THU—November 10—7 PM, free
Join us for a talk with author and ASF Fellow Ryan Thomas Skinner on his new book Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country, out September 22 from University of Minnesota Press! He’ll be joined by moderator Cresa Pugh (Assistant Professor of Sociology, New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts) for this in-person discussion at Scandinavia House.
Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner (Associate Professor of Music and African-American Studies, Ohio State University) uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.
Skinner employs the conceptual themes of “remembering” and “renaissance” to illuminate the history and culture of the Afro-Swedish community, drawing on the rich theoretical traditions of the African and Black diaspora. Remembering fosters a sustained meditation on Afro-Swedish social history, while Renaissance indexes a thriving Afro-Swedish public culture.
Together, these concepts illuminate significant existential modes of Afro-Swedish being and becoming, invested in and contributing to the work of global Black studies.
The first scholarly monograph in English to focus specifically on the African and Black diaspora in Sweden, Afro-Sweden emphasizes the voices, experiences, practices, knowledge, and ideas of these communities. Its rigorously interdisciplinary approach to understanding diasporic communities is essential to contemporary conversations around such issues as the status and identity of racialized populations in Europe and the international impact of Black Lives Matter. It includes a preface by Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité.
The event will take place in-person at Scandinavia House. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.
“A remarkable work in both its content and style, Afro-Sweden compels us to reconsider our understandings of race, place, and identity, all while highlighting the presence of a population whose cultural vitality and roots are too often overlooked.”— Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, author, War for Eternity: The Return of Traditionalism and the Rise of the Populist Right
About the Author
Ryan Thomas Skinner is associate professor of music and African American and African studies at the Ohio State University.
He is author of Bamako Sounds: The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music (Minnesota, 2015).
About the Moderator
Cresa Pugh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School. Her research examines the social and political legacies of imperialism, cultural heritage and museums, and violence in postcolonial Africa and Southeast Asia. Interrogating the ways in which healing and the reclamation of memory and communal historiographies materialize in the postcolonial context, Cresa’s research fundamentally explores the logics of restitution, refusal, and repair.
Her work also engages questions around the ethical stewardship of human remains warehoused in museums as well as the theft of indigenous lands by public institutions and calls for their repatriation to native communities. Cresa holds a BA in Anthropology and Religion from Bates College, an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, and an MA and PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University.