EXPERT MEETING
Black British Women’s Writing: Where is it now?

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Campus Etterbeek (BRUSSELS, BELGIUM)
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Convened by Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Bekers (VUB) & Dr. Ole Birk Laursen

This international expert meeting seeks to gather scholars working on female British authors of African and Caribbean descent in order to discuss and promote the status of Black British Women’s Writing in contemporary letters and literary criticism. Despite critical interest in contemporary British Women’s Writing and in Black British Writing, the body of writing that lies at the intersection of both is rarely considered in its own right. In this regard, Black British Women’s Writing differs from regional or period-bound categories of British women’s writing as well as other categories of black women’s writing, in particular African American women’s writing. Although the comparatively late literary breakthrough of black women writers in Britain offers a partial explanation, the critical attention devoted to certain individual women writers in the early 2000s has generated remarkably few critical studies dealing with Black British Women’s Writing as a field.

This meeting brings together experts from across Europe and beyond to document the available expertise on Black British Women’s Writing, to examine the status of the field and explore further avenues of research, and to set up an international network of scholars who share resources and research findings. Participants are invited to present their research-in-progress and discuss the state of Black British Women’s Writing (a.m.) and to explore new lines of research and possibilities for international collaboration (p.m.). The meeting aims to lay the groundwork for a special journal issue on black British women’s writing.

Scholars interested in participating in the expert meeting are invited to send a short biography (150 words) to elisabeth.bekers@vub.ac.be before 1 December 2012 and may expect an answer by 10 December. Accepted participants are required to submit a 1,000 word outline of their research in progress as well as a list of their relevant publications and/or work-in-progress by 20 February 2013. Accepted participants are offered a conference reader and a conference meal and will have access to university accommodation (available at 25€ per room/35€ with wifi). Scholars interested in joining the network and in contributing to the special issue, but unable to attend the expert meeting, may submit their outlines and bibliographies for inclusion in the conference reader.

This expert meeting is organised within the framework of a research project on Black British Women’s Writing and Criticism directed by Elisabeth Bekers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and funded by the Flemish research council (FWO Vlaanderen).