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The Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies is delighted to announce the relaunch of its Caribbean Studies Seminar Series for the academic year 2021/22. These seminars will 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.

Nothing of this Kind in Britain: Caribbean Radicalism and Revolutionary Epistemologies Across the 1960's Black Atlantic

Chair:Rod Westmaas (Guyana SPEAKS)
Speaker:   James Cantres (City University of New York)

This talk draws from James Cantres’s
Blackening Britain: Caribbean Radicalism from Windrush to Decolonization, a capacious investigation into politics of resistance and novel ingenious epistemologies expressed through Caribbean activism, cultural production, and knowledge-making across the decolonizing Black Atlantic world. Exploring notions of “unbelonging”,” Cantres considers the way radical post-World War II Caribbean artist-intellectuals and organizers agitated to critique racialism in metropolitan Britain while creating spaces, ideas, and institutions grounded in Caribbean and African sensibilities. The radicalism of these post-national Caribbean mobilizations in Britain extended beyond the limits of the structures of post-coloniality in the West Indies. Yardies, Rastafarians, and calypsonians in the capital were responding directly to conditions of in the metropole and informed by networks linking them to anticolonial, antiracist projects across the world. Blackening Britain demonstrates the unique diasporic formations rendered through Caribbean historical actors' reckoning between histories, citizenships, privileges destroyed or taken away and the emergence of new modes of liberatory thinking. This presentation explores the ways radical activist-intellectuals and political agitators during decolonization resisted the politics of the old imperial order as well as the immediate realities of the post-colony on each side of the Atlantic. Afro-Caribbean political negotiations and innovative imaginaries reflect tensions of the unique historical moment out of which they emerged in the context of Black Atlantic upheavals.

James Cantres is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Hunter College. His book, Blackening Britain: Caribbean Radicalism from Windrush to Decolonization (Rowman & Littlefield International, December 2020) details the social and political histories of community formation, race consciousness, anti-imperialism, and the quandary of multiculturalism among West Indian migrants in London in the decades following World War II. Commonly known as the Windrush generation, these imperial citizens reshaped British metropolitan culture and politics in subsequent decades. Professor Cantres explores the ways in which African diasporic art forms, radical intellectual pursuits, and Black Power reflect belonging and unbelonging among Black peoples in Britain through the period of decolonization and independence in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. He was named a 2021 CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences Henry Wasser Awardee for Outstanding Research.

Seminar Programme

Winter term
25 January 2022 
22 February 2022
22 March 2022

Summer term
26 April 2022
10 May 2022
14 June 2022

Organisers: Eve Hayes de Kalaf (IMLR) 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 GMT. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register.

Download guidance on participating in an online event (pdf)

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