November 9, 2011

Narrating the Caribbean Nation: A Celebration of Literature and Orature

Peepal Tree Press is pleased to announce that a two-day conference, Narrating the Caribbean Nation: A Celebration of Literature and Orature, will be held on 13-15th April 2012 at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. The conference will celebrate the Silver Anniversary of Peepal Tree Press and highlight the contribution of its own authors and other Caribbean and Black British writers to contemporary world literature.

We are also delighted that Kwame Dawes has confirmed his participation as a keynote speaker. Widely recognised as one of the Caribbean's leading writers, Kwame is also Chancellor's Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, and Associate Poetry Editor at Peepal Tree Press.

The conference aims to bring together writers, academics, students, teachers and people with an interest in Caribbean literature to discuss the rich body of both Caribbean and Black British writing and to explore the relationship between the two. Our investigation into the 'narration of nation' centres around a definition of the Caribbean nation as one rooted in a rich, unique and plural community which transcends physical borders and extends across the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora.  
We will examine culture, politics, identities, childhood, performance and many other topics in the context of the Caribbean and its diasporas and discuss how the past 25 years of Caribbean writing connects to, and builds on, classic texts of Caribbean literature. Moreover, the conference will offer opportunities to hear the ideas of new and established writers and to watch them perform.
The conference will juxtapose academic papers with less formal presentations from activists and practitioners in the field in order to raise the profile of writers of Caribbean heritage. Over the course of the conference, Leeds-based Peepal Tree Press, which has been the home of the best in Caribbean, Black British and South Asian literature for 25 years, will showcase new and classic works in print and in performance by its authors from around the world.

Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Caribbean identities·       
  • Diasporic Caribbean identities·       
  • Resistance, politics, racism·       
  • Publishing writing from the Caribbean and its diaspora·       
  • Gender and sexuality·       
  • Indo-Caribbean literature        
  • Classic Caribbean texts·       
  • Discovering new Caribbean writers·        
  • Oral narratives and storytelling·       
  • Auto/biography, memoir, life writing·       
  • Caribbean texts in translation·       
  • Caribbean women writers·       
  • Caribbean poetry·       
  • Teaching Caribbean writing·        
  • Caribbean short story       
  • Intersections between Caribbean literature, orature, and visual arts·       
  • Writing for children
  • Sport and pastimes in the Caribbean and its diaspora 

Please send abstracts of 200 words and brief biodata
(via Word attachment) to Claire Chambers, Emily Marshall, and Emma Smith on 
with 'Abstract' in the subject line by 23 December 2011.

We also welcome poster presentations (for examples  Further details about the conference are available on
Or contact Kadija George:

Selected papers will be published in a journal special issue and/or an edited collection.

Kadija George, Inscribe/Peepal Tree Press      
Dorothea Smartt, Inscribe/Peepal Tree Press
Emma Smith, Peepal Tree Press 
Kevin Hylton, Leeds Metropolitan University
Claire Chambers, Leeds Metropolitan University
Emily Marshall, Leeds Metropolitan University

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