Black History Month Events

A number of events are taking place across the Faculty which explore topics related to Black history and culture.


Candyman and the whole damn swarm: A 30th Anniversary Conference

Friday 7th - Sunday 9th October 2022

This conference, a collaboration between the Centre for the History of the Gothic at the University of Sheffield and the University of California, Riverside, and seeks to explore, critique and celebrate the legacy of Candyman as text, film and, in it’s latest iteration, clapback.

30 years ago, director Bernard Rose created and released Candyman, a film loosely adapted from Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden”. Unlike Barker’s original text, this Candyman was set in Chicago, specifically the urban ghetto Cabrini-Green, and seemed to focus on the tragedy of a Black artist who vengefully returns as a violent ghost after his brutal lynching. The film and its ideologies were complicated. Innovative in its starting point – a story of profound Black suffering which called attention to the racial injustice underpinning US society – audiences were also given a tale which reiterated ideas of Black monstrosity and illogical interracial violence. Notably, the film and its stars went on to win a number of awards, and spawned a franchise worthy of critical exploration.

29 years later, Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta released the long-awaited Black response to the original film. Released in the midst of another wave of anti-Black violence, the film served as both tribute and corrective to the original, shifting the focus from the white heroine’s quest (the center of the original film) to the terror and pain of Black men made monstrous and the Black women forced to act as witnesses. Ultimately this later film asked audiences “who is the real monster: Candyman, or the violent racist society which created him?”

Find out more and book your ticket 

Sheffield, Slavery, and Its Legacies: Exploring Connections to Enslavement and Abolition

Tuesday 11th October, Doors open at 7 PM for a 7:30 PM start.
Sheffield Cathedral

You are invited to join in an exploration of Sheffield’s links to the enslavement and trade of people across the Atlantic, while also looking at the city’s links to the abolitionist movement. This event will include a presentation by Dr Michael Bennett—one of the report’s authors—reflections from Revd Dr Casey Strine, and your questions.

Find out more and book your ticket

Expanding the Canon Annual Lecture, with Dr Komarine Romdenh-Romluc.

Friday 14th October, 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Diamond Workroom 1 (refreshments at 3:30 pm, followed by discussion).

Fanon and the Body Schema

Frantz Fanon was a Martinican-born psychiatrist and one of the most important anti-colonial thinkers of the twentieth century. His work draws on a range of different disciplines, including philosophy, to provide a far-reaching analysis of colonialism, and strategies of resistance. A central theme in his work is that colonialism is not just a physical system of oppression, but also an ideology – a set of ideas that help uphold oppression. Moreover, those ideas are not just intellectually grasped, but become part of living embodied reality. Fanon argues that colonialism negatively affects the self – one’s sense of who one is and the construction of one’s self-identity. It also distorts, disrupts, and destroys people’s relations with one another. The foundation of his account is his theory of the body schema, which is, very roughly speaking, the body’s ‘grasp’ or ‘sense’ of itself. In this talk, I will examine what Fanon takes the body schema to be, and how he takes it to be impacted by colonial ideas.

No Booking Needed

Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women
Siobhan Lambert-Hurley

Monday 17th October, 18:00
Creative Lounge

Part of Off the Shelf Festival of Words

This illustrated talk looks at fascinating first-hand accounts of travel by Muslim women dating from the 17th to the mid-20th century. Challenging preconceived notions, it offers an insight into how these daring and diverse women – queens, captives, pilgrims, provocateurs – explored the world. What unites these adventurers is a concern for the other women they encounter, their willingness to record their experiences and the constant thoughts they cast homewards. Siobhan Lambert-Hurley is Professor of Global History, University of Sheffield. The book is co-edited with Daniel Majchrowicz and Sunil Sharma.

Find out more and book your ticket

The Bank of England and Transatlantic Slavery, 1694-1888
Dr Michael Bennett

Thursday 20 October, 18:00 - 19:00
Bank of England Museum, London or online

Dr Michael Bennett will outline the findings of the ongoing archival research into the Bank of England’s links to transatlantic slavery between the 1600s and 1800s, which informed the development of our new exhibition, Slavery & the Bank. Dr Bennett will look at the ways the Bank was connected to the system of transatlantic slavery through its part in the wider financial sector at the time and the business activities of its governors and directors. It will also explore two detailed case studies: the Bank’s financial stake in two plantations in Grenada and the Bank’s role in the distribution of slavery compensation during the 1830s. These case studies will be used as a lens for exploring the broader connections between the City of London and transatlantic slavery in this period.

Find out more and book your ticket

Events for Schools

Film, pizza and discussion evening - Black History Month

Target Age Groups: A Level students - Both Years 12 & 13
Date: 18th October 2022
Time: Arrive from 4.15pm-4.30pm - film to start promptly at 4.30pm - event will finish approx 7.45pm
Location: Lecture Theatre 9, The Diamond Building, 32 Leavygreave Rd, Broomhall, Sheffield S3 7RD

Film: 12 Years a Slave

Description: In this session, we will reflect on Black History Month by watching a movie, eat some pizza, and discuss the histories of race and slavery in America and the UK. Students will watch 12 Years a Slave and then have the opportunity to discuss wider questions about the history of slavery with Dr Rosie Knight, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield who specialises in the history of slavery, and a small group of final year undergraduate students who have engaged with these questions in their studies. The session aims to provide a sense of the diverse topics studied at university, and the ways in which these can speak to wider societal projects like Black History Month.

Please register for the event by Tuesday 11th October.
Find out more and book your place