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Africa in Black British Women’s Neo-Slave Narratives

Conference panel

21 March 2013

@ What is Africa to Me Now? – The Continent and Its Literary Diasporas (Université de Liège, 21-23 March 2013)

Panel Summary

This panel investigates the role of Africa in black British women’s “neo-slave narratives” (Bell 1987). Black British women’s literature has often focused on the diasporic experience of migration to and life in Britain, while engagement with Africa and the West Indies tends to be overlooked. Recent fiction, poetry and drama by authors such as Bernardine Evaristo, Jackie Kay, Andrea Levy has explored the relationship between Britain, the West Indies and Africa through the form of the slave narrative. Such narratives seek to unravel forgotten histories of trauma and represent a renewed interest in Africa and its impact on British history.

Ole Birk Laursen (Independent Scholar) - “Before Slavery: Untold Stories in Andrea Levy’s Fiction

Sheila Albalate Rivera (University of Huelva, Spain) - “Afrocentrism in Bernardine Evaristo’s Blonde Roots”

Elisabeth Bekers (Free University of Brussels VUB, Belgium) - “Imaginary Africas in the Fiction of Malorie Blackman and Bernardine Evaristo”