CfP - Talking Back Conference

deadline for submissions: 
April 7, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Nottingham Trent Univeristy

Moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side, a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life, and new growth possible. It is that act of speech, of “talking back” that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of moving from object to subject, that is the liberated voice.’

bell hooks, “Talking Back.” Discourse (1986), p. 128. 


Talking Back interdisciplinary conference is an in-person conference that will be held in Nottingham, United Kingdom. It will bring together researchers, writers, poets, and activists in order to contribute to cross-cultural dialogue, collaborative thinking, and ongoing discussions on resistance and representation. 

Reflecting on speech as a radical force against the systemic silencing of marginalised voices (hooks, 1989), we would like to invite proposals from writers, academics, creatives, and activists alike who are interested in exploring critical and creative approaches to decolonial activism, reclamations of culture and identity, and the transformative power of voice.

We invite contributions that explore marginalised voices, representations of dissent against western hegemony and rigid binaries, and resistance to silencing and structural oppression. We welcome critical and creative approaches to proposals from participants of all genders, racial groups, and faith groups.

The conference is free to attend and will take place at Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England on Wednesday 26th June 2024. 

The conference will be followed by an open-mic poetry and networking event, centred on the theme of ‘talking back.’



Suggestions include and are not limited to:

  1. Solidarity in dialogue: The power of collaboration in amplifying silenced voices.
  2. Testimonial narratives of marginalisation and dissent – how can speech become an act and practice of resistance?
  3. Resisting marginalisation and challenging labels.
  4. ‘Talking back’ as a form of activism – in what ways does the idea of ‘talking back’ contribute to decolonial modes of thinking and understanding.
  5. Exposing injustice: Challenging on-going realities of colonialism 


Submission Guidelines

Please submit a 250-word abstract/proposal for a 20-minute paper or presentation along with a 100-word biographical statement to:

Please title your email with the type of submission you are applying for:

  • 20-minute paper: Talking Back Conference 2024
  • 20-minute presentation: Talking Back Conference 2024



The conference is free to attend. We are also able to offer 4 travel bursaries of up to £50 to support self-funded and disadvantaged students with travel costs. If you wish to apply for one of these bursaries, please express your interest at the bottom of your abstract, along with a brief summary explaining why you require the support.


Key Dates

  • Deadline for all submissions: 7th April 2024
  • Conference date: 25th June 2024 



Email us at if you have any questions.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.


This conference is made possible by generous funding and support provided by New Art Exchange, Bonington Gallery, and the NTU Postcolonial Research Group.