‘Seamed by its own bitter juice’: Voice, Visibility, Literacies – Diasporic Dialogues’ Conference

19th to 20th June 2018
London, UK

CFP Deadline: 20 April 2018

The Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS), in collaboration with the Eccles Centre at the British Library, is hosting its third ‘Diasporic Dialogues’ conference on 19th – 20th June, 2018. The conference will be held at the Knowledge Centre, British Library, London, UK. The deadline for panel and paper proposals is 20 April 2018.

Confirmed Keynote: Professor Robert F. Reid-Pharr, City University of New York

CCDS’ Dialogue series aim to extend our understanding of diaspora, to connect diasporas, and in the process, to forge new critical directions. This year, we turn to Derek Walcott who, in his essay ‘The Muse of History’ gives thanks, albeit a ‘strange’, ‘bitter and yet ennobling thanks’, for a complex inheritance involving ‘the monumental groaning and soldering of two great worlds, like the halves of a fruit seamed by its own bitter juice’. We borrow Walcott’s problematizing of inheritance to pose a provocative question concerning the diaspora as ‘inheritance’ and ‘gift’, particularly in light of the West’s relatively recent entanglement with the colonising process that is so central to our diasporic genealogy. What are the meanings of such an ‘inheritance’, particularly in terms of voice, visibility and literacies that are readily available or not? What part does ‘race’ play in the stories that get to be told in the diaspora and what are the circumstances of that telling? Where are the silences and what does research tell us? Where are race/ gender intersections and black women in all of this?

While centralising the place of the humanities in our deliberations, we wish to invite proposals from scholars in any discipline interested to explore critical, theoretical, and creative questions in relation to the Caribbean and its diasporas. We particularly welcome North-South and South-South intersections and/or dialogues. Moreover, the year 2018, with its seventieth anniversary focus on Windrush leads us to considerations of impact. We intend our critical conversation to centre not only on those who arrived, but also on the places they left behind, on the generations born here in the diaspora, and on the place that became home; on routes, roots, and legacies that have survived. We welcome papers that are interdisciplinary and/or stretch the limits of this theme to include a range of forms of cultural expression including music, visual arts and digital technology. We especially welcome interest from postgraduate and early-career researchers in the field.

Possible topics for consideration include but are not limited to the following:
• Women, Representation and Diaspora
• Caribbean Imaginaries and ‘Relation’
• Creole languages, Creolisation, Diaspora and Region
• Theoretical Discourse and the Creole Cultural Artefact
• ‘Creative friction’ and Conditions of Cultural Production
• Oral Word/ Written Word: / Visual Art/ Verbal Art
• Mothers / Fathers/ Absence(s)
• Legacies of Slavery and the Gendered Body
• Connecting Diasporas/ Global connectivity
• Windrush Legacies and histories
• Diversity, Europe and Diaspora
• Views of the diaspora from Caribbean harbours
• Race/ Racism/ Institution/ Other
• Colonial/ imperial legacies, Visibility and Voice
• New literacies centring the Caribbean/ diaspora

For abstracts submit an individual proposal of not more than 250 words and a brief biography (100 words) with full details including institutional affiliation. Complete panel proposals (250 word overview + 250 word abstracts for the papers + brief bios) to the conference email. Both abstracts and biogs are required.

Please email abstracts to the Conference Committee: caribbean@gold.ac.uk

Proposal/ Submission Deadline: 20 April 2018
Notification of Acceptance: 1 May 2018

Above text adapted from email.