After work experience in the Corporate Communications of the Robert Bosch GmbH (2002-2004) and a subsequent M.A. in Communication and Media Studies and Cultural Studies at Leipzig University and Haagse Hogeschool (2005-2011), I worked as Research Programme Coordinator at the Global and European Studies Institute and the Centre for Area Studies at Leipzig University. I was also responsible for the coordination of the DFG-funded Priority Programme 1448 „Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder“ (2011-2016). Since then, my research interests include transnational intellectual history, (Pan-)African philosophy, aesthetics and literature, the Black Arts and Black Consciousness Movement in South and West Africa, and the African diaspora in France and the USA. Currently, I am academic coordinator of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA).
Current Research Project
PhD project: Intellectual concepts of Black and African aesthetics since 1956
In the research of globalisation there is an increasing interest in the history and significance of the African diaspora, the global dispersal of peoples, and individuals of African descent, which were responsible for the emergence of Pan-African ideologies. But, the influence and perspectives of African actors in global networks of art production and art assessment are still under researched. More recently studies and curatorial projects have focused on the position of contemporary African artists, and art production that is labelled “African”, within the competitive structures of the global art market. Similarly, curatorial practices of both anthropological as well as art museums have been scrutinized. The spheres of art and literary criticism which are occupied with ‘aesthetics’, and the role of conceptualisations of “Black” and “African” aesthetics is still widely unknown though. The expression of ethnic or racial nationalism by intellectuals and artists in the Afro-American diaspora has a long foreground, going back to at the least the late 1850s. While acknowledging these earlier phases of intensified discussion, the focus of the dissertation is placed on the period of time between 1956 and 2016, when liberations movements on the African continent, the end of the Cold War and global crises in the financial and security sector changed political and social orders all around the world. In the PhD-project the manifold elements that constitute the debates about “African Aesthetics” (and related notions) are described and exemplary groups of actors are identified, who, with their individual social, intellectual, historical, and political backgrounds, have engaged with the topic and have established their own theoretical approaches since 1956. Within the study, the life and work of currently active intellectuals from Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Cameroon are analysed.
African American Intellectual History | African Intellectual History | African Philosophy | Black Radical Tradition | Black Arts Movement | Black Consciousness Movement | Afrocentrism | Aesthetics | Global and Transnational History
09/2004 Certificate Economy, Economic and Employment Law, Office Communications and Information Management, Academy of Administration and Business (VWA) Stuttgart (Grade: 1.4)
03/2011 Magister Artium Communication and Media Studies and Cultural Studies, Leipzig University (Grade: 1.4)
since 04/2013 PhD candidate, Graduate School Global and Area Studies, Research Academy Leipzig
04/2011-09/2016 Research Programme Coordinator at the Global and European Studies Institute and the Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig
05/2011-09/2016 Coordinator, DFG Priority Programme 1448 „Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder“
07/2015-09/2015 Guest researcher (research and lecture) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Department of Visual Arts
Since 10/2016 Coordinator, Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA), Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig
Awards and Grants
(2008): EU “Erasmus Mundus” undergraduate study grant for semester abroad at The Hague University of Professional Education, Department for European Studies (Specialisation: Communication)
(2015): DAAD “Welcome to Africa” PhD study grant for 8 weeks field research in South Africa
(2016): DAAD “IPID4all” PhD study grant for 4 weeks field research in South Africa
(2017): DAAD “IPID4all” PhD travel grant for follow-up research in the USA
(2018): DAAD “IPID4all” PhD travel grant for conference presentation, NY, USA
Since 2013 Member of the African Studies Association (ASA)
Since 07/2017 Editorial member of Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists and Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung (Leipzig), section “Book Reviews”
Dallywater, Lena, Chris Saunders and Helder Adegar Fonseca (eds.): Southern African Liberation Movements and the Global Cold War ‘East’. Transnational Activism 1960–1990 (Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2019).
Dallywater, Lena, “’Black Fire’ – Conceptualizations of Black liberation and engaged views of African and Black aesthetics in the USA and South Africa”. In: Carlos Garrido (ed.): Decentring the Genealogies of Art Activism, Third Text – Critical Perspectives on Art and Culture, Vol. 24, Issue 4 (October 2020), pp. 551-567.
Book Chapters, Articles and Working Papers
Dallywater, Lena, Chris Saunders and Helder Adegar Fonseca, “Southern African Liberation Movements and the Global Cold War “East”: Transnational Activism 1960–1990. Introduction”. In: Dallywater, Lena, Chris Saunders and Helder Adegar Fonseca (eds.): Southern African Liberation Movements and the Global Cold War ‘East’. Transnational Activism 1960–1990 (Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2019): pp. 5-24.
Dallywater, Lena and Nadine Sieveking (eds.): Vital Conjunctures Revisited - Gender in Times of Uncertainty. DFG SPP 1448 Working Paper Series, No. 18. Leipzig and Halle: SPP 1448 2016.
Dallywater, Lena, “In Search of ‘African Aesthetics’. Academic Perspectives on Art, Culture and the African Way of Appreciating”, in: Arno Sonderegger (ed.): African Thoughts on Colonial and Neo-Colonial Worlds. Facets of an Intellectual History of Africa, (Berlin: Neofelis Verlag, 2015): pp. 45-65.
Heinze, Lena, “The Transnationality of Aesthetics - Philosophical Conceptualizations in the Tension Field of Universalism and Culturalism”, in: Marung, Steffi and Matthias Middell (eds.): Transnational Actors - Crossing Borders, Transnational History Studies, vol. 8 (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2015): pp. 143-154.
Heinze, Lena, “Tradition und Transformation – Das Leipziger Verlagswesen nach Ende der Gutenberg-Galaxie“, in: Löhr, Isabella, Matthias Middell and Hannes Siegrist (eds.): Kultur und Beruf in Europa. Europäische Geschichte in Quellen und Essays. Band 2 (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2012): pp. 297-307.
Book Reviews, Interviews and other Publications
Dallywater, Lena, “Fumi Okiji. Jazz as Critique: Adorno and Black Expression Revisited. 2018. COVID-19, Black Social Life, and a Global Crisis Unfolding.“, in: The Brotherwise Dispatch, Vol. 4, Issue 11, September-November/2020. URL: brotherwisedispatch.blogspot.com/2020/09/jazz-critique-and-global-crisis-by-lena.html.
Dallywater, Lena, “The Brotherwise Dispatch vs. Lena Dallywater“, in: The Brotherwise Dispatch, Vol. 3, Issue #3, June-August/2018. URL: brotherwiseinterviewsexclusives.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-brotherwise-dispatch-vs-lena.html.
Dallywater, Lena, Chris Saunders, and Helder Adegar Fonseca, “Southern African Liberation Movements and the Global Cold War ‘East’ – Transnational Activism 1960–1990“, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 05.11.2020, trafo.hypotheses.org/25329.
Selected Conference Papers
(11/2018): “But we cannot start from being human…“ – Locating Black and African aesthetics in global intellectual histories, Panel “Global Africa, Diaspora and Exile”, Africa in Global Intellectual History Conference, Berlin, Germany, November 25, 2018.
(11/2016): “All art is propaganda and ever must be" - Ideas of a Black Aesthetic in South Africa and USA compared, Panel “The Transformative Politics of Art and Aesthetics”, 59th Annual Meeting, African Studies Association (ASA), of the ASA, Washington, DC, USA. December 1, 2016.
(07/2016): “All art is propaganda and ever must be" - Ideas of a Black Aesthetic in South Africa and USA compared, Panel “Black Lives in Art and Science: America and South Africa”, 25th Annual World History Association Conference (WHA), “Global Conflict” and “Transformation of the Global Countryside”. Gent, Belgium, July 5, 2016.
(06/2015): ‘From his Grave he disturbs the Sleep of the Living’ – Engelbert Mveng (1930 – 1995), Panel “Art, Activism and Violence in the Postcolony”, 6th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS), “Collective Mobilisations in Africa”. Paris, France, July 8, 2015. Together with Janine Kläge (Leipzig University).
(11/2014): ‘African Aesthetics’ and Universal Culture – Entangled Antagonisms in a New World Order, Conference on “African Thoughts on (Neo-) Colonial Worlds: Steps towards an Intellectual History of Africa” of the Department of African Studies at Vienna University. Vienna, Austria, November 6, 2014.
(09/2014): Transatlantic Entanglements – Aesthetic Frames Beyond National Borders, International Colloquium “Innovation and creative transformation – Africa’s multiple futures”. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, September 23, 2014.
(09/2014): Transatlantic Entanglements - Aesthetic Frames Beyond National Borders. Panel “Revisiting metropolitan settings: Colonial and Post-colonial Production of Knowledge”, 4th European Congress on World and Global History (ENIUGH), “Encounters, Circulations and Conflict”. Paris, France, September 6, 2014.
(06/2014): Narratives of Africanity beyond state politics and economy – Representations of Aesthetics in Yaoundé. Colloque international “La Sociologie de l´Etat. Tournant réflexif et nouvelles dynamiques”, Centre pour la Coopération Scientifique entre l'Afrique et l'Allemagne (DAW). Yaoundé, Cameroon, June 3, 2014.
(06/2013): Aesthetics of the Other. Panel “The idea(s) of Africa(s) in a multipolar world: ways beyond the predicament of essentialism”, 5th European Conference on African Studies, “African dynamics in a multipolar world”. Lisbon, Portugal, June 27, 2013.
Selected Panel Sessions
(06/2018): Southern African Liberation Movements: Transnational Connections in Southern Africa and with Countries in the ‘East’ (1960–1994), Conference of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD e.V.), “African Connections”, Leipzig, June 29, 2018. Panel Convenor (together with Chris Saunders, UCT and Helder Adegar Fonseca, University of Evora).
(08/2017): The role of ruptures and revolutions in the production of categories of race, gender and sexuality, 5th European Congress on World and Global History (ENIUGH), "Ruptures, Empires and Revolutions", Budapest, Hungary, September 1, 2017. Panel Convenor (together with Dr. Ernst van der Wal, Stellenbosch University).
(06/2017): The Role of Networks in Rural-Urban-Transnational Encounters: The Mobility of People, Ideas and Spaces, 7th European Conference on African Studies 2017, “Urban Africa – Urban Africans: New encounters of the rural and the urban”. Basel, Switzerland, June 29, 2017. Panel Convenor (together with Dr. Franzisca Zanker, Arnold-Bergstraesser Institute Freiburg).