Celebrating Black History Month: 'Carte blanche à/to Olivette Otele'

with Olivette Otele, Diana Berruezo Sanchez and David Diop, in conversation with Catriona Seth.

Professor Olivette Otele’s current research centres around transnational history and in particular the link between history, collective memory and geopolitics in relation to British and French colonial pasts. She charts and analyses the ways in which Britain and France have been addressing questions of citizenship, race and identity through the politics of remembrance. She also enquires into the value of public gestures, the meaning of public history and the impact of cultural memory.

Diana Berruezo-Sánchez brings together different threads of research that combine the Italian influence and the study of minorities in the Early Modern period. She has explored the literary relations between Spanish Golden Age texts and Italian sources, particularly the novella genre, in her PhD and a number of publications. Her principal interest lies in the way texts circulate beyond their national borders, creating a network of influences that is key to the understanding of the development of literary traditions. More recently, her interests have led her to explore the image of enslaved Black Africans in Early Modern Spanish literature and the enslaved African’s poetry in Spanish, for which she has been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. Her next monograph aims to uncover unheard poetry sung by 16th– and 17th-century enslaved Black Africans in Spain, as well as to interrogate –and reverse– enslaved Black African’s invisibility in the Iberian Peninsula.

David Diop is the author of ‘Frères d’âmes’ (Prix Goncourt des lycéens 2018) and a Lecturer in Early Modern French Literature at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA). His research centres around 18th Century literature, Francophone African Literature and European representations of Africa during the 17th and 18th centuries.