Africa at Noon on April 3, 2013

Queering the African Diaspora

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

This Africa at Noon presentation is part of Gendering and Queering the African Diaspora, a workshop series presented by the African Diaspora and Atlantic World Research Circle.

I’m talkin’ bout Realness’: Performing Race and Gender in Ballroom Culture

Marlon Bailey
Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies
Indiana University-Bloomington


Marlon M. Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. His forthcoming book manuscript, Butch Queens up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit will be published by the University of Michigan Press in this spring. Butch Queens up in Pumps is a performance ethnography of the House/Ball community in Detroit MI. and throughout North America. Dr. Bailey’s essays have been published in Feminist Studies, Souls, The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services and in several book collections. Marlon’s essay “Engendering Space: Ballroom Culture and the Spatial Practice of Possibility in Detroit” will appear in the forthcoming Themed Issue, for which he is also the co-editor, entitled “Gender and Sexual Geographies of Blackness” for Gender, Place, and Culture: The Journal of Feminist Geography.

Bailey is the recent recipient of the Joan Heller Bernard Fellowship from the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CLAGS) in New York City. His is also co-winner of the Modern Language Association/GLQ Caucus’s Compton-Noll Prize for best article in LGBTQ Studies. Marlon holds a PhD in African American Studies with a designated emphasis in Gender, Women, and Sexuality from the University of California-Berkeley.


Marlon M. Bailey examines the system of gender and sexual subjectivities and the overall performance of gender and sexuality in Ballroom culture, a community and network of Black and Latino/a LGBT people in North America. Bailey theorizes gender system using the Ballroom community criterion of realness. Realness is the means by which the performances of racialized gender and sexual identities are created and judged at ball events. But, as Bailey also suggests, the performance of racialized gender realness, for example, is also how members of the Ballroom community unmark themselves as gender and sexual nonconforming subjects, a necessary strategy to avoid discrimination and violence in the urban space.

Queer Dimensions of Diaspora: Black Europe and African Diaspora Studies

Fatima El-Tayeb
Associate professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies & Associate Director of Critical Gender Studies
UC San Diego


Fatima El-Tayeb is Associate Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies and associate director of Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of two books, European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (University of Minnesota Press 2011) and Schwarze Deutsche. Rasse und nationale Identitaet, 1890-1933 (Black Germans. Race and National Identity, 1890-1933, Campus 2001), as well as of numerous articles on the interactions of race, gender, sexuality, and nation, most recently “’Gays Who Cannot Properly be Gay.’ Queer Muslims in the Neoliberal European City,” European Journal of Women’s Studies, February 2012 vol. 19 no. 1.


This talk makes two interrelated claims: 1) that the study of Europe can profit from a queer of color critique – in fact desperately needs it, and 2) that queer of color critique and African diaspora studies can profit from including a black European perspective.

Co-sponsored by the African Studies Program and the African Diaspora and Atlantic World Research Circle with support from the Anonymous Fund.