Summer Scholars: 'Windrush', Lottery Scams and Reparations

Empire War Workers in Britain: A Volunteer from British Guiana, World War Two information poster

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Explore the meanings of ‘Windrush’, lottery scams and reparations in Jamaica

The Summer Scholars season of free, drop-in, lunchtime talks explore the broad and exciting range of research being conducted in the North American collections at the British Library by Eccles Centre Fellows and Award winners. Tea and coffee will be served and attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. 

The uses and meanings of ‘Windrush’ 
Elizabeth Cooper and Naomi Oppenheim explore the changing uses and meanings of ‘Windrush’ in British society through a critical discussion on curating the British Library’s exhibition Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

Reparations and the Reordering of Transgression in the Jamaican Lottery Scam
The concept of ‘reparations’ is most frequently framed as a form of redress that places compensation as the responsibility of the appropriate colonial power. In this talk, Jovan Scott Lewis explores an alternative reparative logic. He illustrates how Jamaican ‘lotto scammers’, who con American citizens into sending money to Jamaica, are reformulating sites of transgression and the currencies and processes for reparative compensation. In this process, reparations become an active claim denoting the continued productivity of the histories and circuits of colonial and postcolonial inequality. 

Elizabeth Cooper is Curator of Latin America and the Caribbean at the British Library. Her research and writing focuses on the inter-related histories of slavery, race and capitalism, popular culture and politics in the Atlantic World – from the 18th through to the 20th century. 

Naomi Oppenheim
is a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership student based at the British Library and UCL. Her current research project, Future Pasts, explores the ways in which history permeated popular culture through a focus on the Caribbean diaspora in 1960s and 1970s Britain. Her thesis also considers the idea that popular and alternative modes of Caribbean history represented a critical juncture of past, present and future.

Jovan Scott Lewis is Assistant Professor of Geography and African-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics. His research is concerned with the affective and structural understanding of the broad concepts of the market, capital, poverty, race, and post-coloniality, examined through raced experiences of the economy. 

Image: Empire War Workers in Britain – A Volunteer from British Guiana, World War Two information poster


Name: Summer Scholars: 'Windrush', Lottery Scams and Reparations
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
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