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Celebrating a recent event – 3rd Black Political Thought and History Workshop

Posted by on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 in Uncategorized.

3rd Black Political Thought and History Workshop

  • Bordeaux and Clérac, France
  • July 3-8, 2022
  • Co-convenors: Minkah Makalani and Shatema Threadcraft

The event was co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Dean’s Office (College of Arts and Sciences), Vanderbilt’s Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy Department, the Johns Hopkins Center for Africana Studies, and the Margeurite Casey Foundation. 

VanderbiltJohns Hopkins Center for Africana StudiesMargeurite Casey Foundation





Special thanks to Professor Naa Oyo Kwate for location, translation and logistical support.

group of people at the BPTH event

The workshop brings together scholars of black political thought and black history to share their works-in-progress. The first workshop was held at Northwestern in 2015 and convened by Professor Juliet Hooker and Barnor Hesse. The second workshop took place at UT-Austin in 2017 and convened by Minkah Makalani. After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we wanted to travel. We were not able to host the workshop in 2020 and 2021 so we wanted to celebrate being able to be together in a beautiful locale. We chose Bordeaux because of its connection to the transatlantic slave trade, which forever transformed the lives and scholarship of all participants. Professors Hooker, Makalani, Bryant and Threadcraft were a part of the original convening. Professor Melynda Price joined the second workshop. For the third workshop we invited scholars whose work has influenced us and whose work we are in and with whose work we would like to be in greater conversation.


On July 3rd we visited The Musée d’Aquitaine. It was of particular interest for our group. The museum’s Modern Era exhibit added new permanent rooms in 2009. The first space illustrates the role of the town of Bordeaux in 18th century France. The second space ties Bordeaux’s prosperity to its participation in the transatlantic slave trade. The third space outlines the organization of slavery in the Caribbean. The fourth space relates the struggle for abolition.



On July 4th we visited Chateau La Dominique. Note that it is Chateau La Dominique and not Chateau Dominique. Here the article “la” signified its interest to the group and the presence ubiquity of the black presence in France. “Called “Durieu” in the early 17th century, the property was acquired by the Glenne family and named “Dominique” by Jacques and Isabeau Micheau in 1690. A subsequent owner, merchant Henri Greloud, added the definite article “La” in the mid-19th century. He is said to have done so because of his love for the Caribbean island of Dominica (or “La Dominique” in French).”

Source: “Vision”


On July 5th we toured sites connected to the history of the transatlantic slave trade with the Association Mémoires et Partages. Adriana Girol, a law student at Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, stepped in heroically at the last minute after Karfa Diallo, founder of Mémoires et Partages became ill. We are very grateful to her. The association came out of a joint effort of DiversCités and the Association de Préfiguration de la Fondation du Mémorial de la Traite des Noirs. The latter organization worked from 1998 to 2015 for the defense and rehabilitation of the memory of the slave trade and slavery in Bordeaux.



On July 6th and 7th we held panels on “The Legacy of Black Maternal Grief and Political Action,” “Black Study, Praxis and Translation Against Social Death,” and “The Past, Present and Fugitive Futurity of Black Politics.”





  • Shatema Threadcraft, Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy and Political Science, Vanderbilt University
  • Minkah Makalani, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Sherwin Bryant, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History, Northwestern University
  • Brittney Cooper, Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Megan Ming Francis, G. Alan and Barbara Delsman Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington
  • Juliet Hooker, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science, Brown University
  • Melanye Price, Endowed Professor of Political Science and Inaugural Director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice, Prairie View A & M University
  • Melynda Price, William L. Matthews, Jr. Professor of Law and the John and Joan Gaines Professor of Humanities and Director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities, University of Kentucky, School of Law
  • Robbie Shilliam, Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • Maboula Soumahoro, Dpt d’anglais/ English Dept, Maître de conférences/ Associate Professor, University of Tours François-Rabelais
  • Deva Woodly, Associate Professor of Politics, The New School for Social Research

Graduate Students

  • Noah Campbell, PhD Student, Brown University, Political Science Department
  • Jessica Newby, PhD Student, Johns Hopkins University, History Department