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Researching racism and anti-racism

A cross-university webinar series sharing insights from current critical research about racism and anti-racism (convened by Heather Smith and Peter Hopkins)

In this webinar series, we hear from experienced scholars about their research into issues of racism and anti-racism. These webinars focus on racism which is the old yet enduring set of discourses and practices that work to reinforce the hierarchical ordering of groups of people. We draw attention to the problematic ways that images, practices and representations are utilised to discriminate against individuals and groups, and how mechanisms of racism play out through institutional power and domination.

At the same time, we amplify anti-racist approaches by exploring the political interventions made to resist and overcome racist policies, practices and attitudes. The research we draw attention to is about generating social change through transformative actions.

The Forgotten

In June, a report by the commons education committee (which was not signed off by all members of the committee), entitled ‘The Forgotten: how white working pupils have been let down, and how to change it’, claimed, amongst other things, that the concept of ‘white privilege’ is divisive and promotes disharmony. Professor David Gillborn, emeritus professor of critical race studies at the University of Birmingham, has written an excellent riposte outlining some of the many weaknesses in the report in an article: How white working-class underachievement has been used to demonise antiracism


Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism

On Wednesday 26th January, the Institute was delighted to welcome Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Laura Connelly in a webinar to introduce their new book, ‘Anti-Racist Scholar Activism’ (now available in our library). This book is powerful not only because of the insightful critique of higher education, but also because Remi and Laura’s research prioritises the voices of university academics committed to anti-racism, working as part of communities of resistance. Their work is a call to and guidance for action in, as they call it, pockets of hope and possibility within current structures in order to in Stuart Hall’s words, ‘struggle where we are’. The webinar was inspirational as it led us to imagine the pockets of hope and possibility for our own institution and our own work, as well as introducing some provocative notions, such as working in service and reparative theft. Listen to their presentation here.

Dr Remi Joseph Salisbury is presidential fellow in ethnicity and inequalities at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on racism and anti-racism in education and policing, and he’s also part of the Northern Police Monitoring Project.

Laura Connelly is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Sheffield. Her work sits at the intersections of race, gender and migration, and she often explores these issues within the context of the sex industry. She organises as part of the Northern Police Monitoring Project, an organisation working with communities in Greater Manchester to address police harassment, violence, and racism.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences