Temporalities of Refusal, Newcastle University, 29 May 2024

May 29, 2024
Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

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  • Leverhulme Trust
  • School X (Newcastle)
  • CAPPE Brighton


McGill University


Newcastle University, UK
University of Brighton

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In the wake of recent efforts within critical Black studies to conceptualise how the contemporary world continues to be shaped by the still unfolding aftermaths of transatlantic slavery, the notion of refusal has emerged as “a generative and capacious rubric for theorising everyday practices of struggle often obscured by an emphasis on collective acts of resistance” (Tina Campt). In this context, refusals have been variously conceived as strategies for interrupting established colonial knowledges, as artistic or political flights from the dehumanisations of the anti-Black world, as creative practices for imagining otherwise, or even as those wayward forms of existence that evade the patriarchal and heteronormative enclosures of the colonial world of Man. For many, the critical potential of refusal also indexes a complex sense of temporality, in that refusals can rupture the historical structures of coloniality and the anti-Black world, without being premised on the linear, teleological, or utopian notions of futurity that have tended to dominate Western political and poetical imaginaries.

This one-day hybrid symposium, collaboratively organised between members of Newcastle’s School X and CAPPE Brighton, and with support from the Leverhulme Trust, invites scholars from across the humanities to reflect on the specifically temporal aspects of practices and processes of refusal. Taking the thinking of refusal and temporality that has arisen in the fields of critical Black studies and decolonial philosophy as starting points, we aim to create a locus for considering how practices and figurations of refusal can disrupt, upend, or signal beyond hegemonic conceptions of being and existing in time. To this end, we especially welcome presentations addressing the following (and other related) themes:

·       Refusal, the colonial past and the “afterlives of slavery”

·       Refusal, utopia and futurity

·       Refusal and the (de)colonial imagination

·       Refusal, critical fabulation and temporalities of the archive

·       Refusal, (anti)sociality and social upheaval

·       Figurations of temporal refusal in literature (including in the Caribbean context)

To facilitate participation from scholars across the globe, the symposium will be held in a hybrid format throughout. Registration will also be free.

Interested participants should submit a 300-word abstract outlining their intervention, alongside a 100-word biographical note, to [email protected]. Any questions or access requirements relating to the symposium can also be addressed to this email.

The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2024. All applicants will be notified of the outcome within two weeks.

We particularly welcome applications from early career researchers and researchers belonging to underrepresented communities within the academy.

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