1st Jun 2018 9:00am-5:00pm

Grand Parade, M2


Keynote: Prof Robbie Shilliam (Queen Mary, University of London) Ethiopianism and Reparation Time.

Registration: Free (please email to register for attendance)


The work of Black Studies is constitutively concerned with the negotiation of complex temporalities: from Denise Ferreira da Silva’s work on ‘reimagining sociality’ around ‘the principle of nonlocality’, which she understands as a challenge to the ‘linear temporality’ of the (white, European) subject of modernity (‘On Difference Without Separability’); to Saidiya Hartman’s claim that ‘the distinction between the past and the present founders on the interminable grief engendered by slavery and its aftermath’ (‘The Time of Slavery’); to Fred Moten’s imagining of black life as a form of improvisation that ‘look[s] ahead with a kind of torque that shapes what’s being looked at’ (In the Break). Black Studies’ interrogation of racialised modernity is one that seeks to excavate and valorise the complex time of blackness, refusing a restorative narrative of black history that would efface histories of mourning, accounting or resistance.


This one day symposium will engage the work of these and other scholars to think through the ways these complex temporalities are performed, instantiated and negotiated across a variety of interrelated conceptual and/or historical contexts. It aims to critically engage the ways in which claims on the past are shaped by the contemporary politics of ‘race’ and the ways in which those claims work to occlude the centrality of the radical black tradition to the making of the modern world. We invite proposals for contributions from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to memory studies, cultural history, critical theory, geography, political theory, literary theory, performance studies and philosophy, as well as from work that is interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary or undisciplinary.