This year, we present the inaugural lecture in a new series on the intersection of culture and politics, dedicated to vital, contemporary voices. In the tradition of our previous series, the Brady Lecture, the Goethe Annual Lecture invites acclaimed speakers to share their perspective on the themes that the Goethe-Institut explores more widely through our cultural work and the most pressing issues that societies are facing in the United Kingdom, Germany and worldwide.
The creative writing of Black feminists has revolutionary potential. It challenges dominant assumptions on gender, sexuality and race and expands the horizons of the current literary audience. In doing so, Black feminist authors imagine a more complicated, more nuanced and a more radically diverse cultural identity.
Yet, in the UK, Germany and around the world, their perspectives have been marginalised. Black feminist authors are rarely afforded the patronage, recognition, and critical reception that their white male counterparts have received.
One of the most acclaimed Black German lyricist May Ayim only found appreciation within the German-speaking context after she had become well-known in the United States. African-American author Toni Morrison was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, but only after 48 Black writers and critics had published a statement in the New York Times Book Review that same year. They deplored the fact that after five major novels, Toni Morrison still had not been recognised at a national level.
In 2019, Professor Bernadine Evaristo became the first Black British woman to win the Booker Prize in its 50-year history - a momentous achievement sadly overshadowed by criticism of the jury’s decision to break the prize’s own rules and split the award between two authors.
Please reserve your space. Attendees will receive a viewing link by email in advance of the Goethe Annual Lecture.