Over the Rainbow: Black Studies, Black Struggle, and the Neoliberal Turn

Tuesday, 27 June, 2017 - 18:00

WiSER is delighted to announce a public lecture presented by
Professor Robin Kelley
Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA and the author of Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
Over the Rainbow: Black Studies, Black Struggle, and the Neoliberal Turn
Introduced by Victoria Collis-Buthelezi and chaired by Bongani Madondo

This lecture will link two moments of insurgency on college campuses, mostly in the US but also in other places—those of the 1980s-90s and recent black protests. Although the earlier moment was  the height of liberal multiculturalism, anti-apartheid, anti-imperialist opposition in Central America and Southern Africa and environmental justice movements, it was also the era of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement),  prison expansion, and policies that accelerated class, gender and racial inequality.  This period also marked the defeat of the Rainbow Coalition, the Left internationalist politics of the 1980s, the collapse of communism, the apparent victory over apartheid, and the triumph of  neoliberalism.  By the end of the ‘90s, the political shifts were mainstreamed and, in some instances, stripped Black Studies of its radical agenda, leaving many of us ill-equipped to respond to recent insurgencies, and elements of the black student movement without an internationalist perspective, an analysis of class, and a radical critique of power.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017
WiSER Seminar Room
6th floor, Richard Ward Building, East Campus, Wits University
The lecture will be followed by a reception at WiSER.