Seminar 2

“Inventing Black Britain: Changing the National Story

Instructor: PhD student Ole Birk Laursen, Open University

Through a reading of a number of key Black British texts from various historical periods, this seminar will explore the transformation of Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. In particular, it will examine the role of imagination and mythology in relation to migration and settlement, ‘routes’ and ‘roots’, thus also exploring the cultural representation of spaces in Britain. Issues of class, race, ethnicity and gender will be considered as the ‘myth’ of Black Britain is exploded and re-invented anew.

For more elaborate information please see below.


Reading List:

Primary reading:

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (London: Penguin, 2006 [1956])

Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (London: Faber, 2009 [1990])

Andrea Levy, Small Island (London: Headline Review, 2004)

Linton Kwesi Johnson, ‘Five Nights of Bleeding’ (6-8), ‘All Wi Doin is Defendin’ (11-13), ‘It Dread inna Inglan’ (25-26) in Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2006)

Farrukh Dhondy, ‘East End at Your Feet’ (46-61) in East End at Your Feet (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1976); and ‘Iqbal Café’ (47-62), in Come to Mecca (London: Collins, 1978).

Buchi Emecheta, ‘Qualifying for the Mansions’ (1-6), ‘Drifting to the Mansions’ (7-15), ‘Pussy Cat Mansions’ (16-22) in In the Ditch (Oxford: Heinemann, 1994 [1972])


Inventing Black Britain_Laursen.pdf

%d bloggers like this: