'African Athena' was Bernal's original title for Black Athena, his 'infamous' work that has confronted the modern academy with some of the most challenging questions it has faced over the last twenty years. This interdisciplinary conference seeks neither to demonize nor lionize Bernal's book, but to open dialogue on the issues it has posed: can a myth of Afrocentrism ever be a useful narrative in contemporary culture? How do Africanizing and classicizing cultures interface and interpenetrate in the arts and lives of Africans, Europeans, Caribbeans and Americans? Does Black Athena offer new possibilities for comparison between African and Jewish diasporas, cultures and struggles? How do we deal with the difficult collusion of essentialist and poststructuralist discourses in 'postcolonial' thought? These issues are only a point of departure.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professors Martin Bernal, Paul Gilroy, Shelley Haley, Stephen Howe, Partha Mitter, Valentin Y. Mudimbe, Patrice Rankine and Robert J. C. Young. Send proposals of up to 500 words by March 31 2008 to Dr. Daniel Orrells, Department of Classics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.