Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


The Black Atlantic at 30: Revival and Erasure

05 May 2023, 9:00 am–8:00 pm

 cropped section of Black Atlantic event poster

A day of conversation to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic, based on the book’s contributions to how we conceive the routes of modernity across literature, sound, and politics.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sarah Parker Remond Centre


IAS Common Ground
G11, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building
UCL, Gower Street, London
United Kingdom

Keynote speakers

Jayna Brown (Brown University) is Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Chair of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. She is the author of two books, both published by Duke University Press: Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern (2008) which argues for the centrality of black expressive cultures to the meanings of modernity, and Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds (2021), which traces black radical utopian practice, from the psychic travels of Sojourner Truth to the cosmic transmutations of Sun Ra.

Iain Chambers (Oriental University, Naples) is a theorist and Professor of the Sociology of Cultural Processes at the Oriental University in Naples, where he is director of the doctoral programme on Cultural and Postcolonial Studies in the Anglophone world. His research work is in different fields, including migration and the phenomena of identity in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the editorial boards of the reviews Cultural Studies, Media & Philosophy and Postcolonial Studies and he is author, inter alia, of the books Mediterranean Crossings: The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity (Duke University Press, 2008).

Christine Okoth (King's College London) is Lecturer in Literatures and Cultures of the Black Atlantic in the Department of English, King’s College London. She is primarily concerned with questions of environment and race in contemporary Black literature and visual art, and is currently working on a book project entitled Race and the Raw Material. A second research project considers how contemporary literature and art from the Caribbean, East Africa, and North America looks back onto histories of resource nationalism, de-linking, and other attempts at refusing the integrating gestures of global trade. Her research has been published in Modern Fiction Studies, Textual Practice, and The Cambridge Quarterly.


  • Phoebe Braithwaite (UCL SPRC): The Black Atlantic’s prose style
  • Jessica Breakey (UCL Geography & SPRC): Revival and the Black Mediterranean
  • Gabriel Bristow (UCL SPRC): Amiri Baraka and The Black Atlantic
  • keisha bruce (UCL IAS): Black digital diasporas
  • Sam Caleb (UCL English): Beyond a blurred boundary: George Lamming and cricket’s (post)colonial form
  • Lana Crowe (UCL SPRC & English): Unsayability in The Black Atlantic
  • Sarai Kirchner (KCL & UCL SPRC): The Black Atlantic and desert environments
  • James Reath (UCL English): Post-Modernism, Black Studies, and The Black Atlantic
  • Guyanne Wilson (UCL English): Diaspora and language

This event is supported by UCL English, the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre, and the UCL IAS Octagon Small Grants Fund.

Header image: Aaron Douglas, From Slavery through Reconstruction (1934), detail.