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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Teaching African American Literature and Culture

10th January 2014, 09:30 to 16:00, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House

9.30 Welcome

9.45 Janine Bradbury (University of Sheffield/York St John University) ‘We Are Here: A Case Study in Using African American Literature in BME Widening Participation at the University of Sheffield’

10.30 Leila Kamali (Birkbeck, University of London) ‘The Callaloo Conference at Oxford University (November 2013): Implications for Teaching African American Literature in the UK’

Tessa Roynon (St Peter’s College, Oxford University) ‘Teaching African American Literature at Oxford: Challenges and Opportunities’

11.30 Coffee/Tea and Cake

12.00 Nicole King (Higher Education Academy) 'Allegories of Teaching and Learning'

Reading and small group activity

13.00 Lunch

13.45 Rachel Farebrother (Swansea University) ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture: the Problem of the Anthology’

Rachel van Duyvenbode (University of Sheffield) ‘“White Like Me”: Reflections on Teaching Whiteness in/through/with/against African American Literature’

14.45 Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire) Riffing on the Black Atlantic through a sea of colour: A model of total student immersion through music, dramaturgy, art, history, literature and museum studies

15.30 Closing thoughts and suggestions, chaired by Jenny Terry (Durham University)

16.00 Finish

This event will be free to attend but registration by 6 January 2014 is necessary. To register please email Jenny Terry

‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’ will be held in the Seminar Room on the ground floor of Hallgarth House, Durham University, 77 Hallgarth Street,

Durham, DH1 3AY. This building is number 33 on the university map:

The event is sponsored by the Higher Education Academy and English Studies, Durham University. The CFP (below) sets out the day’s aims.


We invite proposals for ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’. This one-day, HEA-sponsored event is intended to open up conversations about the place of African American literature within teaching and within teaching in different contexts. The organisers hope it will foster reflection on Higher Education pedagogical approaches, the politics of teaching, cultural canons, and the possibilities and pitfalls of the appeal of African American literature to students. We welcome a wide spectrum of responses, including interdisciplinary engagements and discussion of music, film, television, visual arts etc alongside written texts.

Topics might include:

  • Teaching African American literature and culture outside of the US
  • Case studies of teaching practices devised or revised for African American-focused modules 
  • Questions of canonisation, exceptionalism, tokenism, exoticisation
  • Institutional contexts and / or strategies for different student groups
  • Opportunities for widening participation, public engagement, social impact
  • The Obama bounce? Historicising approaches to African American studies
  • African American literature and interdisciplinarity
  • Teaching African American literature in postcolonial / black Atlantic / American studies frameworks

Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Jenny Terry ( by Friday 6 December 2013. The organisers would like to encourage a variety of formats; for example, proposals could be for less formal, short ‘starter’ presentations with interactive elements, workshops involving sharing teaching resources or teaching scenarios, 15 minute papers etc. Presenters will be confirmed by mid-December 2013.

Contact for more information about this event.


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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