Insubmissive Dialogues of Black Women – 31 May 2023
Speaker: Dayse Sacramento
Chaired by: Dr Almiro Andrade
This seminar presented an analysis of the experience of Diálogos Insubmissos de Mulheres Negras (DIMN, Insubmissive Dialogues of Black Women), a platform promoting artistic and literary activities in Salvador, Brazil for the past five years. DIMN was created to encourage and strengthen participation of Black women artists, intellectuals and researchers, as well as promote the circulation of their productions in literary festivals. To this end, we analysed activities and events that took place or were created between 2017 and 2022, based on the 50 activities that were held and through videos and recordings of the activities performed. After the analysis, we observed that the literary events are concrete opportunities of knowledge exchange and cultural and academic debates about literature with an intersection with other artistic languages. With the study, we also realized how the social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, as well as audio and video streaming platforms, create an important scene for the production of literary content, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the research is still ongoing, initial reflections have found that DIMN has contributed to the maintenance of a productive network of economy and services in literary cultural production.
‘Let Me Tell You a Story’: Liberal Diversity Narratives in Electoral Politics Today – 23 May 2023
Speaker: Dr Laura J. Kwak
Chaired by: Dr Shaira Vadasaria
In this guest lecture, Dr Laura J. Kwak from York University, delves into the intricate dynamics of race, representation, and political power. Through her extensive research on the Conservative Party of Canada and the politics of representation, she unveils the hidden mechanisms that shape our understanding of “diversity” in politics. We unravel the complexities of race, structural power, and the reproduction of dominant racial discourses. Discover how these discourses not only hinder substantive diversity but also neutralize critiques of state violence. This enlightening lecture sheds light on enduring power structures and invites us to critically examine the rhetoric of incorporation and assimilation.
On the Centenary of the British Mandate Era in Palestine (1922-1948): Dr Salman Abu Sitta’s Address to Balfour at The University of Edinburgh – 8 November 2022
Speaker: Dr Salman Abu Sitta
On the centenary of the British Mandate era in Palestine (1922-1948), RACE.ED, in partnership with the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) – Kenyon Institute (Jerusalem), and in co-sponsorship with Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), the Centre for Research Collections (CRC), History, Sociology, Politics and International Relations Middle East Research Group (PIR-MERG) and Islamic and Middle East Studies (IMES), co-organised a lecture by eminent cartographer and historian, Dr Salman Abu Sitta. The lecture was an address to Arthur James Balfour, who presided as Chancellor of the University for four decades (1891-1930).
Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam: A Conversation with Imam Mustafa Briggs – 28 October 2022
As part of Black History Month, this event was sponsored by School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh Islamic Society, RACE.ED and Edinburgh Race Equality Network (EREN). The event was a conversation with Imam Mustafa Briggs about his new book, Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam. This timely work uncovers the deep-seated relationship between Islam and Black History, from the Qur’anic period, Companions of the Prophet, and early generations of Muslim scholars to the rich history of Islam in Africa and the vital role of women’s scholarship in the West African Islamic Tradition.
What Do Black Rights and Reparations Look Like? – 25 October 2022
Speaker: Zaki El-Salahi
Chaired by: Dr Katucha Bento
Each year, The University of Edinburgh flies the pan-African flag atop Old College during Black History Month. So, what do Black rights and reparations look like in relation to this space?
1948-1951: Race, Return and the Politics of Humanitarianism in Palestine – May 2022
This talk, given by Dr Shaira Vadasaria of RACE.ED in May 2022, was part of a lecture series hosted by the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter Decolonising Network and International Institute for Cultural Enquiry (IICE).
Race vs. The Human – 9 February 2022
Speaker: Dr Deanne Bell
Co-Chaired by: Dr Katucha Bento and Dr rashné limke
In dialogue with Sylvia Wynter and Frantz Fanon, this RACE.ED and EREN seminar explored differences between the self and the body in relation to two worlds – the dehumanising world of coloniality and the rehumanising or decolonial world.
less suffering, more dreaming: black lgbtqi poetry disorbiting pain’s paradigm – 19 January 2022
Speaker: tatiana nascimento
Co-Chaired by: Dr Katucha Bento
In this RACE.ED seminar (delivered in Portuguese), tatiana nascimento discussed new possibilities to understand black diasporic and queer literature. The presentation plays with words and meanings from a queer poetic perspective with a profound claim for the right to dream futures where black diasporic and sexual dissidence can live over the same soil as our ancestors. Living together brings into view the importance of the “quilombo” as a territory of resistance and organisation. Quilombo, then, is where the black cultural and historical identity is protected. Challenging the constant presence of pain as a colonial expectation to what dissident bodies should stage, queering the territory (Queerlombismo or Cuírlombismo) is a land and a creative space of dialogue and literary production.
Beyond the Secular: Jacques Derrida and the Theologico-Political Complex – 15 December 2021
Speaker: Andrea Cassatella, Makerere University, Uganda
Chaired by: Dr Sadaab Rahemtulla, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Seminar co-hosted by RACE.ED and the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, examining the contemporary relationship between religion and politics by turning to the work of Jacques Derrida to interrogate the foundations of modern secular discourse. Addressing the challenge that the resurgence of public religions poses to modern epistemic models and political forms, the talk illuminates secularism’s entanglements with the legacy of colonialism, exposing the racial features of secular understandings about language, epistemology, religion and politics that travel worldwide through processes of globalization.
Racial Justice in Organisations: What are We Getting Wrong? – 3 August 2021
- Dr Salima Bhimani, Chief Equity and Inclusion Strategist for the Other Bets, Alphabet
- Dr Emily Sena, Stroke Association funded senior lecturer in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh
- Dr Shaira Vadasaria is Associate Director of RACE.ED.
- Dr rashné limki is the Director of Equality and Diversity for the University of Edinburgh Business School.
Racial Equity Work in the University and Beyond: The Race Equality Charter in Context – 3 June 2021
Speakers: Dr Paul Ian Campbell (University of Leicester), Dr Ashlee Christoffersen (University of Edinburgh), Tanatsei Gambura (University of Edinburgh), Johanna Holtan (University of Edinburgh), Dr Emily Sena (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Arun Verma (Advance HE)
Co-chaired by Professor Nasar Meer (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Omolabake Fakunle (Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh)
Exploring perspectives on racial inequalities in higher education, this RACE.ED event will invite local and broader reflections on the Race Equality Charter, locating it within the wider context of racial inequalities in higher education today. Beginning with an overview of key findings from the recently published Race Equality Charter Review, the session will consider how the Charter, managed by Advance HE, provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional impediments for minoritised staff and students. How and in what ways might the Charter address the challenge it sets itself, and what are the obstacles in doing so? This 90 minute symposium will bring together a series of reflections on these questions, and invite audience discussion and feedback.
Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter (REC) provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students.
Black Women and French Citizenship – RACE.ED and Centre of African Studies Seminar – 19 May 2021
Speakers: Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Assistant Professor of French, The University of Michigan and Mame Fatou Niang, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Carnegie Mellon University
Chaired by Nicola Frith, Chancellor’s Fellow, The University of Edinburgh
Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
In Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire, Annette Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal Black French women’s anticolonialist endeavors. She shows how their activism and thought challenged French imperialism by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by Black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.
Identités françaises: Banlieues, Féminités Et Universalisme: 28 (Francopolyphonies)
Identités françaises interrogates notions of marginalization and national identity through an analysis of French banlieues. The display of the quotidian, at the expense of the extraordinary, invites the reader to reconsider the most common images of these urban peripheries and the processes that create citizenship and marginality in republican France. The focus is on the female experience, in works produced by writers and artists from these peripheries. Banlieue women sit at the intersection of marginalities of race, gender and class. The study of these intersections illuminates multiple notions of identity, belonging and peripheralization. Amid the contemporary flare-ups and debates around a single and indivisible French national identity, Mame-Fatou Niang’s work brings to light plural identities rooted in France’s suburban spaces.
Who Defines Childhood Innocence? Anti-Racist Practice, White Fragility and Effective Allyship in Early Childhood – 10 May 2021
Webinar event co-hosted by the Anti-Racist Early Years Collective (AREYC), the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) and RACE.ED
Despite a wealth of evidence that shows that young children experience direct and indirect racism and discrimination (Kustatscher, 2016; Konstantoni and Emejulu 2017; Konstantoni 2013), there is a persistent myth that children are ‘innocent’. The early childhood sector faces limitations and challenges in effectively promoting anti-racist education. This session rests upon the uncomfortable truth that racism is normal, it is pervasive. It is in society and it is in our settings, it is in the everyday! This platform will provide opportunities to engage in some critical discussions about racism and whiteness. As early years practitioners, researchers, parents/carers, policy makers and community activists, it is important to develop a shared language around racial literacy so that you, as facilitators of children’s learning and as change agents, can name it, understand it and seek to change practice with children, families and their communities. The session will provide an opportunity to engage in critical discussions, ask questions and share good practice in recognising and developing effective allyship, leading to tangible actions.
‘How to write about race when you’re white? Shifting blinkers, changing audiences’
– 21 April 2021
by Gauthier Marchais, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Chaired by SJ Cooper-Knock, Lecturer in International Development at the Centre of African Studies, The University of Edinburgh
This presentation will reflect on the process of writing about race from the perspective of a white man. Gauthier Marchais will present his book, “Le Deni Blanc: Penser autrement la question raciale”, which was published in January 2021 at Éditions de l’Aube, in France. The book is a reflection on the mental architecture of whiteness ‘from within’ and its implications, building on the author’s personal experience. The presentation will reflect on the challenges of writing about the personal and intimate dimensions of whiteness, and notably the multifaceted and evolving blind spots which such a positionality inherently carries. It will also reflect on the moral dilemmas of the process, notably the risk of reinforcing the centrality of white voices, and the ways in which the question of the audience shapes the formulation and reception of the arguments. The presentation will open to a broader consideration of the role of ‘white voices’ in contemporary debates on race.
Dima Srouji – ESALA Frictions – 7 April 2021
For those that missed Dima Srouji’s screening of ‘Sebastia’, – followed by a discussion chaired by Shaira Vadasaria on the politics of memory/mourning, aesthetics/form, archaeology, land sovereignty and radical hope.
The surface of the earth is embedded within it the richness of our past, but those that attempt to reveal the stories of our underground have for centuries done so as colonisers and occupiers with self-serving motives.
This talk traces one of these attempts in the archaeological site of Sebastia, Palestine. This archaeological village is a highly contested site, today under Israeli occupation, that was abused for over a century, starting with the Harvard excavations of 1908. Here, the intergenerational trauma from the history of constant excavation, forced labour, confiscated land, and agricultural terrorism, lives on.
Joint RACE.ED/Centre of African Studies seminar: ‘We have no Harlem in Sudan’: Sudan’s Deflective Diplomacy – 25 March 2021
Dr Sebabatso Manoeli, Senior Director for Strategic Programmes, Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, Columbia University
Chaired by Rama Dieng, Lecturer in African Studies and International Development at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh
This paper investigates the means through which Sudanese governments outmanoeuvred rebels internationally throughout the 1960s by analyzing the intertwining of Sudan’s diplomatic strategies for protecting its reputation in Pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist circles. It argues that Sudan employed a strategy of deflective diplomacy that drew international attention away from the “Southern Problem” while addressing the pertinent areas of reputational damage. This deflection paradoxically placed Sudan in the international limelight as a paragon of Pan-Africanism, while concealing the “Problem” in plain sight. It explores Sudan’s relations with African networks and organizations after the fall of the Abboud regime, specifically in the tenures of the most significant Prime Minister of the 1960s: Mohamed Mahgoub. It demonstrates that through personal networks, conference diplomacy and solidarity efforts, the government proved a formidable diplomatic opponent to the secessionist Southern rebels.
RACE.ED Event Series – ‘Antisemitism and the proxification of antiracism’ – 17 February 2021
Alana Lentin, Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University.
The political utility of antisemitism today is not to illuminate the operations of race, but rather to obscure them. Expression of opposition to antisemitism functions as a ballast against denouncements of racism. To shed light on what is deliberately obfuscated, the question of antisemitism and its intense politicisation must be explored to answer the question, why race still matters. What is antisemitism and who is antisemitic, and why and to what ends antisemitism is named are questions that have come to dominate political discussions on both sides of the Atlantic against a backdrop of white supremacist violence and accompanying apologetics.
Dr. Thomas LaVeist: My Journey to Discover Why Health Disparities Exist and What to do About it – 10 February 2021
World-renowned Public Health scholar Dr Thomas LaVeist discusses how racial health disparities are created and the impact of social policies on the life of ethnic minorities.
The Edinburgh Race Lectures: The Eclipse of Black Women in Anti-Discrimination Law – 9 December 2020
Professor Iyiola Solanke, Chair of European Union Law and Social Justice within the University of Leeds Law School.
Chaired by Dr Chisomo Kalinga, Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellow.
To what extent do Black women enjoy legal protection from discrimination in the labour market? How can this be improved? This talk will examine these questions through an exploration of anti-discrimination law and its impact in the UK, North America and the EU. Drawing upon ideas in their recent book, Discrimination as Stigma (Hart 2017), Professor Solanke will argue for a re-design of anti-racial discrimination law that departs from the experiences and perspectives of Black women.
The Edinburgh Race Lectures: Representing Slavery in Contemporary Black British Women’s Plays – 26 November 2020
Lynette Goddard, Professor of Black Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Chaired by Dr Tolu Onabolu, Teaching Fellow, Edinburgh College of Art.
This talk explores how slavery’s past is represented in contemporary Black British women’s plays and performances. I outline the prevalence of plays depicting slavery in 2020 to consider how and why slavery is represented today before moving on to look at examples of plays that illustrate how Black women playwrights connect the past to the present by exploring important historical incidents with reference to contemporary concerns. I argue that contemporary Black British women playwrights bear witness to past atrocities and traumas while empowering Black women in their retellings of these stories in the present.
Is Migrant Health Racialised? – 26 November 2020
About the Series
In a collaboration between the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health; the UCL Migration Research Unit; Lancet Migration: global collaboration to advance migration health; and Race & Health, Borderings: Migration, Gender and Health series seeks to promote, enhance and connect dialogues of migration, gender and health.
From explicit tabloid media’s racial ‘othering’ of migrants to the more implicit racial tonality of political rhetoric and immigration policy, race undeniably plays a major role in political and media discourse surrounding migration. Described by Balibar as neo-racism, this ‘racialisation’ of migrants is a form of culturalism that can be defined as a “racism without race,” in which migrants are discriminated against because of their cultural difference and perceived threat to national autonomy and safety. We can see the racialisation of migration surface in debates about immigration, assimilation, and multiculturalism, and in the myriad ways it contours migrant experience, but how does it play a role in migrant health?
The Edinburgh Race Lectures: Behind the Rhodes Statue: Empire and the British Academy – 29 October 2020
Robbie Shilliam, Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.
Chaired by Dr Katucha Bento, Lecturer in Race and Decolonial Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
This talk goes behind the Rhodes Statue to examine the complicity of the British Academy in empire’s Southern African interest and the ways in which social anthropology and the sociology of race relations addressed the black presence in white spaces. Tying together colonial development and immigration to Britain, the talk argues that the British Academy has yet to redress the historical assumption that black presence works as a destabilizing force against the ethos of higher education.
The Edinburgh Race Lectures: After Utoya – Sifting the wreckage of white supremacy – 16 September 2020
Nasar Meer, Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship at the University of Edinburgh
Some years ago I addressed an audience on Utøya Island to commemorate the horrific terror attack there in 2011. Since then, Utøya has been rebuilt as a space to promote antiracist values. In this public lecture, I will reflect on this experience to argue that the terrorism undertaken on Utøya Island and the wider Norway attacks in 2011, and elsewhere over the subsequent years in places including Christchurch and San Diego, are intimately related, not only to each other but to the past, present and future of how we try to understand the politics of white supremacy. I will argue these violent attacks especially have a particular relationship to the racialization of Black, Jewish and Muslims minorities, but also to a broader reticence to recognise Whiteness as a social, political and historical project against which non-white groups are racialized. Whiteness here is a ‘project’ from which some people who may define themselves as white today would have been excluded in the near past. Recognising this, it will be argued, is no less important to sifting through the wreckage of white supremacy.
The Edinburgh Race Lectures: Decolonizing the Intersection – 12 August 2020
Tommy J. Curry, Distinguished Professor of Africana Philosophy & Black Male Studies.
This public lecture explored how intersectionality has also cultivated various negative theories about Black men and boys. In this way, the claims of intersectionality fail to distinguish itself from previously racist theories that sought to explain race, class, and gender, based on subgroup values.
Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond, virtual book launch – 10 August 2020
What is feminist parenting? Is it something for all parents? What does it mean to be a feminist parent in practice? Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond aims to fill a gap on feminist parenting in the existing literature by bringing timely post-Western perspectives.
This volume is one of the first collections published with first-person essays describing very touching, beautiful, and sometimes painful stories of what it means and, more importantly, what it costs to become a feminist parent with an intersectional approach.
Join us as we hear from Rama Dieng on her work and fresh idea for the future, followed by live Q&A.
RACE.ED Panel Event on Taking Stock – 15 July 2020
This event brought together a variety of stakeholders concerned with race equality in Scotland to launch the report ‘Taking Stock’ and to detail and discuss some of its key findings.
The event included a panel of researchers, practitioners, activists, and politicians to discuss how the race equality agenda is developing in Scotland and where it may be headed in the years to come.
RACE.ED Launch Event on Collective and Creative Pedagogy – 8 July 2020
The purpose of this RACE.ED launch event is to help us think collectively and creatively about how experiences of inequality and oppression (as structured through notions of vulnerability, intersectionality, decoloniality) should impact/be integrated into our pedagogy.
Historians on Dundas and Slavery – 7 July 2020
Urgent discussions are taking place across the world about monuments and streets dedicated to Henry Dundas, mainly focused on his insertion of ‘gradual’ into the 1792 bill for the abolition of the slave trade. But Dundas’s connections to slavery were broader.
Join historians with specialist knowledge of Dundas’s career for in-depth information and analysis of all aspects of Dundas’s relationship to slavery.