Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tuesday 10 December, 2013

The next meeting of the Glasgow Colonial and Postcolonial group will be held in the seminar room of Lilybank House at 17.00 on 10 December 2013.

The speaker is Professor Mary Ellis Gibson, Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow.

Title:  “Middling People: Complicity, Resistance and Writing in the Empire.”

Abstract:  This paper will focus on the varied career of Emma Roberts–travel writer, cookbook editor, poet, and newspaper editor who lived in London, Calcutta and Bombay in the 1830s.  She was the first woman to support herself as a journalist in India, and her career raises interesting questions about the ways we think of those who were not part of imperial officialdom in Victorian India.  Could we call Roberts a cosmopolitan? What conceptual structures from colonial and post-colonial studies might we bring to bear to understand her cultural position and the position of others like her? How does the need to ‘make a living in the Empire’ become ‘making a living of the empire’?

All are welcome


Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies

Call For Papers: 38th Annual Conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies,
University of Glasgow, 2-4 July 2014
ABSTRACT DEADLINE: 13 January 2014
The Society for Caribbean Studies invites submissions of abstracts of no more than 250 words for research papers on the Hispanic, Francophone, Dutch and Anglophone Caribbean and their diasporas for this annual international conference.
Papers are welcomed from all disciplines and can address the themes outlined below.
We also welcome abstracts for papers that fall outside this list of topics, and we particularly welcome proposals for complete panels, which shouldconsist of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 presenters.
Those selected for the conference will be invited to give a 20 minute presentation. Abstracts should be submitted along with a short bio of no more than 150 words by 13th January 2014. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.
See below for Provisional Themes, Abstract Submission, and Bursaries.
Caribbean Labour
Music, Dance, Song, Performance
Public Transport
The Caribbean and the Great War
Garvey and Garveyism
Caribbean Women’s Writing
us Caribbean
Utopian/Dystopian Visions
Gender and Economic Development
Caribbean Languages
The Migrated (FCO) Archives
In keeping with the location of the conference, we will also have a plenary
session exploring the relations between Glasgow and the Caribbean.
To submit an abstract online, go to
The link for abstract submission is on the home page.
The Society will provide a limited number of bursaries for (a) postgraduate
students, and (b) postgraduates or scholars based in the Caribbean, to assist with registration costs. Please indicate when submitting the abstract whether you wish to be considered for a bursary. Please note that travel costs cannot be funded.
For further queries, please contact the Conference Coordinator, Lorna
Burns, on

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

As armistice day approaches, we remember the millions who died not only in the two World Wars but in in conflicts since. It is a day of national remembrance but it is not just about British men and women. The contribution that men and women from Britain’s empire played in the war effort should not be forgotten – thousands of whom also died for Britain.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the cemeteries and memorials for the 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars in 153 countries. Their website provides a database of the men and women who are remembered (although there are many who are not named).

But as men and women from the empire came to join British forces, many of their bodies were not repatriated and many were buried or cremated in Britain or in the fields of war. Rupert Brooke’s famous poem, ‘The Soldier’ talks of:

If I should die, think only this of me;

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England

Well, similarly there are parts of Britain that are for ever Indian, Canadian, South African, Australian etc.

A quick search of the cemeteries in Glasgow brings up many who originated from these countries and were buried in Scotland. Just two examples include –


Peter Mathai, a 20 year old Indian who served in the Navy during World War Two


Annie Winifred Munro, a South African nurse, who died during World War One.

So on November 11th, remember their contributions too.

Empire Cafe Project

The next meeting of the Glasgow Colonial and Postcolonial Group will be on Tuesday 19 November 2013 at 5pm in the Seminar Room in Lilybank House, Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow. All welcome.

This session will be led by Louise Welsh and Jude Barber who will be speaking about their Empire Café project, which is part of the Commonwealth 2014 Cultural programme. The café will explore Scotland’s involvement with the North Atlantic Slave via tea, coffee, sugar and cotton. It will host a series of associated events and commission themed poetry from Commonwealth poets. The Empire Café will be based in the Briggait (home of the Merchant’s Steeple) in Glasgow’s Merchant City for seven days in July 2014 (24th July – 1st August). It will host a series of debates, academic papers, literary readings, films, workshops, art installations and discussions all themed around Scotland and slavery.

Speaker biographies:

Louise Welsh is the author of five novels, The Cutting Room (2002), Tamburlaine Must Die (2004), The Bullet Trick (2006), Naming the Bones (2010) and The Girl on the Stairs (2012). Her new book, A Lovely Way to Burn will be published by John Murray in April 2014. She has written many short stories and articles and presented over twenty features for BBC Radio. She has also written stage plays and libretti for opera including Ghost Patrol (music by Stuart MacRae) the production of which won a Southbank Award and was shortlisted for an Olivier Award (2013). Louise was writer in residence for The University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art between 2010 and 2012. She has received many awards and international fellowships, most recently an honorary fellowship from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Programme.

Louise worked with Jude Barber of Collective Architecture on Merchant City Voices (2012) a series of soundworks exploring Glasgow’s relationship with the North Atlantic Slave Trade. Merchant City Voices won a Scottish Design Award.

Talking about Haiti: Further Post

On Tuesday 29 November 2013, a public Black History month event ‘Talking about Haiti’ took place in the St Andrews Building at the University of Glasgow. Distinguished speakers Matthew J. Smith, Rawle Gibbons and Nick Nesbitt talked about C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, the Haitian Revolution, Haiti today and the Scotland connection.

It seems that Glasgow and Haiti are connected in many ways, not least through migration patterns and the Haitian-Caribbean connection. Glasgow also hosts a lively Haiti Support Group.

For more information on the Haiti Support Group, please see their website: