Recent Research Activity by Programme Members

Voices Across Borders

The Blog of the Race and Resistance Research Programme at TORCH

Posted by: Tessa Roynon

Date: 20 Janury 2016

Recent Research Activity by Programme Members

Here is the first blog post of 2016 – we wish you all the best for 2016 and for the new term. This week I thought it might be interesting to share news from some members of the programme regarding their vacation research activity. So, here goes:

Imaobong Umoren  recently organised the panel 'Centering African American and Caribbean Women's Activism and Travels within Global Freedom Struggles, 1940-1990' and presented a paper on the Martiniquan writer and activist Paulette Nardal at the American Historical Association's annual conference in Atlanta.

Justine McConnell  returned last week  from the large annual Classics conference in San Francisco (the Society for Classical Studies), where she spoke on an 'Authors Meets Critics' panel, focused on two books: Miriam Leonard's Socrates and the Jews and African Athena (edited by Tessa Roynon, along with Daniel Orrells and Gurminder Bhambra).  She also worked as the Academic Consultant on the Almeida Theatre's epic reading (12 hours long!) of the Odyssey, which can still be watched online here: 

Louisa Layne has been working on a chapter of her DPhil thesis that explores the interaction between British reggae and the punk movement in late 70s and early 80s, particularly by looking at Linton Kwesi Johnson’s reception in music magazines like Black MusicNMESounds and Melody Maker. She’s also writing a review for Wasafiri (of two exhibitions, ‘Dream to Change the World: The Life and Legacy of John La Rose’ and ‘No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-90’). She is preparing a talk for the Oxford Music Faculty colloquium series in March about Linton Kwesi Johnson and the British reggae aesthetic, and has been busy setting up this term’s Race and Resistance seminar programme. 

Elleke Boehmer spent the first two weeks of 2016 going to the MLA Convention, in Austin TX, and presenting a paper on Postcolonial Reading Publics, on a panel with Ankhi Mukherjee. Thereafter she had a very stimulating time researching in the incredible Harry Ransom Center archive, exploring some of her ideas on transnational writing in respect of JM Coetzee's post-2000 work, and other millennial writers.

I myself (Tessa Roynon) began a new phase of my research on Ralph Ellison, now looking at the relationship between his own book collection / reading and the representations of the protagonists in the posthumous publication, Three Days Before The Shooting … . I was also given the opportunity to discuss Toni Morrison and Beloved on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (6th January) and I am completing a bibliographic article on Morrison for the Oxford Bibliographies series at OUP. I have evaluated around 2000 publications for this so far …

We look forward to seeing many of you at the wonderful events related to Race and Resistance planned for this term, both here at TORCH and across the University.


Voices Across Borders is always looking for new Race and Resistance Research network members to contribute to this blog. If you would like to write a piece, or if you have a response to a blog entry you have read here, please e-mail the Voices Across Borders editor, Tessa Roynon (      

The viewpoints expressed in Voices Across Borders are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Oxford.


Race and Resistance across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century