Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora
Logo by Corinne Stevie
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
February 8-9, 2013
Was it why I sometimes felt as weary of America as if I too had landed in what was now South Carolina in 1526 or in Jamestown in 1619? Was it the tug of all the lost mothers and orphaned children? Or was it that each generation felt anew the yoke of a damaged life and the distress of being a native stranger, an eternal alien?
—Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother
We are not the same. I am an alien.
—Lil’ Wayne, “Phone Home”
The conference, “Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora,” continues conversations initiated among members of the African American Studies Collective (AASC), at Emory University. The vision for the conference is rooted in the conference theme. Countering alienation on multiple levels, we envision an event that offers a progressive model of academic engagement. We envision a conference that will not only benefit and serve Emory students, but also local and global communities. To support of our vision, we have planned a dynamic event that provides equal access to intellectual engagement at Emory. The conference includes traditional academic conference components such as a keynote speaker and panels featuring standard academic papers. However, the event far exceeds the scope of typical graduate student-lead academic conferences. Among other things, our event features artistic performances, wellness seminars, political talk-show hosts, a DJ party, live online streaming of panels, continuous conference tweeting, and live blogging via google docs. As a progressive model of academic engagement, the “Alien Bodies” conference aims to provide equal access and opportunity to conference participants through provisions for child care, ability (including physical and mental), dietary allowances, economic need. Access extends to the inclusion of Emory undergraduate students as well as individuals and institutions from colleges, universities, and communities in the Atlanta-area and around the world.