In collaboration with the city of Nice, events on the 16th and 17th of June will be held at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen on the Promenade des Anglais. A second partnership with the mayor’s office in Saint Paul de Vence will bring the entire conference to James Baldwin’s adopted French hometown on June 18 for a full day of activities.
On the agenda are more than twenty panels, roundtable conversations, and performances. The opening plenary features scholars from the United States discussing “The Elder Baldwin, the Queer Baldwin, the Global Baldwin.” Other panel topics include “Baldwin and the Essay: A Stranger in the Village,” “Teaching James Baldwin,” and a special virtual appearance from scholars in Ukraine and Belarus on “Baldwin Studies in the USSR and Post-Soviet Countries.”
Events open to the public in Saint Paul de Vence include guided tours to the site of Baldwin’s former villa; an open mic at the Maison Baldwin residency cottage; and a video screening of Baldwin speaking at Oxford by the renowned filmmaker Horace Ové at De Buck Gallery.
The conference wraps up with the closing reception of the exhibit “Imagining Baldwin’s Villa,” which displays a collection of pictures by Newsweek photographer Lester Sloan, who visited Baldwin’s villa two years after his death and made beautiful and haunting images of its interior. Accompanying Sloan’s photographs is a collection of James Baldwin’s personal possessions, including his Webster’s Unabridged dictionary, his French keyboard typewriter, books from his library, paintings by his brother David Baldwin, and items of clothing, including his pink satin Led Zeppelin jacket.
Conference proceedings will be recorded for the creation of a post-conference archive of contemporary thinking on James Baldwin, to be made available to the public by subscription and free to high schools and universities worldwide.”
James Baldwin lived in Saint Paul de Vence for seventeen years until his death in 1987. Here he wrote some of his most enduring books, including Just Above My Head, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone and If Beale Street Could Talk. La Maison Baldwin is a nonprofit association (loi 1901) founded in 2016 to honor his legacy in Saint-Paul de Vence.
 For a sample of the content to be included in this archive, please see this entry from Terrance Dean and Michael Brandon McCormack on “James Baldwin and the Futurity of Religion and Sexuality.
Suggested excerpts: 33:55 to 34:32 and 35:46 to 36:16