ConveRACEions is a project set up by PhD students in the School. In collaboration with Rosie Stenhouse, our Equality and Diversity Coordinator, this initiative aims to discuss and dismantle barriers to racial equality, as well as ways of moving forward.
With the support of the Social Responsibility and Sustainability Student Project Grant awarded to the ConveRACEions team, this year we are excited to invite monthly guest speakers to give one-hour-long talks on their research and/or experiences with racial and equality issues within (and outside) academia.
The events are open to students and staff across the University and are designed as a safe space to present thoughts and ideas.
Nini Fang and Sarah Liu presenting: Critical Conversations: Being Yellow Women in Times of COVID-19
April 29 4pm
Drawing from feminist and critical race theories, this conversation unfolds the experiences of two Yellow migrant women living and working in the U.K. in times of COVID-19. Started with a brief explanation of what it means to be Yellow, we share our experiences of being perceived as hysterical and our fear of being ridiculed and harassed in the beginning of the outbreak. The conversation further examines the racialized discourse surrounding face-covering and anti-Asian racism in both the private and the public spheres. We then conclude by discussing our transformation in times of crisis. We also emphasize the importance of (re)claiming our Yellowness and link such an empowering act to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rowena Arshad presenting: Making progress on race equality
May 27 4pm
What enables and what impedes? Too often, action becomes compromised as people fear getting the terminology wrong and become side-tracked with what is the right term to use to describe people. There are also debates about whether concepts like white supremacy or white privilege are used too glibly thereby diminishing important discussions about racism and power. Some would argue that identity politics serve the purpose of distracting from the real issues of systemic discrimination. How important are such debates and how do we ensure pro-action continues as we debate, learn and grow.
Professor Rowena Arshad (CBE, FEIS) is Chair in Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh. She is well-known as a race and equality scholar and campaigner.
Now that “decolonising the curriculum” has firmly entered university management speak, it risks being emptied of the history and politics that ground this endeavour. This workshop will be based on the learnings from a research project on “decolonising the business school curriculum” that seeks to return to anti-colonial and decolonial thinking – from which calls to decolonise emerge – to interrogate what can be learned, and must be remembered, in relation to endeavours around curricular transformation.
- Video: ConveRACEions with rashné limki and colleagues
- ConveRACEions with rashné limki, Mini Chandran Kurian, Amira Rahmat & Mally Smith: Decolonising the Curriculum
My aim with this talk is to critique the cultural calculus informing recent events in the United States that involve race, insurrection, and aberrant police behaviour. I explore why the voices of black people, which could have predicted some aspects of what has happened, are often not listened to by mainstream white America. This conundrum, I argue, is entangled in a historically racialized culture that elevates ‘WP’ — a nickname growing in popularity by African Americans for identifying any hint of ‘white privilege’ — as well as emphasizes what I am calling ‘BB,’ an acronym for ‘black bias.’
Barbara is an African American Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh, with extensive activism in social justice issues. She has led a large non-profit social services agency in northern California.
- Video: ConveRACEions with Barbara Becnel
- Recording of the January ConveRACEions Zoom session with Barbara Becnel 'Speaking out about race, insurrection and the police: will you listen now?'