Each term African and African American Studies sponsors the Angelina Weld Grimké lecture series and at least one additional event or lecture.

Feb 9

Prof Marlon Bailey, Engendering Space: Black Queer Performance & Ballroom Culture in Detroit

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
4:30 – 5:30 pm / Leighton Hall, Room 304
Marlon Bailey,

Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011, 4:30 p.m., Leighton 304, Marlon Bailey, Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, refreshments reception following event. Title of public talk: "Engendering Space: Black Queer Performance and Ballroom Culture in Detroit."

Black queer communities’ relationship to space is one of contestation, violence and exclusion on the one hand, and resistance, negotiation and revision on the other.  This paper offers an analysis of the inextricable linkage between kinship and ritual performance in the Ballroom community, and its members’ creation of Black queer space in Detroit MI.  Existing in most urban centers throughout North America, Ballroom culture is a community of Black and Latina/o LGBTQ people.  In my ethnographic study, I delineate the multiple functions of two mutually constitutive domains of Ballroom culture, kinship (the houses) and performance (the ball events) and their role in the production of Black queer space.  In order to better understand Black queer people’s “contested” relationship to space, I highlight the generative, socio/cultural practices involved in producing Black queer space.  In many ways, members of the Ballroom community work to challenge and undo the alienating realities of built environments in urban centers by undertaking the necessary social and performance labor that allow its members to revise and to reconfigure alienating and violent spatial forms.

Sponsored by African/African American Studies. Contact: Nikki Lamberty, African/African American Studies, x4217