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UCLan study into black mobility in the Americas more than two centuries ago receives EU funding

UCLan Institute for Black Atlantic Research awarded €213,000 by EU Marie Sklodowska Curie Mobility Fellowship grant

Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have received a €213,000 grant to fund a two-year project looking at autobiographies written by black authors from around the world more than two centuries ago and how they indicate black mobility in the Americas.

Funded by the EU Marie Sklodowska Curie Intra-European Fellowship grant, the study is the first of its kind to examine transnational black autobiographies from across the Americas in the Age of Revolutions.* It will focus on the voluntary or enforced, spatial and socio-cultural mobilities of black people at the time, looking specifically at texts from the US, Canada, the Caribbean, and Brazil from the period 1700-1865.

Key research areas will include accounts of slavery, the testimony of black captivity with Amerindian nations, missionary memoirs and travelogues.

Professor Alan Rice, Co-Director of the UCLan Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR), is leading the project with German postdoctoral researcher Astrid Haas as the postdoctoral researcher on the Black Atlantic Autobiographical Narratives project. It is Professor Rice’s third success in these ultra-competitive European grants in the last five years.

The research contends that autobiography was a key vehicle of cultural expression in the Americas during the time period under consideration.

Professor Rice said: “The research contends that autobiography was a key vehicle of cultural expression in the Americas during the time period under consideration. Among others, black authors strategically employed this esteemed genre to justify their lives, generate income, or elicit white support for the abolition of slavery or for black Christian missionary work. Their texts crucially testify to the role crossing national borders and socio-cultural boundaries played in the process of black self-making in the Americas.”

Findings will be published and disseminated in the first monograph dedicated to the project and in various book chapters and journal articles. Over the two years of the project there will be community events and symposia at UCLan where the findings will be disseminated.

 

* Approximately 1774 to 1849


Professor Alan Rice

Lyndsey Boardman | 05 March 2019