CFP: Anti-racism in Britain: Histories and Trajectories | UCL, 24-25 April 2020 | CFP deadline 6 January

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Anti-racism in Britain: Histories and Trajectories
University College London, 24-25 April 2020

Concepts of ‘race’ and racism are central to British history. They have shaped, and been shaped by, British identities, economies and societies for centuries, from seventeenth-century enslavement in the Caribbean to the ‘hostile environment’ of the 2010s. Yet state and societal racism has always been met with resistance. Britain has been home to anti-slavery societies, Pan-African Congresses, and antifascist organisations. At a more quotidian level, even those who might not have identified as anti-racist have challenged the racism of their peers, bosses and friends in informal ways. People have challenged and reshaped notions of ‘Britishness’ through dress, art and staking their claim to British identity.

We therefore invite proposals for papers to present at our conference, Anti-racism in Britain: Histories and Trajectories, to be held on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th April 2020 at University College London. The conference will explore the trends and patterns of British anti-racism — its continuities and discontinuities, its fusions and fissions — in order to understand how anti-racism has shaped Britain, and the possibilities for the anti-racist struggles of today and tomorrow. There will also be a keynote lecture delivered by Professor Hakim Adi (University of Chichester).

Although the programme will be weighted towards historical papers, we also welcome proposals about contemporary anti-racist movements, ideas and practices (particularly those that locate contemporary anti-racism in historical perspectives). We also welcome proposals that speak to comparative studies with other nations, or to anti-racism in the ‘British World’ or the British Empire as a system, but are unlikely to accept papers that make reference to only one colony or region of the empire. We hope that this conference will be of interest to those outside the academy, and encourage contributions from anti-racist activists.

We welcome proposals for either individual papers or for panels of three. Possible themes for discussion include:

  • Intersectionality
  • ‘Everyday’ anti-racism
  • Identities and identity formation
  • Politics and political theory
  • Migrant struggle and citizenship
  • Political ‘blackness’
  • ‘Allyship’
  • Anti-imperialism and Third-Worldism

Proposals should be sent to: Individual proposals should include a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words. Panel proposals should include individual paper titles and abstracts of no more than 300 words per paper, plus a panel title and a panel abstract of no more than 100 words. Please feel free to send any queries to the above email address.

We will offer a limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries of up to £100 for speakers who are students, early career researchers or not full-time academics and are travelling from outside London. If you would like to be considered for one of the bursaries, please indicate this in your application.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 6th January 2020. If you would like help in forming panels before the deadline, please email us a call for panellists at and we will upload it to the conference blog ( Alternatively, use the hashtag #antiracism2020 on Twitter.