image of Jafari Allen

Jafari Allen

Jafari Allen’s scholarship has opened up new lines of inquiry and re-invigorated methods of narrative theorizing in Black diaspora studies, anthropology, and feminist and queer studies.

On Friday, April 15, Allen will be the keynote speaker for the 21st annual Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Symposium at Illinois State University. Allen will present “Queer Afropolis: ‘There’s a Disco Ball Between Us’” at 1 p.m. in the Prairie Rooms of the Bone Student Center.

The symposium will begin at 8 a.m. Friday in the Prairie Rooms. The morning will be filled with student panels and research presentations, performances, and spoken word. The day’s speakers are free and open to the public. See the program for the day.

Allen will also give a talk from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, April 14, on the second floor of Milner Library, accompanied by a book singing.

“The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is thrilled that he accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker at this year’s student research symposium,” said WGS Director Alison Bailey. “The decision to bring Allen to campus coincides with the launching of the new WGS Queer Studies Concentration and the very popular QueerTalks lecture series.”

image of book cover of ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in CubaAllen, a professor of Anthropology at the University of Miami, is the author of the critical ethnography of race, gender, sexuality, and revolution titled ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba. Engaged in ethnographic research in Cuba and the Caribbean for 17 years, he has transnational research interests in a number of other sites in the Americas. Recent research has also taken him to East Africa and Western Europe. He is also the editor of Black/Queer/Diaspora, and the author of the new introduction of Brother to Brother: New Writings By Black Gay Men.

Allen’s keynote talk is also part of QueerTalks, an annual lecture series showcasing the work of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)/queer scholars and activists. QueerTalks is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute, Diversity Advocacy, and PRIDE.

For questions and accommodations, contact Mandy Dartt of Women’s and Gender Studies at (309) 438-2947.