Guest Lecture: Jonathan Flatley (Wayne State University): “Our Friend” Angela Davis, the Black Communist Star
Date: 12. December 2023Time: 10:15 – 11:45Location: KH 1.019
This lecture will address the political potentials and limits of Angela Davis’s Black communist stardom. What kinds of collectivities does the star activate or make possible? And how is that distinct from or related to the collectivities that a revolutionary communist party may bring into existence? What happens when a revolutionary leader becomes a star? I am taking up these questions in relation to Angela Davis, whose extraordinary fame in the early 1970s is marked not only by her exceptional style, charisma and intelligence but also by her anti-racist communist politics. I approach the question of her stardom and its aesthetic and political potential by way of legendary queer performer Vaginal Davis and a story she tells about renaming herself in “sexual homage” to Angela Davis after seeing her in a Soviet film, Our Friend Angela.