Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies

We promote collaborative work within Caribbean and Diaspora Studies and specialise in the study of Caribbean and diasporic literatures.

About Us

Inside the department


Discover our research and find out more about our latest projects

About Us

More about our aims, objectives, what we do and why.

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

Call for Papers

Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 June 2018
Venue: The Knowledge Centre, British Library, London

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 deadline for panel and paper proposals is 20 April 2018.

CCDS’ Dialogue series aims 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

Proposal/ Submission Deadline: 20 April 2018

Notification of Acceptance: 1 May 2018

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:

Visit our conference website.

Related content