Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Inaugural Lectures: Celeste-Marie Bernier

Suffering, Struggle, Survival: 200 Years of African Atlantic Art and Authorship (1818-2018)

Celeste-Marie Bernier is Personal Chair in English Literature and Professor of Black Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

In her Inaugural Lecture for the University, she will be exploring the writings, drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture produced by African, African American, African Caribbean, and Black British women and men, enslaved and free, living and working across the Black Diaspora over the centuries.

Living and dying against a white racist backdrop that sought to destroy Black bodies and souls, these pioneers generated alternative art-making traditions and experimental writerly practices that constitute nothing less than "declarations of independence."

As authors, artists and activists, they have worked with every means necessary to image slavery and imagine freedom and not only to visualise black to white dominant systems of oppression but to carve out an alternative blueprint for freedom and usher in a new "lexicon of liberation."

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception. Tickets for the event are free but must be booked through Eventbrite.

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About the Inaugural Lectures

This event is part of a series of Inaugural Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, where newly appointed Professors or Chairs give free public talks on their current and recent research. 

Browse Inaugural Lectures listings on the University of Edinburgh website 

About Celeste-Marie Bernier

Celeste-Marie Bernier took up post as Personal Chair in English Literature and Professor of Black Studies at the University of Edinburgh in August 2016.

In addition to her teaching and research at LLC, she chairs the School’s People and Equalities Committee.

Celeste is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of American Studies published by Cambridge University Press and has authored many books, including a new scholarly, bicentenary edition of ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave’ (2018).

Find out more about Celeste

Related links

Read more about Celeste's current transatlantic research on the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass

Oct 05 2018 -

Inaugural Lectures: Celeste-Marie Bernier

Our Professor of Black Studies explores 200 Years of African Atlantic Art and Authorship (1818-2018).

Playfair Library
Old College
South Bridge