2013 Congress of Black Writers and Artists
18-20 October 2013
McGill University, MontrealThe first international Congress of Black Writers and Artists was held in 1956 at Sorbonne University in Paris, bringing together Black intellectuals representing three different continents to examine, discuss and debate Black culture and identity in all its diversity. The Congress was initiated by Alioune Diop, founder of the journal and publishing house Présence Africaine. Participants included Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Jean Price- Mars, Richard Wright and James Baldwin, Amadou Hampaté Bâ and George Lamming, Mercer Cook and James Ivy, Frantz Fanon, Edouard Glissant and René Depestre, Cheikh Anta Diop, Abdoulaye Wadé and Josephine Baker.
Following in this tradition and developing out of the intellectual activities of the Caribbean Conference Committee, the 1968 Congress of Black Writers at McGill University brought together well-known Black thinkers and activists from Canada, the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean, including C.L.R. James, Stokely Carmichael, Miriam Makeba, Rocky Jones, and Walter Rodney. As had the first Congress, the event took place during a historic moment of transnational social and political change and featured rigorous debates about Black culture, politics and identity.
This fall marks the 45th anniversary of the 1968 Black Writers Congress held at McGill. Community-University Talks (C-Uni-T) and the Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA) will be marking the occasion by welcoming Black writers and artists to Montreal from Friday, October 18th- Sunday, October 20th. The theme of the 2013 Congress, “Create Dangerously” is inspired by Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (Princeton University Press, 2010). Danticat took her title from the last public lecture given by Albert Camus, “Create Dangerously,” in which Camus declared, “For the person with creative potential there is no wholeness except in using it.”
We invite the members of the Black Canadian Studies Association listserv to join us in the realization of this historical event. The event is free and open to the public, however registration in advance is mandatory: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SoTUpeuRMGmS8WnSjwcdGxAXLdGyRHpoH1yd47ZxsQU/viewform
For more information you can reach the Congress working group at: email@example.com
 See Lumières Noires, a film about the Paris Congress produced and directed by Bob Swaim (2006), available here: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/4828/Lumi–res-Noires
 See David Austin’s Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex and Security in Sixties Montreal (Between the Lines, 2013) http://www.btlbooks.com/book/fear-of-a-black-nation
 K. Nagy and L. McConnell (2012). “Interview. Create Dangerously: A Conversation with Edwidge Danticat” http://www.wildriverreview.com/Literature/Interview/Edwidge-Danticat/Create-Dangerously/Nagy/McConnell/January-2012
Malinda S. Smith, PhD
Associate Professor & Associate Chair (Graduate Studies)
Department of Political Science
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4
Chair - AASUA Equity Committee