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Letting the System Completely Absorb Me Would Be So Much Easier


SchwarzRund is a Black Dominican queer femme feminist, active in intersectional education, Black German publishing and spoken word, empowerment around Fatness, Blackness, Queerness, and allyship, and critical media research. In this interview, SchwarzRund speaks about the German publishing world, the role of Black queer presses, the importance of translation and multilingualism in Black German literature, and her experiences in academia at a predominantly white institution, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. These observations are often threaded through the lens of her 2016 novel Biskaya, its three main characters Tue, Matthew, and Dwayne, and the various responses to the novel in Germany. SchwarzRund’s novel Biskaya: An Afropolitan Novel debuted to critical acclaim with zaglossus verlag in 2016. As the novel revolves around various forms of artistic production—music, visual art, poetry, etc.—SchwarzRund’s reflections on the novel are also always reflections on the German arts and publishing world in some important way. The interview took place in September 2019, and there was so much laughter throughout that we had to edit most of it out to save space.

The German-language original of this interview appears in William Collins Donahue & Martin Kagel’s essay collection, Die große Mischkalkulation. Institutions, Social Import, and Market Forces in the German Literary Field. Fink, 2020.

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