:

Who I am.

I am 39 years old, born in North of France in Caen in 1975. My mother is from Togo and my father from Benin they both moved to France in the 70’s to study French.

When I was a teenager I was very good at sport but didn’t take it seriously. I was practicing athletics and basket-ball. My dream was to be an air hostess and live in the states. Michael Jordan and Carl Lewis were my ultimate heroes. I was big into Madonna too, I wish I could be as extroverted as she was as an artist. I always felt I would live abroad or travel a lot. I was always fascinated about foreign languages and cultures.

My passion for sport and foreign languages took me to Amsterdam where I lived for nearly 6 years. I worked for Nike and loved it then I decided to move to Ireland to discover a new country and culture. After 9 years living in Ireland I am still enjoying it and hope to raise a family here.

Reason why I decided to get into power lifting:

I have been doing weight training for the past 10 years in order to get into better shape and live a healthier life style. It has helped me to lose up to 10 kg but more importantly to improve my body shape and level of fitness. If it was not for my personal trainer Adrian Quinn with whom I have been working since 2010, I would never have tried to compete in Power lifting.

He saw potential in me I was not aware of. In 2011 he suggested that I should compete, but I didn’t have enough confidence back then. In August this year I turned 38 years old and I decided I needed to achieve something for myself before I turned 40. So I jumped in at the deep end by participating in my first competition in Cork in August 2013 in the Mardyke stadium. Since then I fell in love with this sport.

 My achievements to date:

EC402997 A4A1 4695 B0B93BE042994D59 Arlette Bomahou, 2 World champion titles and 2 time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014.

World champion title in Dusseldorf in Single World championship on Sunday 8th June 2014, broke World record in division equipped deadlift with 162.5kg, Silver medal in unequipped deadlift with 167.5kg

World Champion title in Glasgow in full power World Championship on Saturday 2d November 2013 (Squats: 102.5 kg, Bench press: 62.5kg and deadlift 160kg)

European champion title in full power Championship in Belfast on Saturday 10th May 2014 (Squats: 100 kg, Bench press: 57.5 kg and deadlift 165kg)

European champion title in single lift Championship in Gorey co. Wexford on Saturday 13th September 2014. Broke World record in equipped division with Deadlift @ 175 kg

From 12 – 28 June 2015, Arlette will be a volunteer at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, involving more than 6,000 athletes from the National Olympic Committees of Europe across 17 days of competition, in what will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history.

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NollywoodWeek Paris is back for it’s second edition showcasing the best of Nollywood in France.

The second edition takes place from Thursday June 5th to Sunday June 8th 2014 in Paris at l’Arlequin Theatre, between the Latin Quarter and Montparnarsse.

The official selection for 2014 (in alphabetical order):

  1. Confusion Na Wa directed by Kenneth Gyang
  2. Flower Girl directed by Michelle Bello
  3. Half of a Yellow Sun directed by Biyi Bandele
  4. Journey to Self directed by Tope Oshin Ogun
  5. The Meeting directed by Mildred Okwo
  6. Misfit directed by Daniel Emeke Oriahi

All films, including Opening and Closing Night, are 7 euros. You can purchase individual tickets on FNAC (a few weeks prior to the event) or directly at the theatre the day of the screening.

Passes are also available for 39 euros. Discounts apply if purchasing the pass early or in pack of two (Pass Duo). Purchase your pass.

UGC and Ecrans de Paris cards are accepted.

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Feeding the spirit in France – Erica found a way

In a new series of articles, black women living in Europe share their views from the inside. In our seventh article, Erica Smith-Escassut found a way to feed her spirit in France.

Over the past few years of living here I have made a few observations.  The most striking one for me was when I arrived in France,  December 1999 to live and establish a long-term relationship/partnership with my beau, as I would describe him to my grandmother.

I noticed in a previous visit that Spring that there was something missing in the overall air of the environment, but without fully understanding the language I could only feel that something was missing. I could not hear,  nor read about what it was until several months later. Upon my return and further investigation,  the gig was up. I tired to understand if it was just local, or generational, or just by household, which is a discussion for a whole ‘nother day. May be it was just a fluke in the media: tv, newspapers, films, radio. What was it that I felt was lacking? What did I notice? Other than the lack of brown peoples in the media–people that represented the French population that I saw on the streets every day in Toulouse and Paris, what was it?

A Spiritual connection of the God/Creator kind.

It seemed as if the grandiose cathedral-like local churches were only attended by a handful who were 70 and over, walking that fine line between life and the thereafter. However, there were exceptions like the  sprightly, elderly gentleman who would tip his hat when we greet each other in the street and a large devout Vietnamese family. They had enough children to sing in the 5 person choir and play various accompanying instruments. The two youngest in the family are still on to lead the church in song and at least one of them still plays a flute to accompany the organist. They seem to have it, but what happened to the rest of the people?

My soul became hungry. I wondered did others have this same hunger. Did they even feel hungry for something greater, for the intangible, the unexplainable?  Was it from their lack of solid educational programming like Sesame Street? And why was their second national anthem O Happy Day? Did they even know what that song was really about?

I was not going to let my soul starve on the account of others lack of interest or disregard or the feeling that this subject was irreverent and more taboo than sex and open drug usage.

Finding love in a hopeless place, in pop culture, is easier and less confusing  than finding God or even one’s soul in a laïque country such as France. Even the definition of laïque is contradictory, so it would only be normal that the population would be just as intellectually confused about it all and capable of spiritually starving to death without even knowing it, and opening doors to all sorts of other kinds of mayhem.

Laïcite established in France in 1958 is “simply” the separation of church and state in which the church cannot be involved in administrative or political roles. However when looking at the word Laïque, in the church, from what I understand is  faithful follower of Christ , through their baptism, incorporated into the body of Christ and becomes a member of the household of God, by also being members of the church, which represents the lifeline of the world. Or at least that’s how I translated it from a religious website. Simply put, they are the lay members of the church.

But with the first reference to Laïcite it removes religious expression and even discussion of from the classroom. So it wasn’t just the teachers who were not allowed to discuss religious practices to a certain extent, but students were stripped of their freedom to wear veils, crosses, yarmulkes or any religious paraphernalia, in the 2000’s. To me it felt as an unnecessary removal of otherness from every vestige of French society that could remind the majority of the minorities ability to be French and something else. As if taking away the ability for immigrants to practice their professions here weren’t enough they also took a freedom of religious expression, in the administrative workplace and school yard. This only could have lead to the fanaticism that is seen among teens today. No religious expression at school but they can wear caps, t-shirts and jackets with the brand Comme da Fuckdown embroidered across the front in gold lettering.

Oh, but I’m sure you’re wondering how I kept my soul from going hungry? Well, I had the opportunity to host a gospel radio program in French from 2003-2007. Music has an amazing way of maintaining spiritual connections and develop relationships…

NB: By  the way that reference to Sesame Street is not far off in dealing with other aspects of society that involve innovation, creativity and independence as one may think. But that’s a thought for another day.

Erica Feeding the spirit in France   Erica found a way

Erica Smith-Escassut was born and raised in Baton Rouge, La. She moved to France 14  years ago. She’s married and has two children. She has been dabbling in radio broadcasting, writing, and figuring out ways to get paid to be herself & help others along the way.

Next month Laura Bazile examines business networking as an entrepreneur in Europe.





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Miss Orleans Flora Coquerel is Miss France 2014

Source: Yahoo! News

Flora Coquerel AFP Photo by Philippe Desmazes AFP File Miss Orleans Flora Coquerel is Miss France 2014

Flora Coquerel – AFP Photo by Philippe Desmazes / AFP / File

Before the competition, Coquerel, whose mother is from Benin in West Africa, told France 3 television that she believed her mixed heritage was an advantage.

“It shows that today’s France is a mixed France, where there is every culture, and I think a lot of people will see themselves in me,”

she said.

Her victory came amid concern over a series of racist incidents in France, including slurs against the country’s top black politician, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has been compared to a monkey several times in recent months.

In her first post-pageant press conference, Coquerel suggested her victory was a evidence of France’s acceptance of different backgrounds.

Read the full story on Yahoo! News.

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7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

Thank you for the reminder Angela Shaw. Every year I say I am going to take this course one summer. I have to ensure that it comes to pass.

BE 300x198 7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

7th Annual Summer School on Black Europe
Interrogating Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations

Amsterdam, Netherlands – June 23 – July 4, 2014

The Summer School on Black Europe is an intensive two week course offered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 7th annual Summer School on Black Europe will take place from June 23rd to July 4th, 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in collaboration with The Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues (Barcelona, Spain).*

The Summer School on Black Europe will be held at:

International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)
Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The overall goal of this course is to examine the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora (and “other” immigrants of color) in Europe. We will focus on and discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies, social organizations and legislation today. This course will begin with a historical overview of the African Diaspora in Europe that traces the involvement of European nations in the colonization of the Americas. We will address the migration and settlement of Blacks in Europe, and examine immigration and citizenship laws that regulated their settlement. We will also look at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries. We compare the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification. Historically, social forces and social movements within Europe have given rise to policies to combat racism. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath. In addition, we will explore notions of Blackness as official categorization; as a social construction employed by the dominant groups to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. In this way, we examine the social mobilization of Blacks to resist domination.

The above issues will be considered in light of the immediacy of contemporary global and European forces, including competing issues and discourses on Islamophobia, increased non-Black migration into and across Europe, and the debt crisis in the European Union.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; issues such as global racisms, everyday racism and epistemic racism; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity. To this effect guest speakers for the 2013 program will be drawn from Germany, Italy and Portugal for case studies in those countries.

Affiliated Faculty Members include:


(More Faculty Info)



The tuition for this course is € 1600 (or € 1300 without housing) .

Tuition includes housing, the opening reception, lunches on all class days, weekly get-togethers with faculty, a course reader, a public transportation pass, and travel costs and entrance to museums and exhibitions during excursions (excluding an optional excursion to Paris).

The Paris excursion includes participation in a workshop on Migration and Social Movements at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris.

Tuition does not include travel to and from Amsterdam.

For more information over the Summer School, please email:
blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com

K. Nimako, Director
Email: obee [at] telfort.nl

Mano Delea, Project Manager
Email: mano.delea [at] gmail.com

Camilla Hawthorne, Coordinator North America
Email: camilla.hawthorne [at] Berkeley.edu

Giovanni Picker, Coordinator East/Central Europe & Russia
Email: giovanni.picker [at] gmail.com


About the Center

logo dialogo global 7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE


DIÀLEG GLOBAL (Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting research, knowledge-making, education (through seminars, workshops, exhibits, round-tables discussions, publications and video-making) and public policy to invent and work towards non-competitive horizons of life, of socio-economic organization and international relations. Non-profit and non-governmental organizations emerge from within civil and political society to address issues that are not supported or attended to by government and corporations. Their function is crucial in building futures that are beyond the regulations of States or the needs of the Corporations. In order for civil and political society to become relevant actors in social transformation and pointing out the limits of corporate values and state regulation, it is necessary to create institutions of knowledge-making not at the service of the state or corporations, but to the benefit of the civil society.

For further inquiries and information, please send e-mail to blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com.
Find us also on Facebook!

During the Summer School, we will also be hosting the International Symposium on Black Europe 2014. The 2013 Symposium on Black Europe was titled, Inside Black Europe: Racial Configurations in the Post 9/11 Era (in Europe). Click here for information on the 2012 Symposium.


* Previous sessions of the Summer School on Black Europe were organized in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National Institute for the study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

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