Black women in the academy: ‘inclusion’ or erasure from the social sciences?

BSA Regional Postgraduate Event:
Black women in the academy: ‘inclusion’ or erasure from the social sciences?

Date: Tuesday, 20th September 2016, Ballroom, Keele University

Keynote speakers: Professor Claire Alexander (University of Manchester) and Professor Kalwant Bhopal (University of Southampton)

Event Outline
“Much of the Eurocentric masculinist worldview fosters Black women’s subordination. But placing Black women’s experiences at the center of analysis offers fresh insights on the prevailing concepts, paradigms, and epistemologies of this worldview” – Patricia Hill Collins, 1990.

The category ‘Black’ during the 1980s homogenised the struggles of Caribbean and Asian communities in racist Britain. However, the applicability of this categorisation towards British Asians has been contested (Modood, 1994) and even its use towards African diasporic communities (Kwesi, 2015). Despite these contestations, the UK welcomes a Black Studies degree to Britain at Birmingham City University in September 2017, signalling the importance of disrupting historically White spaces and decolonising knowledge. This conference day will bring together academic scholars who identify as black, to provide an intellectual space to discuss about the impact of ‘race’ and gender on their academic work. This day is unique in also providing a reflective space for scholars’ experiences of survival at the margins (hooks, 1990). Women of colour working within the social sciences in the UK are often still marginalised and face other, intersectional challenges not illuminated under traditional inequalities’ discourse. We invite scholars, intellectuals and activist women of colour to contest Eurocentric, male and heterosexual epistemologies. The margins should not solely be seen as a site of disadvantage; rather, this event is shaped by an understanding that black women academics’ liminal position in historically White spaces offers the “opportunity/obligation to transcend their either/or way of knowing” (Dunbar, 2008:86).

Confirmed established academics’ panelists: Professor Farzana Shain (University of Keele), Dr Denise Noble (Birmingham City University), Dr Lorna Roberts (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dr Shirin Housee (University of Wolverhampton), Dr Lisa Palmer (Birmingham City University, TBC)

Call for papers
We invite paper contributions from doctoral, early career, to established academics writing in the following thematic areas:
-Black academics or students in Higher Education;
-Black cultures in Britain;
-‘Race’, ethnicity and (black) girl/boyhood;
-Black communities in popular culture;
-Migration and narrative stories from black communities
-Queer studies or trans studies related to black communities

Please email abstracts (up to 250 words) to Nadena Doharty ( by Friday, 26th August 2016 indicating any special technological requirements. Each panelist will have a maximum of 15 minutes to present.

BSA Member registration £10, Non-Member Registration £25
Caribbean lunch provided, though please make sure you indicate any special dietary requirements. Places limited so please book quickly.

Any queries about the event to be sent to Nadena Doharty:

Categories: Conferences, Diaspora, Diversity & Difference

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *