About On Whose Terms?: Ten Years On…


The cultural power of Black British* literature and the Arts resides as much in the exploration of pressing cultural concerns, as in its innovative material aesthetics and textual practices.

The 2008 landmark conference ‘On Whose Terms?: Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts focused upon local, international and transnational engagements with Black British literature and the Arts, to trace the multiple – real and imaginary – routes through its production, reception and cultural politics. It created a meeting point for prominent and emerging scholars, writers and practitioners, young people and the general public for exploring the impact of this field, both at home and abroad. 

The 2018 return conference, ‘On Whose Terms?: Ten Years On… aims to chart what has happened throughout the past the decade.  As substantial reclamations in cultural histories continue to expand and revise the horizons of knowledge, recent cultural and technological changes have also propelled new mechanisms of success as well as marginalization, invisibility and exclusion. This return conference offers a platform for incorporating the developments and questions concerning the impact of globalization and digitization, post-humanism and biopolitics, visuality and materiality.

At a time when established notions of community, human life and democracy have come under new and considerable pressures, this return conference offers a vibrant arena for critically engaging with Black British politics and the aesthetic practices that respond to today’s local and global challenges. The conference seeks to take stock of these developments as well as encouraging fresh discourses in the field, in a context of critical investigation and celebration; to continue a journey along diasporic and aesthetic routes.