Colourful wall mural featuring Frederick Douglas

Centre for Black Studies

We support and champion Black-led and Black-centred research at the University of Nottingham and in our wider community.


Black Studies has a long tradition within Black communities in the UK but it is still relatively new in British higher education institutions. As a fledgling research centre our initial aims are to:

  • create an academic home for Black Studies at Nottingham
  • support research in the field (both in the UK and globally)
  • support the work of our PhD researchers

Academic leads

Dr Hannah Robbins

Assistant Professor in Popular Music and Director of Black Studies.

More about Hannah

Prof. Cecile Wright

Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

More about Cecile

Dr Onni Gust

Assistant Professor in the Department of History.

More about Onni


Study with us

Our Black Studies PhD is the only programme of its kind in Europe and is steeped in interdisciplinary methods and critical reflection to investigate the roles, lives, cultures, politics, representations, activism, art, histories and movement of people of African descent.

Explore the Black Studies PhD

My research interest transcends the trajectories of race, ecology and environmental justice in the UK and the genealogy of people of Black African ancestry and the natural environment in the UK, from the Roman times to enslavement, empire, and colonialism. 

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Centre, email us at:


Roots/Routes is a documentary series that centres the work of Black researchers and thinkers in and around Nottingham.

Across these films, the voices from local organisers, creatives, and members of the Black Studies PhD at the University of Nottingham discuss the importance of Black thought, imagination, and intellectual presence across digital, urban, and pastoral contexts.

Roots/Routes is a collaboration between Nottingham Contemporary and the Centre for Black Studies.

Watch the films on the Nottingham Contemporary website

Dr Hannah Robbins reflects on Roots/Routes and the first year the Centre for Black Studies.


Families, Friends, Selves: Approaches to Black-Led Research

  • Date:Thursday 27 October
  • Place: Trent Building, A19 (Committee Room)
  • Time: 12:30-2pm (Light refreshments will be available from 12pm)

Join Dr Leighan Renaud (Lecturer in Caribbean Literatures and Cultures, University of Bristol) and Dr Hannah Robbins (Director of Black Studies, University of Nottingham) for a workshop considering how we write with grace and care about ourselves and the people we love in our research. Considering topics including ethics, extraction, and autoethnography, this event will focus on giving voice and sharing agency in community research.  This workshop is open to students and staff at all levels but will centre the work and experience of Black (including Black-mixed) individuals. Please be mindful of how you enter and participate in this session if you belong to another community group.

Sign-up to attend

Sign-ups will close when the event is full.

If you have any questions abotu the event contact

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