Goldsmiths Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies annual conference, 19-20 June 2018

Photograph by Jon Anim-Addo

‘Seamed by its own bitter juice’: Voice, Visibility, Literacies conference

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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 and 20th June, 2018.

This two day conference aims to extend our understanding of diaspora, to connect diasporas, and in the process, to forge new critical directions. 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?

Keynote speakers include Professor Robert F. Reid-Pharr, City University of New York, and Dr Regine Jean-Charles, Boston College

Registration costs £70 for two days. Lunch and refreshments on both days are included in the registration fee. Please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seamed-by-its-own-bitter-juice-voice-visibility-literacies-tickets-45755439752 

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