Road Kill - Servet Koçyiğit
27 June 2019

Queer Diasporic Spacetime and People of Color Formations

LECTURE | 27 June 2019 | 18:00 - 19:00 | Museum Volkenkunde, Grote Zaal

Prof. dr. Fatima El-Tayeb (University of California San Diego) is the keynote speaker at the EASA Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity Network Meeting. She will give the lecture Queer Diasporic Spacetime and People Of Color Formations: A View from (De)colonial Europe at Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.

This talk takes as its starting point the political construct "people of color". Recent US critiques, particularly from Afropessimist and Native Studies scholars, seem to strongly indicate that this coalitional term is increasingly being used as a means to brush over specific forms of violence and significant differences between modes of racialization. At the same time, anti-racist coalitions in response to the global rise of neo-nationalism and ethnic essentialism are urgently needed. Thus, while acknowledging the importance of these critiques, Prof. El-Tayeb suggest that rather than discarding the term people of color, we might reassess it by decentering the US discourse and instead look at it from “marginal" perspectives, such as the European one. Europe diverges from the US model of racialization in ways that tend to be misread, especially in Europe itself, as the absence of race as a relevant social and political category. While racial slavery and native dispossession and genocide are foundational to the US, in Europe, it is the racializing of religion and colonialism that shaped the continental identity and in turn continues to shape the positionality of in particular the African, Roma and Muslim diasporas. In this talk, Prof. El-Tayeb will trace strategies of resistance to racist exclusion grounded in the intersecting experiences of these communities in Europe.

The lecture will be introduced by Dr. Damani Partridge (University of Michigan) and will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A, moderated by Dr. Jasmijn Rana (Leiden University).

Image: Servet Koçyiğit, detail Road Kill, 2019, textile, paint and buttons, 180 x 235 cm. ®Presstigieux


Fatima El-Tayeb is professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies and director of Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of three books, UnDeutsch. Die Konstruktion des Anderen in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft [UnGerman. The Construction of Otherness in the Postmigrant Society], Transcript 2016; European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (University of Minnesota Press 2011, German transl. 2015) and Schwarze Deutsche. Rasse und nationale Identität, 1890-1933 [Black Germans. Race and National Identity, 1890-1933], Campus, 2001, as well as of numerous articles on the interactions of race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Before coming to the US, she lived in Germany and the Netherlands, where she was active in black feminist, migrant, and queer of color organizations. She is also co-author of the movie Alles wird gut/Everything will be fine (Germany 1997).

EASA and partners

This lecture is part of the EASA Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity Network Meeting on 27 and 28 June 2019. For more information, see:

This is a collaborative event by EASA, Leiden University, Meertens Instituut, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Michigan and the Research Center for Material Culture.