Black Studies Association Conference: Blackness in Britain 2015 (Birmingham City University, 30-31 October)

The theme of the Black Studies Association annual conference is “The Black Special Relationship: The US influence on British Black Studies.” This two-day event takes place at Birmingham City University, 30-31 October 2015, and its programme is concerned with an examination of ways in which Black British intellectual life has been influenced by African-American scholarship – both in terms of the past histories and present-day narratives of Black populations in the UK and the wider African diaspora.

October 2015 will also mark 70th anniversary of the 5th Pan African Congress held in Manchester in 1945 where key global political activists and intellectuals including Amy Ashwood Garvey, W. E B. Dubois, Ras Makonnen, Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah, came together to discuss global and local strategies to dismantle racialised discrimination, colonialism and European imperialism. Black intellectual thought in Britain has historically drawn upon these intellectual trajectories that have travelled across and through African diasporas. Yet more recently, it is through the predominance of African-American intellectual thought and scholarship that African diasporas in the UK have engaged with ideas of blackness, Black studies, race and racism.

Source:  Black Studies Association –

Delegates at the Pan African Congress (Manchester, UK) in 1945. Image source:
Delegates at the Pan African Congress (Manchester, UK) in 1945. Image source:

In addition to keynote presentations from internationally renowned scholars such as Professor Patricia Hill Collins, Associate Professor Barnor Hesse, Professor Gus John and Professor Denise Ferreira De Silva, the BSA are inviting academics and activists to submit papers for the proposed panel debates which address topics and themes such as (but not limited to): Black feminist activism and scholarship; Pan-Africanism in Britain; Community organising and activism; Blackness, sexualities and sexual politics; The legacy of ‘New Ethnicities’;  Neoliberalism, colonialism, imperialism; Education; Faith, theology, religion and blackness; Black space, black geographies;  African centred thought; and African diasporic borders.

The full list of conference themes, and further information about this event, can be accessed via the Black Studies Association website at

250-word abstracts should be submitted by 1st May 2015 c/o:

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