Centre welcomes UCT-Bristol Fellow!

July, 2024

We are delighted to welcome Dr Shanaaz Hoosein to the Centre for Black Humanities as a UCT-Bristol Fellow. Dr Hoosein is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Development at the University of Capetown and will be joining us across July and August, 2024.  During her time here, Dr Hoosein will lead us in a series of dialogues around her research and experiences working with young people and communities descended from enslaved people.

For full details, see the Events page.


20 May 2023

Congratulations to Dr José Nafafé, Dr Lorenzo Costaguta, and Dr Justin Williams on being awarded a University Research Fellowship!

Dr Peace Medie Publishes her Second Novel: 'Nightbloom'

10 April 2023

Congratulations to Dr Peace Medie on the publication of her highly anticipated second novel, ‘Nightbloom’. 

Black Humanities Summer School

10 April 2023

We’re excited to launch our Black Humanities Summer School this year. Join us as we examine the histories, creative production and intellectual legacies of Africa and its diasporas that weave through contemporary debates around race and the humanities. More details here:


2 February 2023

A warm welcome to our new Centre members:

  • Dr Leighan Renaud (English)
  • Dr Doseline Kiguru (English)
  • Dr Florian Stadtler (English)
  • Dr Misha Ewen (History)
  • Dr Glen Ncube (History)
  • Professor Kate Skinner (History)
  • Dr Connor Ryan (Film)
  • Dr Adom Philogene Heron (Anthropology and Archeology)  

Dr Saima Nasar's Leverhulme Leadership Award

6 January 2023

Congratulations to Dr Saima Nasar on being awarded a Leverhulme Leadership Award for her project on Welfare Citizenship and Intersectional Feminism. 

Dr Josie Gill's Leverhulme Prize

21 October 2022

Congratulations to Dr Josie Gill on being awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize. Josie’s next book project will be titled ‘Black Lecturer’ which will be, in part, about her experiences of working in UK HE.

Visiting Scholars

1 October 2022

The Centre is delighted to welcome 2 visiting scholars:

Visiting Scholars

1 October 2021

The Centre is delighted to welcome 3 visiting scholars:

MA Black Humanities Scholarship for Teachers - Part of the Black Bristol Scholarship Programme (Faculty of Arts)

1 February 2021

The MA Black Humanities Scholarship for Teachers aims to provide school teachers with the opportunity to gain state-of-the-art knowledge, reflect on their practice, and build the skills, networks, and confidence to lead on issues of race and the legacies of European imperialism in the curriculum.

You can find more information here:

Centre Receives Wellcome Trust Funding

31 July 2020

The Centre for Black Humanities has received a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award

We are delighted to announce that the Centre for Black Humanities has received a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award for a two-year project on ‘Black Health and the Humanities’ led by Dr Josie Gill.

The project will establish an interdisciplinary network of researchers with the aim of investigating and bringing to light perspectives from the Black humanities on Black health and wellbeing.

More information can be found here:

(Updated October 2021)

New Centre Director

31 July 2020

The Centre for Black Humanities welcomes Professor Madhu Krishnan as its incoming Director

The CBH is delighted to announce its new incoming Director, Professor Madhu Krishnan. Madhu replaces the outgoing Director, Dr Josie Gill, who has steered the Centre’s activities for the past two years.

Josie commented: ‘As my term as Centre Director comes to an end, I’d like to thank the management team, our members and all of our supporters, who together have helped the Centre for Black Humanities to flourish and grow over the past few years. I will continue to take an active role in Centre activities as we move forward and I’m delighted that my colleague, Madhu Krishnan, will be stepping into the role to lead us on to even greater things!’

Madhu said: ‘’I’m very pleased to be taking over the Centre leadership from Josie. Both she and Dot Price before her have done an amazing job establishing the Centre as an international hub for leading research in Black Humanities and cultures, and I look forward to following in their footsteps.’

Madhu is taking over from 1st August.

New book published by Centre director Dr Josie Gill

20 February 2020

Biofictions: Race, Genetics and the Contemporary Novel, the new book by Dr Josie Gill, published on 20 February.

In this important interdisciplinary study, Josie Gill explores how the contemporary novel has drawn upon, and intervened in, debates about race in late 20th and 21st century genetic science.

The book draws upon leading contemporary writers including Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro, Octavia Butler and Colson Whitehead, and demonstrates how ideas of race are produced at the intersection of science and fiction, which together create the stories about identity, racism, ancestry and kinship which characterize our understanding of race today.

By highlighting the role of narrative in the formation of racial ideas in science, this book calls into question the apparent anti-racism of contemporary genetics, which functions narratively, rather than factually or objectively, within the racialized contexts in which it is embedded.

The book is available from Bloomsbury.

Huge congratulations to Josie!

University of Bristol Appoints New Black History Professor

1 November 2019

Professor Olivette Otele, the UK’s first female black history professor, takes up her new role from January 1 2020 and will be based at the University’s Department of History and Centre for Black Humanities.

Professor Otele’s research examines the various legacies of colonial pasts, understanding trauma, recovery and social cohesion, but also amnesia and reluctance to address various aspects of colonial legacies. She has been working on these complex and sensitive questions for nearly two decades

One of her first tasks in her role as Professor of the History of Slavery will be to undertake a two-year research project on the University of Bristol’s and the wider city’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

Professor Otele said: “I am very much looking forward to starting work at the University of Bristol in the New Year.

“I hope to bring together Bristolians from all communities, and scholars, artists and educators who are willing to contribute to a stronger and fairer society.

“I want students to see me as a facilitator of a dialogue that needs to take place and that is about the role of the University of Bristol in the transatlantic slave trade.

“I want to produce a rigorous and an extensive piece of research that will be relevant to the University, to the city and that will be a landmark in the way Britain examines, acknowledges and teaches the history of enslavement.”

The Centre for Black Humanities is delighted to welcome Professor Otele to Bristol, and we are looking forward to working with her to support these important projects.

See the full press release here.

Centre for Black Humanities Research Fund

8 October 2019

Centre for Black Humanities Research Fund: Applications now being received, deadline 8 November 2019

Centre for Black Humanities Research Fund

Please read the guidelines below prior to submitting an application form.


The Centre for Black Humanities (CBH) makes funding available periodically to support high-quality events and activities related to the research of members of the CBH. Applications for funding to a maximum of £500 will be considered, however, it is expected that most awards will be for smaller amounts. There is no restriction on the kinds of activities that can be proposed, but we would expect applications to include requests for funding to bring speakers to Bristol, the organisation of workshops, public engagement activities, and networking events, especially where these have the potential to lead to further grant applications.

This funding has as a major aim to enhance the international visibility of the CBH, and, therefore, projects that include an international element are particularly encouraged. A further aim is the creation and development of the community networks and collaborations of the Centre, and preference may be given to proposals that include an element of collaboration with local groups and individuals. We will apply the following criteria in awarding the funds:

  • the contribution of the proposed activity to the field of black humanities;
  • the contribution of the proposed activity to the enhancement of the international visibility and/or local community networks of the Centre and its existing activities;
  • the viability of the proposal within the timescale;
  • the clarity of the proposal’s objectives, proposed outcomes and financial detail;
  • the final claim will only be awarded upon successful submission of a final report.


Members of the Centre and external applicants who are organising events in conjunction with the CBH. External applicants should gain the prior support of a Centre member before submitting an application (a full membership list is available on the Centre’s webpage).


The next deadline for CBH Research Fund applications for Centre members will be 8 November 2019. These awards will need to be spent in their entirety before 31 July 2020. Please note that, subject to budget, there will be a further round of small grant funding in TB2.

Application forms should be submitted electronically as an attachment to before the deadline.

Download full information and the application form below:

Centre for Black Humanities Research Fund (Office document, 22kB)


Professor Madhu Krishnan has been awarded an ERC Starter Grant from the European Research Council

23 September 2019

The Centre for Black Humanities’ Madhu Krishnan (recently promoted to Professor) has been awarded an ERC Starter Grant from the European Research Council. The title of the project is: ‘Literary Activism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Commons, Publics, and Networks of Practice (LITCOM)’. The grant is worth €1.49 million over 5 years.

Many congratulations to Madhu for this major achievement!

Reframing Slavery: Dr Dorothy Price works with Helen Legg, new director of Tate Liverpool to acknowledge Britain’s part in the slave trade

9 July 2019

Helen Legg headed a Black British Artists Research Group at the University of Bristol with Dr Dorothy Price, who introduced questions about ways of seeing art, and reflections on undocumented lives, into the study of art history at the university, and calls for new ways of teaching art history.

See the full article here:

at the University of Bristol with Dr Dorothy Price, who introduced questions about ways of seeing art, and reflections on undocumented lives, into the study of art history at the university, and calls for new ways of teaching art history.

See the full article here:

Bristol launches new academic role in the History of Slavery

6 May 2019

Associate Professor/Professor in the History of Slavery

University of Bristol – Department of History (Historical Studies)

The University of Bristol seeks to appoint an Associate Professor/Professor in the History of Slavery by January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. Appointment to this position offers an opportunity to lead on the University’s research into its own historical relationship with slavery in the Americas, and on its future engagement with the city of Bristol, its institutions and communities on this issue. It also allows the individual appointed to provide academic leadership in an area of critical importance to the School of Humanities and the University, and, in concert with the Centre for Black Humanities, to cement Bristol’s international reputation as a hub for scholarship in this area. The appointee will have the opportunity to play a key role in the ongoing development of the History Department, School of Humanities, the Faculty of Arts and the University.

The History Department is known for its research-led teaching and innovative approaches to impact and engagement, as well as for traditional research strengths. It enjoys extensive demand for its popular undergraduate programmes, and hosts a thriving postgraduate community. Work on slavery – in the Bristol context, and internationally – is a key part of the Department’s research and teaching expertise, and there are particular strengths in imperial and postcolonial history, and in public history.

The successful candidate will have established an international reputation in research and publication, and will show the potential to maintain and further enhance this reputation. They will have experience in public engagement and impact work, as well as in academic leadership, and a strong understanding of the current research environments in the UK and internationally. The University welcomes applicants from any specialisation in the history of slavery in its eighteenth/nineteenth-century British, European, American or Atlantic contexts, but the appointment panel will need to be assured that the candidate will be able to fulfil an initial brief of research and dissemination work on the University’s historical slavery connections and its legacies, and that leadership and expertise can be provided that will inspire confidence in BAME communities in the Bristol area and beyond.

The closing date for application is 11.59pm on Sunday 11th August 2019.

Korean MTV Documentary

2 April 2019

Centre Member Professor Madge Dresser has been involved in a TV documentary on the topic of sugar and slavery.

You can find a link to the documentary here: