Africa at Noon on October 12, 2016

“Enacting Africa: Neoliberalism and Politics of Global Presence”

Bayo Holsey
Associate Professor, Department of History
Rutgers University

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


This talk explores popular contemporary accounts about American travelers to West Africa. In it, I consider what the hypervisibility of certain African sites within American popular culture means for Western understandings of the continent. What are the genealogies and effects of using Africa as a stage for performances of American identities, both black and white? What pleasures do these performances provide? And how do they reflect and reinforce neoliberalism?


Bayo Holsey is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her research and writing address public culture and history in West Africa and the African diaspora. She is the author of Routes of Remembrance: Refashioning the Slave Trade in Ghana (University of Chicago Press, 2008), which won the Amaury Talbot Prize and the Toyin Falola Africa book award. Currently, she is completing a second book entitled Tyrannies of Freedom: Race, Power, and the Fictions of Late Capitalism. Professor Holsey received her PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University and previously taught in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.