“Black Europe in Brussels” is an international interdisciplinary conference to be organized in the summer of 2021 by VUB, in collaboration with interuniversity and intersectoral partners as part of the international Afroeuropeans Network (more information to be found on www.uni-muenster.de/Anglistik/en/ptts/Muenster/currentresearch/afroeuropeans.html).
This conference aims to bring to the fore important aspects of Black European life as experienced and discussed in the context of Belgium’s and Europe’s capital, in anticipation of the broader 8th Biennial Afroeuropeans Network Conference on “Intersectional Challenges in Afroeuropean Communities” (VUB 2022). While it considers the Brussels urban context in its various guises—as a multicultural cosmopolis, as a regional, national and European capital, as a city of migration and refuge (cf. its membership in the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN))—, it is specifically aimed at addressing black European experiences, which are all too often overlooked or relegated to the margins, both in public and in scholarly debates in a variety of areas. At the academic level, these fields include not only obvious ones such as Diversity Studies, Migration Studies, Minority Studies, Race Studies, but also Gender Studies, Health Studies, Human Rights Studies, Literary and Intermedial Studies.
The smaller-scale conference of 2021 offers a representative sampler of the various conference streams to be developed at the larger conference in 2022, covering topics with a focus on Brussels, including (i) Contemporary Blackness and Black Histories in Brussels; (ii) Pan-Africanism, Global Justice and Human Rights in Brussels; (iii) Structural Racism, Racialization and Exploitation; (iv) Afroeuropean Arts; (v) Health and Racial Inequalities.