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CLACS Caribbean Studies Seminar Series actively promote intellectual engagement and knowledge exchange by providing scholars - including postgraduate students and early career researchers - with the opportunity to present their interdisciplinary, comparative and integrated research on the Caribbean.

‘Companionship of Minds’: Nancy Cunard and the Anglophone Caribbean Press in the 1930s and 1940s

Speaker: Anna Girling (Institute of English Studies, University of London)

Nancy Cunard is an important yet often overlooked figure in the histories of early twentieth-century transatlantic anti-colonialism and anti-racism. Described by Brent Hayes Edwards as a ‘“living network” of black internationalist connections and alliances’, Cunard is nevertheless largely absent from the histories of interwar internationalism. Key to any recalibration – of Cunard’s own work and literary and political reputation, and too of these internationalist histories – is Cunard’s large body of international interwar journalism. 

This talk will draw on my ongoing research into Cunard’s interwar journalism using the British Library’s holdings of Caribbean newspapers. I will discuss the ways in which Cunard’s life and work was reported on by newspapers in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados in the 1930s – and the discussions about race, censorship, and colonialism which this reporting enabled. I will also give an overview of Cunard’s own writings from and about the Caribbean during the 1930s and 1940s. These writings encapsulate the 1930s political shift from radical anti-colonialism and anti-racism to Popular Front anti-fascism – but also demonstrate Cunard’s continual work in forging and fostering internationalist links and solidarities. 

Anna Girling recently completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently an Early Career Fellow in the Institute of English Studies at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, and will soon be a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Brighton’s Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories. The research on which this talk is based emerges from an Eccles Centre Fellowship at the British Library.

Seminar Programme

Autumn term
4 October 
1 Nov  
6 Dec            
Winter term
10 Jan                    
14 March     

18 April


Eve Hayes de Kalaf (IHR) and Jack Webb (Manchester)

The Caribbean Studies Seminar Series is organised by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in collaboration with Race, Roots and Resistance (University of Manchester)

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which will be held online via Zoom at 16:00 BST. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button at the top of the page to register.

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