In the Shadow of Empire? Situating Black British Writing

Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September 2023

Venue: London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Rd, London EC1R 0HB



As an area of study, ‘Black British Writing’ – despite neglect of the field as an object of study by Anglophone Arts/Humanities research communities in Britain – currently attracts global interest. The neglect is especially regrettable given the growth in visibility of Black British writers, including the 2021 Nobel Laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and considering the creation of the first postgraduate programme in Black British Writing (Goldsmiths, 2015).

Through the historical perspective of 400 years of contested writing, this conference will focus on situating the field in relation to the Humanities, critical thought, a continuously changing understanding of the signifier ‘Black’, and the impact of UK publishing politics on Black British writing.


Our ‘situating’ project builds on pioneering research and teaching interests established on both sides of the Atlantic. This includes the co-founding, teaching, and inaugurating of the UK’s/world’s first Black British Writing postgraduate programme, following on, and interlinking with the teaching and researching of Caribbean and diaspora literatures.

Similarly, the part played by Africa is certainly also key to the corpus. That such intersections with Black British writing speak to transglobal connections and complexities, helping to define the body of work and its wide-ranging transcultural influences, goes to the heart of the concerns of the conference. We are especially interested to include Black voices that remain largely missing from the UK’s scholarly debate. The conference therefore invites researchers and Black British writers alike to present new thinking about Black British writing (all genres).


The conference aims to:

  • Promote dialogue between specialists that include Black British writers and scholars
  • Reflect critically on the many intersections and meanings of diaspora and diasporic frames of analysis in Black British literary and cultural criticism


The full conference schedule is now available. Click the button to download.

The wonderful folks at BookLove are providing the conference bookstall. You can find out more about theire brilliant work by clicking their logo. 

Speakers & Chairs

Abíọ́dún Abdul · Professor Emeritus Joan Anim-Addo · Lorraine Anim-Addo · Nana Ayebia Clarke MBE · Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond · Professor Elisabeth Bekers · Joanna Brown · Tara Brusselaers · Rosetta Codling · Amirtha Devarajan · Becky Drewry · Dr Marl'ene Edwin · Professor Susan Alice Fischer · Dr Laura Fish · Angelique Golding · Dr Keith Jarrett · Dr Leila Kamali · Dr Lucia Llano Puertas · Kayra Maes · Ros Martin · Ronnie McGrath · Dr Juliana Mensah · Dr Joan Nche · Professor Pat Noxolo · Dr Leighan Renaud · Eurekah Shabazz · Fezile Sibanda · Yinka Sunmonu · Dr Lamia Tewfik · Dr Lenore Todd · Katrijn Van den Bossche · Dr Tracey Walters · Dr Arlene P Weekes · Samantha Wharton · Dr Nana Wilson-Tagoe · Belinda Zhawi

For more information...

If you have any questions or queries about the Situating Black British Writing Conference, please get in touch via this form.

This field is mandatory

This field is mandatory

The e-mail address is invalid

This field is mandatory

I consent to this data being stored and processed for the purpose of establishing contact. I can revoke my consent at any time.*

This field is mandatory

* Indicates required fields
There was an error submitting your message. Please try again.
Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.