For many Canadians, the history of African-Canadians is limited to the Underground Railroad. It’s a history that some historians are working to expand upon. Boulou Ebanda de B’Béri, professor of Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa, and co-editor of “The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent’s Settlements and Beyond,” joins The Agenda in the Summer to discuss his efforts to move African-Canadian history out of the margins. Watch Prof. Boulou Ebada de B’béri’s interview with Piya Chattopadhyay here.
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Fethi Mansouri, Boulou Ebanda de B’béri, Eds. (Routledge Research in Comparative Politics), Routledge, 2014
Multiculturalism is now seen by many of its critics as the source of intercultural and social tensions, fostering communal segregation and social conflicts. While the cultural diversity of contemporary societies has to be acknowledged as an empirical and demographic fact, whether multiculturalism as a policy offers an optimal conduit for intercultural understanding and social harmony has become increasingly a matter of polarized public debate.
This book examines the contested philosophical foundations of multiculturalism and its, often controversial, applications in the context of migrant societies. It also explores the current theoretical debates about the extent to which multiculturalism, and related conceptual constructs, can account for the various ethical challenges and policy dilemmas surrounding the management of cultural diversity in our contemporary societies. The authors consider common conceptual and empirical features from a transnational perspective through analysis of the case studies of Australia, Canada, Columbia, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, comparative politics, international studies, multiculturalism, migration and political sociology.
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Routledge (June 2 2014)
The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent’s Settlements and Beyond
Coming this summer University of Toronto Press 2014
With a prologue by Afua Cooper
Eschewing the often romanticized Underground Railroad narratives that portray Southern Ontario as the welcoming destination of Blacks fleeing from slavery, The Promised Land reveals the Chatham-Kent area as a crucial settlement site for an early Black presence in Canada. The contributors present the everyday lives and professional activities of individuals and families in these communities and highlight early cross-border activism to end slavery in the United States and to promote civil rights in the US and Canada. Essays also reflect on the frequent intermingling of local Black, White, and First Nations people. Using a cultural studies framework to their collective investigations, the authors trace physical and intellectual trajectories of blackness, which have radiated from Southern Ontario to other parts of Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. The result is a collection that represents the presence and diffusion of blackness and inventively challenges the grand narrative of History, especially Canadian history.
Un essai, politique, sur l’oralité dans un corpus de films d’Afrique noire francophone de 1950 à 2000. Dans un langage clair, l’auteur illustre comment dans les sociétés de l’écriture, le texte engagerait l’Homme et que cette écriture aurait imposé un genre, un style et des modes de production de sens qui sont propres à ces sociétés de l’écriture d’où, par exemple, la naissance du langage cinématographique formalisé. Ainsi il se demande ce qui arriverait à une analyse de film calquée sur ce langage dont les articulations discursives ne sont pas nécessairement en adéquation avec la mysticité de la parole qui, elle, engagerait véritablement l’Homme en Afrique noire? Qu’arrive-t-il à l’analyse quand l’image d’une parole détourne le sens prescrit dans les modes opératoires du langage cinématographique des sociétés de l’écrit ? Comment le cinéma, à travers la technique audiovisuelle, devient-il une technologie par excellence capable de nous faire voir la nature mystique et culturelle de cette parole ?
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This first five year term of the lab has been devoted to the three philosophic pillars of AMLAC&S: (1) the research and the development of questions linked to identity representations and multicultural societies; (2) a partnership development on the national and international level and (3) training in proximity and providing open minded experiences.
In celebration of five years of operations we have produced a quinquennial report that explores the numerous achievements and future projects that the lab has been involved with.
You can get your own copy of the report in print (email us if you wish to receive a copy), <a href="PDF“ or alternatively view it online.
Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
Presses Université d’Ottawa, June 2010
Depuis trois décennies le monde anglo-saxon a considéré sérieusement les Cultural Studies comme une analyse des pratiques quotidiennes et de la production de sens.
Mais la production analytique en français dans cette discipline est restée presque absente. Les mondes francophones ont déjà vécu plusieurs événements qui auraient intéressé les Cultural Studies au XXIe siècle : les manifestations sociales de l’hiver 2006 et de l’automne 2007 en France, les mouvements migratoires d’Africains vers l’Europe et le débat sur « les accommodements raisonnables » au Québec entre autres. Pour tous ces événements, nous avions entendu s’élever plusieurs voix qui offraient des articulations généralistes de différentiation de nous à l’autre et des idiomes comme « ces gens-là », « les enfants issus d’immigration », « nous ne voulons pas accueillir la misère du monde » et bien d’autres. Read the rest of this entry »
Boulou Ebanda de b’Béri
Cultural Studies, Vol. 22 (2) 2008, London & New-York: Routledge, pp. 187-208
A Conjunctural Ground for New Expression of Identity
This essay reviews the conceptual tensions between black cultural and political identity in order to discern new conjunctural practices of identity occurring, specifically, in some black films. It suggests that a specific paradigm of communication, such as “historical affective re-enactment”, can illustrate the ways in which blacks articulate their identity through the medium of cinema. Examination of this paradigm as a discursive practice of detournement or marronage allows us to understand the more complex effects of Africanicity as a necessary re-enactment of social and historical commentary, which labyrinthic horizon transcends any decoding structure of political and cultural identity. This essay concludes that rather than being a decoding structure of identity, the notion of Africanicity is a conjunctural ground of investigation through which trans-geographical practices of identity emerge.
Boulou Ebanda de b’Béri & Peter Hogarth,
Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Volume 2, Issue 2 May 2009
The case of Ron Artest as a model of covert racial ideology in the NBA’s discourse
This paper mobilizes the works of Stuart Hall, Colin King, and George Yancy as theoretical lenses for a discursive analysis of a significant sport event that occurred during a Detroit Pistons versus Indiana Pacers National Basketball Association (NBA) game in Auburn Hills, Michigan on December 19, 2004.
This event began when Ron Artest, a member of the Indiana Pacers, shoved Detroit Pistons player Ben Wallace after a hard foul. The fight escalated when Artest was struck by a drink thrown from the stands. Artest jumped into the stands and began fighting Pistons fans, which prompted other teammates and fans to join in, resulting in a massive brawl between fans and players for which Artest was suspended for the remainder of the basketball season. This article’s analysis of this case provides interesting indicators of the ideology, discourses, and racial meanings shaping sports media in America.
Some of the questions that are central to this analysis are the following: How is the coverage of black players fighting white fans framed in the context of a predominantly black sport and white spectatorship; how does this fit with the existing scholarly discourse regarding racial representation in sports and other media; what is the fan-player relationship in a sport that consists largely of white fans watching black players; furthermore, how does this relationship manifest itself in media coverage and player-fan discourse?
Sous la direction de Boulou Ebanda de b’Béri,
CiNéMAS, Vol. 11 (1), (Journal of Film Studies) Montréal, Qc, Automne, 2000, pp. 11–30
The research on Black African cinema within this article utilizes the concepts of strategy and tactics, as discussed by Michel de Certeau.
The hypothesis stated is that Black African cinemas infiltrate the strategic structures of dominant cinemas, thereby opening up new paths for analysis. A historical overview of images and discourses about Africa shows how the appropriation and rappropriation of the image of Blacks by Blacks themselves operate. The description of two film sequences illustrate how reappropriation functions through strongly politicized diversions.
Nina Reid Maroney
2001, Greenwood Press
Kingdom of Christ, Empire of Reason
Rather than treating the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment as defining opposites in 18th century American culture, this study argues that the imperatives of the great revival actually shaped the pursuit of enlightened science. Reid-Maroney traces the interwoven histories of the two movements by reconstructing the intellectual world of the “Philadelphia circle.” Prophets of the Enlightenment had long tried to resolve pressing questions about the limitations of human reason and the sources of our knowledge about the created order of things. The leaders of the Awakening addressed those questions with a new urgency and, in the process, determined the character of the Enlightenment emerging in Philadelphia’s celebrated culture of science.
Tracing the influence of evangelical sensibility and the development of a Calvinist parallel to the philosophical skepticism of enlightened Scots, Reid-Maroney finds that the Philadelphians “love of science” rested on a radical critique of human reason, even while it acknowledged that reason was the “dignifying and distinguishing property of human nature.” Benjamin Rush alluded to an enlightenment wrought by grace in his image of the Kingdom of Christ and the Empire of Reason. In the post-Revolutionary period, the redemptive Enlightenment of the Philadelphia circle reached its greatest cultural power as a vision for scientific progress in the new republic.
Boulou Ebanda de b’Béri & Ruth Middlebrook
Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2009
Region, nation, and Canadian Idol
This paper focuses on the 2006 season of the reality television show Canadian Idol and the manufacturing of Canadian identity. This analysis looks specifically at how Canadian identity was articulated in the production of the show, the comments of the judges to contestants, the comments in news releases, and the viewers’ discussions on the message board accompanying the show. De B’Béri and Middlebrook argue that the show produces a version of Canadian identity that sustains a logic of regional difference, with a key point of distinction between urban and nonurban Canadians. However, this representation is ruptured by the viewers’ debates on their feelings of Canadian identity.
Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
Re :Activism, Budapest: Budapest European University of Technology, August 2005
The case of indy media and indigenous people council of biocolonialism
This paper analyzes the ways in which specific appropriation of new media, the Internet particularly, can allow us to observe new conjunctural articulations of democracy. De b’Béri argues that emerging practices of memory through new technology of communication illustrate a ‘shift’ in modernity. This is seen particularly in certain monopolies of knowledge and cultural expressions if we admit that ‘modernity’ is a centre through which certain histories are selected and given greater value, and other kind of histories positioned in the margins. This also occurs if we locate modernity within all colonial and imperial processes that led to the politics of emancipation, by any means necessary.
Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
Cinema and Social Discourse, BASS 69, Sous la direction d’Alexie Tcheuyap, Bayreuth, Germany, 2006
Some film analysts achieve a transparent dispositive of cinema-art in their analysis of black cinema. In these cases they use elements of psychoanalysis, structuralism, or post-structuralism as the paradigmatic frameworks rendering black cinema intelligible. By doing so, they are able to analyze an entire film in twenty pages as if these images were merely literal phrases.
Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
A horizontal labyrinth of transgeographical practices of identity
“This book is an excellent examination of the role of cinema as a conduit of black expressions of identity. It illustrates that since its inception, films have played an important part in generating, on the one hand, imaginary significations about black people, and, on the other hand, imaginative signifying practices harmonized with black expressions of identity. Indeed, Dr. Boulou Ebanda de B’béri’s Mapping Alternative Expressions Of Blackness in Cinema takes the reader into an uncommon horizontal labyrinth, with one of the most important questions of present and past centuries: the fabrications and representations of identity. His book truly unpacks the categories of racial, cultural and political identity in order to discern the reenacted practices of blackness linking the socio-historical experience of black peoples to their trans-geographical expressions of Africanicity in film. He concludes that specific paradigms of communication, such as ‘affecitivity’ and ‘resilience’, determine the ways in which some blacks articulate their practices of identity through the medium of cinema.
Examination of these paradigms as discursive practices of ‘détournement’ or ‘marronage’ allows us to understand the more complex effects of Africanicity or blackness as a necessary signifying practice of cultural and historical experiences of black people.”