Historian Martin Summers will give “Diasporic Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transnational Production of Black Middle-Class Masculinity” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Geneva Room as part of the Fisher Center lecture series. A roundtable discussion will be held at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Fisher Center, Demarest 212.
Summers is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon. Examining transatlantic links of Freemasons of African descent, Summers studies fraternalism as one avenue by which middle-class and elite African Americans, African Caribbeans, and Africans formed collective, disaporic gender identity. His talk will address how Freemasonry provided black men a space in which they could lay claim to a middle-class male subjectivity in more universal terms even as it served to construct a specifically racialized masculinity in the African diaspora. Summers’ scholarship focuses on race, class and sexuality in the formation of masculine identity. His publications include “‘This Immoral Practice’: The Prehistory of Homophobia in Black Nationalist Thought” in Gender Nonconformity, Race, and Sexuality: Charting the Connections and “Mount Olive Baptist Church” in Plainfield’s African American: From Northern Slavery to Church Freedom. He is currently completing his book “Manliness and Its Discontents: The Transformation of Masculinity Among the Black Middle Class, 1900-1930”.
Fisher Center library reserve list
Available readings: “‘This Immoral Practice’: The Prehistory of Homophobia in Black Nationalist Thought,” in Gender Nonconformity, Race, and Sexuality: Charting the Connections; “Mount Olive Baptist Church” in Plainfield’s African American: From Northern Slavery to Church Freedom; “Historical Views of Black Manhood” in We Speak: A Voice of African American Youth.