Constance Bell (QMUL) - 2021-22 Students
"The Plantation Nation: Imaginations of Post-National Britain in the plays of Earl Lovelace, Mustapha Matura and Dennis Scott’ "
This collaborative doctoral project between Central and the National Theatre’s Black Plays Archive (BPA) will generate an original account of the development of post-colonial British nationhood from the 1960s to the 1980s, rooted in the now mainly unknown plays of Earl Lovelace, Mustapha Matura and Dennis Scott. The project will retrieve a Caribbean strand of Black British playwriting that is now usually overlooked. It will also develop a critique of accounts of British national identity that over-emphasise whiteness and fail to account for the nation’s colonial construction through the exemplary case of the economic structures, racialised relations and lived experiences of British-Caribbean plantation societies, that were fundamental to the nation and yet positioned outside it. Using the work of Lovelace, Matura, and Scott to develop a reparative history of the multiple cultural translations that constituted Britishness in its colonial phase.