Future Histories of Race

Speakers: Sadiah Qureshi, David Feldman, Caroline Bressey, Tony Kushner, Doreen Foster, Hannah Ishmael, Rob Waters, Camilla Schofield, Radhika Natarajan

Chair: Gavin Schaffer

In the run-up to the General Election of 2015, we are witnessing extraordinary discussions regarding race and immigration on a near daily basis. Many politicians continually reiterate that discussing immigration isn’t racist and that it is ‘common sense’ to be concerned about the future of Modern Britain. Yet, the undertones of these debates, and the accompanying reportage and analysis, frequently stray into long-standing racist tropes.

This workshop will enable a discussion about the ways in which historians can understand the nature of discussions about race in Modern Britain? It will question how future histories of race might engage with current political debates and will contribute to incorporating such debates into ongoing discussions on the nature of race, racism, immigration and multiculturalism within British Studies. The format of this session will be an open discussion between leading scholars of race, immigration and multiculturalism.  Workshop participants will not give papers, but will instead discuss key questions which will be selected in advance through a group email discussion.

The workshop will be chaired by Gavin Schaffer. Confirmed contributors include David Feldman (Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism), Caroline Bressey (Founder of the Equiano Centre for black history), Tony Kushner (historian of race and migration), Doreen Foster (Black Cultural Archives), Hannah Ishmael (UCL), Rob Waters (Birkbeck), Camilla Schofield and Radhika Natarajan, both leading scholars on multiculturalism, and Sadiah Qureshi.

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