CFP — Re-visiting the Black Atlantic: Gender, ‘Race’ and Performance


International Conference

Re-visiting the Black Atlantic: Gender, ‘Race’ and Performance

11 and 12 June 2019, University of Liverpool, UK 

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Paul Gilroy’s pioneering The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge University Press). This conference aims to commemorate and dialogue with Gilroy’s seminal study, one that continues to serve as a reference point for scholars working on the intersection of the African diaspora, cultural production and issues of identity. The event will foreground the ongoing contribution of Modern Languages to studies of the Black Atlantic, encouraging approaches that privilege linguistic sensitivity and are open to multilingual understandings. Furthermore, this conference aims to build on Gilroy’s ground-breaking study by specifically addressing the issue of gender and female performance, and by extending the focus from the Northern Hemisphere to embrace lesser-explored south-south cultural dialogues and exchanges beyond the Anglophone worlds. The conference will bring together scholars working in Francophone, German, Lusophone and Hispanic Studies, as well as African diaspora studies and Anglophone literary and historical studies, and will advance discussions of the construction and performativity of ‘race’ in a trans-Atlantic context from a comparative perspective. 

Keynote speaker:  Dr. Mónica Moreno Figueroa, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Cambridge.Dr Moreno Figueroa’s research has primarily developed around three areas: the lived experience of ‘race’ and racism; feminist theory and the interconnections between beauty, emotions and racism; visual methodologies and applied research collaborations. She has focussed on Mexico and Latin America more broadly. The interest in researching the ‘qualities’ of the lived experience of racism, has taken her to the study of the everyday, the relevance of emotions and affect, as well as issues around visibility and embodiment. Now she is exploring issues of institutional and structural racism as well as the challenges for anti-racist action in mestizo (racially mixed) contexts. For more details see

The conference programme will include 20-minute papers. We also welcome innovative ideas for panel discussions (maximum three speakers). Please specify which you are applying for in your abstract. We hope to publish a selection of revised conference papers in a peer-reviewed journal or as an edited collection after the conference. Some post-graduate bursaries will be available to cover conference fee, domestic travel and accommodation – please indicate your eligibility in your abstract.

Please send abstracts of between 200 and 300 words to along with a short biography by Monday 4th March 2019.  

Conference organisers: 

Dr Lisa Shaw, Reader in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Liverpool 

Professor Alan Rice, Professor of English and American Studies, Director of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire 

Adjoa Osei, AHRC-funded PhD student in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Liverpool, who is researching how Afro-Brazilian transnational performers participated in, and contributed to, various cosmopolitan intelligentsias and political global circuits, focusing on the period between 1920 and 1940.  

Supported by the Institute of Modern Languages Research’s Regional Conference Grant Scheme

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