The conversation between Jafari S. Allen und Serena O. Dankwa explored different Black postcolonial sites in which desires for (erotic) power, friendship, and intimacy are being negotiated. Both Dankwa’s research into the everyday materiality and provisionality of female same-sex intimacy in Ghana and Allen’s work on transnational Black desires for political empowerment and autonomy transcend analytical boundaries between friendship and sexuality, between scholarship, art, and activism. While considering intimate connections and disconnections across the ‘Black world’, this conversation sought to understand the intertwinement of various forms of struggle and sociality.
Jafari S. Allen is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology. He works at the intersections of (queer) sexuality, gender, and blackness, and teaches courses on the cultural politics of race, sexuality, and gender in Black diasporas; Black feminist and queer theory. Allen is the author of ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba (Duke UP, 2011) and editor of Black/Queer/Diaspora – a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (18:2-3, 2012).
Serena O. Dankwa earned her PhD from the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Berne. Specialized in the study of gender and sexuality in West Africa, her doctoral project focused on practices of female friendship and same-sex intimacy in postcolonial Ghana. In 2010-2011, she was the Sarah Pettit Fellow in LGBT Studies at Yale University. Besides her academic work, she freelances as a music journalist and broadcaster with SRF2 Kultur. 2015