The Issue of Truth: Representing Black British History

Date / time: 24 April, 12:00 am

Call for Papers, deadline – 24 April 2023

Full details available at:

In light of the conversations sparked by Black Lives Matter and the 75th anniversary of Windrush, this conference invites a number of people working within academia, public history, activism and the cultural sector to discuss a recent trajectory within Black British history. Building upon the ideas of scholars such as Kennetta Hammond Perry, Jade Bentil and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, the conference will be a space for contributors to interrogate the notion of ‘truth’ within histories of Black people in Britain.

As we study minoritised peoples for whom the institutional archive is often a site of dehumanisation and marginalisation, we invite participants to question whose truth is being represented in the materials that we use. Whose truth is heard and whose is forgotten? How can we change the perception that certain truths are more credible than others? How can we depict the many truths of Black British History, the vitality of Black life as well as the traumatic experiences that shape it? How can we reflect the diversity of opinion as well as the united front posed by Black activists?

This exciting conference will bring many voices together, from a range of fields, to foster a sense of community between academia, community research groups and those who disseminate these histories to the public — we can collectively imagine the future of Black history and its position within mainstream narratives of Britain.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kennetta Hammond Perry, Northwestern University

The conference will take place at the Institute of Historical Research | 21-22 September 2023.


Submit a brief biography and an abstract of no more than 250 words on the topic of ‘truth’ within Black British history – please note that we seek papers that critically engage with the central theme rather than offer narrative accounts of events or people.

We welcome traditional papers and alternative outputs from members of the public as well as scholars at any stage in their academic career or postgraduate study.

We welcome panel submissions. For pre-organised panels, please include one abstract for each presenter and a short biography for each panel member. Pre-organised panels should have 3-4 papers.

As we are keen to capture the diversity of Black life across Britain, we are particularly interested in submissions that explore regions, stories, time periods and methodologies that have been neglected within representations of history.

Deadline: 24th April 2023

Send all submissions and queries to:

This conference has been organised by Organisers: Olivia Wyatt and Deanna Lyncook (Queen Mary, University of London).

Image: Vanley Burke, Untitled, from the series Day Out, 1974