Forming Black Britain: Aesthetics, Itineraries, Diasporas

March 9, 2017 to March 10, 2017
9:00 - 5:00 PM
Tawes Hall

2017.03.09-10 Forming Black Britain



Art Competition

Literature Competition

Organizers, Sponsors

Map, Parking Info

Black British Art

Migration in Word & Image

9-10 MARCH 2017




“Forming Black Britain: Aesthetics, Itineraries, Diasporas” places writers, artists, and critics, in conversation to explore the term “Black British,” including the networks it might enable and the limits it might present, as people of African, Caribbean, and South Asian descent are all often labeled “Black” in the United Kingdom. The conference will also explore how those networks and limits matter in the United States, where so many writers identified as Black British have made their new home and where blackness means potentially different things.

The symposium gathers specialists in the fields of art history, media arts, literary criticism, and creative writing, and the three sessions will together survey the complex histories of Black British writing, art, and thinking, from the eighteenth-century abolitionist movement through the present day. Hazel Carby (Yale University) and Caryl Phillips (Yale University) will offer keynote addresses. And we will also feature talks by Eddie Chambers (University of Texas, Austin), Yogita Goyal (University of California, Los Angeles), Peter Kalliney (University of Kentucky), Ankhi Mukherjee (Oxford), Anthony Reed (Yale), and Siona Wilson (City University of New York-Staten Island).

In addition to talks, the symposium also includes a visit to the archives of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, as well as a closing reception in the Driskell Center Art Gallery. We will also showcase undergraduate and graduate student creative writing and fine art related to the year-long Center for Literary & Comparative Studies theme of "Migration" with art and literary competitions and a related reading event and art display.

See links to two digital galleries on the left-hand side of this text for a taste of the art and literature featured in the symposium. "Migration in Word and Image" showcases student winners of our competitions. "Black British Art" highlights three contemporary U.K. artists (Kimathi Donkor, Tam Jospeh, and Barbara Walker) who have generously offered these pieces to be part of our conversation on the formulation of Black Britishness and part of the media for the symposim.

"Forming Black Britain" is free and open to the public. But please REGISTER so that we may establish temporary access to wireless networks for campus guests, make accurate catering arrangements, and set up facilities to accommodate the group.




For more information contact: Edlie Wong (