November 5th, 12th, and 19th
People of Irish and African descent have lived in the United States for more than four centuries. Their respective trajectories—marked by complexity, conflict, and collaboration—have been shaped by American conceptions of identity, hierarchies of belonging, and access to pathways of upward mobility. The aim of this conference and programing is to examine the constellations of Blackness and Irishness in the history of the United States and beyond and use their example to ponder present conundrums around race, ethnicity, inequality, and identity politics.
Speakers: Sir Hilary Beckles (University of West Indies), Kim DaCosta (NYU Gallatin), Miriam Nyhan Grey (NYU), Kevin Kenny (NYU), Christine Kinealy (Quinnipiac University), Chanté Mouton Kinyon (Notre Dame), Jane Ohlmeyer (Trinity College Dublin), Touré Reed (Illinois State University), Nikhil Singh (NYU), Rachel Swarns (NYU/New York Times), and Elisa Joy White (UC Davis), along with writers James Carroll (National Book winner and author of Constantine's Sword) and Emma Dabiri (author of Twisted/Don’t Touch my Hair and What White People Can Do Next). Actor Ruth Negga, known for her inspiring performance in Loving (2016) for which she received an Academy Award nomination, will participate in a public interview.
In other programs associated with the conference, Lenwood Sloan, Mick Moloney, and Lauren Onkey will discuss the cross-currents of the experiences of people of Irish and African ancestry in cultural practices on a panel moderated by folklorist William “Bill” Ferris. Tenement Museum New York will co-host a panel discussion on how trajectories of Irish and African American family history can help us explore race and ethnicity. Panelists include Annie Polland (Director, Tenement Museum), Leslie Harris (Northwestern University), and Dave Favaloro (Curator, Tenement Museum).
Presented in partnership with Brademas Center (NYU), Department of History (NYU), Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora (NYU), Institute for Public Knowledge (NYU), Deans for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NYU), UCD Clinton Institute, African American Diaspora Network, Consulate of Ireland (NY), Embassy of Ireland (Washington DC), NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Tenement Museum New York, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) and Black and Irish.