“A Map to the Door of No Return at 20: A Gathering” is a 4-day virtual webinar/seminar and participatory workshop from November 3-6, 2021, that celebrates and marks the 20th anniversary of Dionne Brand’s highly influential book, A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes to Belonging. The workshop will bring into conversation a diverse, interdisciplinary, and international group of established and emerging scholars, graduate students, and artists who work in creative and groundbreaking ways in Black Studies, geography, dance, poetry, fiction, performance, visual, and performing arts.
“A Map to the Door of No Return at 20: A Gathering” marks the first retrospective gathering on Map—a book whose stature has continued to grow over the years since its publication in 2001. Widely taught, Map appears on syllabi, in dissertations, books, art catalogues, films, and newspaper articles in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and the UK; it is being translated into two languages: Brazilian Portuguese and Danish. This international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational workshop will allow for deep engagement with Map’s many readings of the world that slavery made from the 16th century to the end of the twentieth (in Canada, South Africa, the US, and the Caribbean) from the context of twenty years later. Firmly locating Canada in relation to Diaspora and the afterlife of slavery, Map laid out a geography that reframes how we think about and remember slavery and freedom; that effects a change in what we presume to know and what we continue to disavow about freedom; about the quotidian effects of white supremacy; about how we inhabit, theorize and write about blackness, slavery and colonialism and their continuing effects; about revolution, longing, and black life.