The inaugural Sydney Seminar for Culture and Society took place on December 2, 2013 at the State Library of New South Wales. The seminar was a conversation between Sohail Daulatzai (Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California Irvine and author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America) and award winning Melbourne based comedian Aamer Rahman, formerly of the comedy duo, Fear of a Brown Planet.
The seminar was chaired by Suvendrini Perera, Professor of Cultural Analysis in the Department of Cultural Studies at Curtin University of Technology.
The seminar was attended by around 100 people and involved a wide ranging discussion of race and racism in the post-9/11 context in light, particularly, of the growth of what Sohail Daulatzai, in his book, Black Star, Crescent Moon, describes as a ‘Muslim International’. Discussion of how this new internationalism, inspired by the black, pan-Africanist and decolonial politics of the 1950s and 60s, bears on the worlds of hip-hop and comedy engaged the audience who, in questions to the panel, drew on experience of everyday racism, Aboriginality and Islamophobia in Australia.