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The Black Special Relationship’: African American scholarship and its impact on Black intellectual life in Britain’

Blackness in Britain Conference

The Black Special Relationship’: African American scholarship and its impact on Black intellectual life in Britain’

30-31st October Birmingham City University

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The Blackness in Britain conference series is concerned with the past and future histories and narratives of Black populations in the UK and the wider African diaspora. In our second interdisciplinary conference we invite scholars, intellectuals and activists to examine how Black British intellectual life has been influenced by African American scholarship. Despite the absence of Black Studies programmes in British Universities, Black communities in the UK have a long history of community activism that has been deeply engaged with the scholarship of Black America. From as early as the Pan-African Congress 1945 to current day community and online activism, Black individuals and communities in Britain have created dynamic intellectual spaces outside of the academy to engage in debates and to organise political activity around the ideas of Black Feminism, Black Nationalism, Black theology, Black Psychology, Afrocentricity, Pan- Africanism and Garveyism in order to resist and strategize against, imperialism, colonialism and racialised forms of oppression.

The conference invites a broad range of papers on Black experienecs in Britain, with no limit on topics of the presentations.

Topics can include but are not limited to:

Conceptualising Black Studies in Britain

Black feminist activism and scholarship

Pan-Africanism in Britain
Community organising and activism
Blackness, sexualities and sexual politics

Gender politics

The legacy of ‘New Ethnicities’
Black music and popular culture
Scholarship and activism


Neoliberalism, colonialism, imperialism

Black Nationalism

Faith, theology, religion and blackness

Black philosophies

Black space, black geographies
African diasporic borders

Blackness and education studies

Blackness and health studies

Blackness, socialism and social class

Black activism online

African centred thought

Decolonial politics

Programme At a Glance

Thursday 29th October
19.00 – 22.00 Black Doctoral Network Event

Film Showing:

Agents of Change

Friday 30th October
9 – 10 Registration
 10 – 11 Welcome


Professor Gus John

11.10 – 12.40 Parrallel Sessions
12.40 – 13.50 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 Parrallel Sessions
15.10 – 16.40 Parrallel Sessions
16.40 – 17.10 Tea and Coffee
17.10 – 18.00 Keynote

Dr Barnor Hesse

19.00 Conference Dinner
Saturday 31st October
10 – 10.30 Registration
10.30 – 11.20 Welcome


Professor Denise Ferriera De Silva

11.30 – 13.00 Parrallel Sessions
13.00 – 13.50 Lunch
13.50 – 15.20 Parrallel Sessions
15.30 – 17.00 Parrallel Sessions
17.00 – 17.30 Tea and Coffee
17.30 – 18.30 Keynote

Professor Patricia Hill Collins


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