Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation between scholars Tina Campt and Joshua Chambers-Letson who will join Malik Gaines to discuss his new book, Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible. In this transnational study, Gaines explores the legacies of leftist theater in performances of the 1960s. Attention to the roles played by Afro-German actor Günther Kaufmann in the early films of R.W. Fassbinder and Nina Simone’s revisions of Brecht/Weill materials offer examples of German engagement and influence in the era’s black politics.
Tina Campt is Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, and Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Barnard. Her books include Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and Listening to Images (Duke University Press, 2017).
Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of A Race So Different: The Making of Asian Americans in Law and Performance (NYU Press, 2013) and is co-editor of the “Sexual Cultures” series at NYU Press. His forthcoming book discusses Nina Simone and the work of minoritarian performance.
Malik Gaines is Assistant Professor of Performance Studies in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible (NYU Press, 2017) is his first book.
More information about the book: Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left illustrates the black political ideas that radicalized the artistic endeavors of musicians, playwrights, and actors beginning in the 1960s. These ideas paved the way for imaginative models for social transformation through performance. Using the notion of excess—its transgression, multiplicity, and ambivalence—Malik Gaines considers how performances of that era circulated a black political discourse capable of unsettling commonplace understandings of race, gender, and sexuality. Following the transnational route forged by W.E.B. Du Bois, Josephine Baker, and other modern political actors, from the United States to West Africa, Europe and back, this book considers how artists negotiated at once the local, national, and diasporic frames through which race has been represented.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!
"Kaufmann and Fassbinder, Brecht and Simone, and Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left" is a DAAD-sponsored event.