Talking Afropean


TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

Streamed live on Oct 22, 2020

TORCH Goes Digital! presents a series of live online events Big Tent – Live Events! This event is part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.

Talking Afropean: Johny Pitts in conversation with Elleke Boehmer and Simukai Chigudu about his award-winning book.

This Writers Make Worlds and TORCH panel discussion features the author Johny Pitts in conversation about his ground-breaking travelogue Afropean, his 2019 notes on a journey around contemporary Black Europe.

Johny Pitts will explore together with Oxford academics Simukai Chigudu and Elleke Boehmer questions of black history, hidden archives, decolonization and community, and what it is to be black in Europe today. Hailed as a work that reframes Europe, Afropean was the 2020 winner of the Jhalak Prize.

Biographies: Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer and broadcast journalist, and the author of Afropean (2019). His work exploring African-European identity has received numerous awards, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and the Jhalak Prize. He has contributed words and images to the Guardian, the New Statesman and the New York Times.

Elleke Boehmer is a writer, historian, and critic. She is Professor of World Literature at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Her most recent books are Postcolonial Poetics (2018) and To the Volcano (2019). She is currently on a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship working on a project called ‘Southern Imagining’.

Simukai Chigudu is Associate Professor of African Politics and Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. Simukai is interested in the social politics of inequality in Africa and his first book The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe came out in 2020. Prior to joining the academy, Simukai was a medical doctor in the UK’s National Health Service.

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With thanks to Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford, Oxford Digital Media, and Tom Kirkby.

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