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Leicester to host national conference on Black British history

The 10th Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ Black British History Workshop is to be held at the University of Leicester.

The University of Leicester and the Centre for New Writing is set to host the prestigious Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ 10th Black British History Workshop on Thursday 2 May 2019. The event will foster a creative dialogue between researchers, educationalists, artists, writers, archivists, curators and policy makers, promoting innovative research into the history of people of African origin or descent in the UK.

This year will see an emphasis on local and regional and family histories from Leicester and the Midlands. There will be papers on new isotope technology revealing how multicultural Leicester was in Roman times, local black football teams, African American soldiers in Leicestershire in 1944, nineteenth-century mixed-race couples and much more.

Leicester lead Dr Corinne Fowler, Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature, is the Director of the Centre for New Writing, which seeks to diversify literary voices beyond the mainstream.

On the Institute of Commonwealth Studies choosing Leicester to host their workshop, Dr Fowler said: “What’s Happening in Black British History is my favourite conference: it is accessible and it has its finger on the pulse. Any new developments in the field will be revealed here. This conference has a strong local history emphasis, so it’s very relevant for the region.”

Dr Fowler is the lead on an Arts Council and Heritage Lottery project called ‘Colonial Countryside: Reinterpreting National Trust Houses’. In partnership with Peepal Tree Press and the National Trust it aims to make country houses’ colonial connections widely known, and seeks to help the next generation of archivists, curators, historians and writers to gain expertise in the topic. The project has seen 100 primary school children visit 11 different National Trust houses.

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