“Black” British Aesthetics Today:
The Howard University Symposium
Howard University
The Blackburn Center, Saturday, April 8, 2006



(Funded by a Grant from the Provost’s Fund for Academic Excellence)

Prof. R. Victoria Arana
, Department of English, Howard University

Session A: On Tradition and Innovation
Dr.Maria Helena Lima, SUNY-Geneseo, Moderator/Respondent

  • Windrush and Its Discontents ,” Prof. Michelle Wright, University of Minnesota
  • “ ‘Black’ British Writing: In the Tradition of Revolutionary Poetics ,” Andrene Taylor, Howard University
  • “How ‘Black’ is ‘Black’ Literature?: Corporate Multiculturalism, Identity Games, & Intercultural Poetics ,” Prof. Roy Sommer, Wuppertal Universität, Germany
  • “The Limits of Postcolonial Aesthetics ,” Dr. Jude Chudi Okpala, Howard University

Keynote Address
'Diaspora wasn't made in a day': Reflections on Aesthetics and Time ,” Kobena Mercer, Ph.D., Middlesex University, UK

Panel I: Photography, Film, & Multi-Media—Traces in the Here and Now: Black British Creativity in Photography, Film, and Multi-Media.
Prof. Deborah Willis, New York University, Moderator
Prof. Starmanda Bullock (Fine Arts, HU), Respondent

  • "To Travel in Her Shoes: The Work of Contemporary Black British Photographer Joy Gregory and Her Series Cinderella Tours Europe , Dr. Cheryl Finley, Cornell University
  • “Endless Prospects ,” Ms. Roshini Kempadoo, University of East London

Panel II: On Poetry—Contemporary ‘Black’ British Poetry: Diaspora and Invention.
Dr. Tony Medina (poet/English Department, HU), Moderator/Respondent

  • “When Myths Are Facts ,” SuAndi (poet, UK)
  • “Limited Expectations: An Argument for a Broader Understanding of the Framework and Aesthetics of the Work of UK-Based Poets Who Are Black,” Rommi Smith (poet, UK)
  • “Contemporary British/Caribbean Poetry and Experimental Practices: The Continuous Diaspora ,” Anthony Joseph (poet, UK)
  • “Theoretical Mappings of Avant-Gardism and the Diasporic in Contemporary Black British Poetry ,” Prof. Lauri Ramey, California State University— Los Angeles (poet & scholar)

Session B: On Theater & TV
Prof. Sandra Shannon (Theatre Scholar, English Department, HU) Moderator

  • “Transnationalism and the New Black Aesthetic: Winsome Pinnock’s Travelling Bodies ,” Prof. Meenakshi Ponnuswami, Bucknell University
  • “‘There Is No Justice: Just Us’: Staging Black Britons ,” Prof. Valerie Kaneko Lucas, Ohio State University
  • “Not ‘In-Yer-Face’ But What Lies Beneath: Experiential and Aesthetic Inroads in the Drama of debbie tucker green and Dona Daley,” Dr. Deirdre Osborne, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
  • “Black Britons and British Television: A Dialogic Narrative,” Dr. Darrell Newton, Salisbury University, MD

Session C: On Fiction
Dr. Tracey Walters, Stony Brook University, Moderator/Respondent

  • “Reclaiming Representation: Realism in Contemporary ‘Black’ London Fiction ,” Magdalena Maczynska, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
  • “Radical Revisions in Caryl Phillips’s Cambridge ,” Tracyann Williams, The New
  • School, NYC
  • “In Search of . . . ? Representations of Post-Black Condition ,” Koye Oyedeji, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

Session D: On Art and Film
Prof. Floyd Coleman (Art History, HU), Moderator/Respondent

  • “Aesthetics of the West Indian Front Room ,” Michael McMillan (Poet, critic, curator & performance artist), Middlesex University, UK
  • “Irony and the Twentieth-Century Dandy ,” Courtney Martin, Yale University
  • “Migratory Aesthetics and the (Dis)Placing of the Maternal Subject in Martina Attille’s Dreaming Rivers (1988) ,” Dr. Amna Malik, Slade School of Art, London, England

Symposium Dinner
Presiding: Dr. Thomas C. Battle, Director, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University

Dinner Address:
Pretty is the New Black... ' Diran Adebayo (Novelist, UK)

Evening Session: Music, Fiction, and Poetry
Dr. Joan Anim-Addo ( Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK) &
Kadija George Sesay (Arts Activist, Publisher, UK), Moderator/Respondents

  • “Floetry: Inserting a Transnational Black into the Union Jack,” Deonne Minto, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • “Black Woman’s Journey toward Herself,” Sheree Angela Mack, Newcastle, UK
  • “Trans Raised Diasporic Black British Writers,” Valerie Mason-John, M.A., UK (novelist)
  • “Black British Poetry—The Resounding Underground ,” Samera Owusu Tutu, London, UK (journalist)


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