GSWS Graduate Colloquium ft. Senit Kidane (Africana Studies) and Rose Poku (Africana Studies and Comparative Literature)

Thursday, April 11, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Penn Women's Center (Living Room)

This location is ADA accessible

Senit Kidane (she/her) 

"Destroying Shyness; Constellating Eritrean Feminisms"

[Abstract Forthcoming]


Rose Poku (she/her)

"Eusebia (Dis)embodied: An Analysis of the Performances of Eusebia Cosme"

This presentation, titled “Eusebia (Dis)Embodied: An Analysis of the Performances of Eusebia Cosme,” as eponymously suggested, explores the performances of Afro-Cuban poetry reciter, actress, and radio host Eusebia Cosme, focusing specifically on how her corporeal presence (or lack thereof) impacted her performances. It begins by providing historical context for Cosme, situating her in the early twentieth century during a boom in Black literary and cultural production throughout the diaspora; it places her in the midst of the Afro-Cuban Negrismo movement which was situated temporally in-line with the Harlem Renaissance and Négritude movements as well. Next, the presentation engages with literary analysis of the poetry Cosme recited on stage, arguing that the works she performed there were often pejorative toward Black women. Subsequently, the presentation explores a literary analysis of the poetry Cosme recited on her radio show, demonstrating that these works painted a more nuanced image of Black women. Finally, however, the presentation complicates these aforementioned arguments by suggesting that Cosme’s on-stage performances of more ‘pejorative’ poetry may in fact be just as subversive as her radio performances. After this exploration of Cosme's life, I will engage with the audience to consider how I might place Cosme in conversation with other Afro-diasporic figures in my dissertation.


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