What I Am Thinking About Now: Itohan Osayimwese, "Armchair Safaris: Representations of the African Diaspora at 21st Century Zoos"

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), Lippitt House

Please join us on Tuesday, February 28, 12-1pm for a "What I Am Thinking About Now" presentation from Itohan Osayimwese, Assistant Professor of History of Art & Architecture. Her talk is titled, "Armchair Safaris: Representations of the African Diaspora at 21st Century Zoos".

RSVP to [email protected]. Snacks and caffeine will be provided.

One of the most jarring signs of the African diaspora in the twenty-first century metropolises of the world are zoo exhibits known as "African Villages". These exhibits present animals typical of some parts of the continent alongside cultural performances involving African people. Scholars and activists have criticized these displays for their reductive portrayals of Africa’s diverse built environments and cultures, which contribute to the continued racialization of people of African descent. This paper argues, however, that these performances of African culture and identity should also be understood in the context of migration and the global circulation of labor.

"What I Am Thinking About Now" is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. All are invited to attend and participate.