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UHURU Conference: The Black Radical Tradition form Toussaint to Biko and Beyond

Date Released: Mon, 19 June 2017 08:55 +0200

The Black Radical Tradition form Toussaint to Biko and Beyond - 1791: Haiti; 1958: Ghana; 1968: USA; 1968: Grahamstown; 1987 Burkina Faso

A Colloquium, 2, 3, 4 & 5 July 2017

The colloquium will be held in Grahamstown during the National Arts Festival. It is co-hosted by the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU) and the Steve Biko Foundation (SBF). All participants are asked to familiarise themselves with Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism, which is available online at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-n8_HcTJBcDa0xVSGtrRERHUGs

All events will be he held in the Humanities Seminar Room. Public events, which are all marked in red in this programme, will be advertised on the online festival programme.

NOTE: programme (draft) is subject to change. Public events are marked with *.


Sunday 2 July  - Day One

All delegates arrive in the afternoon

5:00 – 6:30 Session title to be confirmed

Victoria Collis-Buthelezi (WISER) Mapping the Black World from South Africa

Aaron Kamugisha (UWI) Topic to be confirmed

Chair: Richard Pithouse*


Monday 3 July – Day Two

8:30 – 9:00 Coffee

9:00 – 9: 30 Welcome by Nkosinathi Biko & Michael Neocosmos

9:30 – 10:30 Situating the Conversation in Grahamstown:

Ayanda Kota (UPM) From Azapo to the Unemployed People’s Movement

Mikaela Erskog Reflections on the Black Student Movement

Chair: Fezokuhle Mthonti


10:30 – 11:00 Tea

11:00 – 1:00 Popular struggles (1)

Michael Neocosmos (UHURU) The Dialectic of Emancipatory Politics and African Subjective Potentiality

Motlatsi Khosa (UNISA) Abahlali baseMjondolo & Living Ubuntu

Chair: Levi Kabwato


1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 Music & the Black Radical Tradition (1)

Tendayi Sithole (UNISA) - Steve Biko in Johnny Dyani’s Exiled Imagination: a meditation

- responses by Bongani Madondo & Fezi Mthonti

Chair: Bokang Pooe* (SBC)


3:30 – 4:00 Tea

4:00 – 5:00 Black Intellectuals (1)

Mikaela Erskog – On Noni Jabavu (exact topic to be confirmed)

Tshepo Madlingozi (UP) – ‘There is no Black World’: Es’kia Mpahlele’s Quest for a Creole National Consciousness

Chair: Ntombizikhona Valela


5:00 – 6:30 Black Reason (exact title to be confirmed)

Wamba-dia-Wamba (Univ Kongo) – Kwame Nkrumah’s ‘Consciencism’

Achille Mbembe (WISER) – title to be confirmed

Chair: Michael Neocosmos* (UHURU)



Tuesday 4 July

9:00 – 9:30 Coffee

9:30 – 11:00 Popular struggles (2)

S’bu Zikode – Abahlalism – exact topic to be confirmed

Azwell Banda (NUMSA) – topic to be confirmed

Richard Pithouse (UHURU/WISER) – Theorising the academic left and popular struggle after apartheid via the Black Radical Tradition

Chair: Mikaela Erskog (NUMSA)


11:00 – 11:30 Tea

11:30 – 1:00 Black Intellectuals (2)

Levi Kabwato (UHURU) – Re-inventing “madness” and “non-conformity” 30 years after Thomas Sankara’s assassination

Ntombizikhona Valela – Militant Mother Madikizela: The Intellectual Genealogy of Winnie Mandela

Sizwe January– On Steve Biko (Exact topic to be confirmed)

Chair:  Bokang Pooe


1:00 – 2:00 lunch

2:00 – 3:30 Music, Poetry & the Black Radical Tradition

Bongani Madondo (WISER) – Topic to be confirmed

Fezi Mthonti– On Nina Simone (Exact topic to be confirmed)

Chelsey Wilken – Claudia Rankine (Exact topic to be confirmed)

Chair: Sizwe January


3:30 – 4:00 Tea

4:00 – 5:00 Michael Neocosmos – concluding thoughts & general discussion

5:00 – 7:00 Robin Kelley (UCBerkeley) - Southern Africa in the Making of Cedric J. Robinson’s Radical Theory and Practice

Chair: Richard Pithouse* (UHURU)


7:00 Braai/Dinner


Wednesday 5 July

programme to be advised