Tiffany Florvil is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico, where she focuses on social movements, gender and sexuality, emotions, and the African diaspora in modern Europ...
Anna-Maria Kellen Lecture
The Writings of May Ayim
Black German activist and intellectual May Ayim (1960-96) produced a wide-ranging corpus of writing—poetry, prose, political tracts—that enabled her to theorize, share her experiences, and circulate knowledge. In this talk, Tiffany Florvil explores how Ayim’s literary and political work engaged in what the critic Christina Sharpe has called “wake work,” a moral and political resistance against the imposed paradoxes of her Black identity, citizenship, and civil rights. Read as such, Ayim’s writing sheds light on Black life in the shadows of anti-Blackness in Germany during the second half of the twentieth century.