Decolonisation efforts at the Department of Sociology began in earnest on 31 Oct 2017 when the first open meeting was held to discuss what decolonisation might mean in the Cambridge context. The areas of focus raised in that meeting included the classroom environment and the curriculum, supervisions, essays and exams, reporting and feedback, and whiteness and culture change.
Since then, we have successfully supported many developments to the curriculum, including:
- Adding W.E.B. Du Bois to the first year sociology paper (SOC1)
- A new paper in Empire, Imperialism and Colonialism (SOC12)
- A new MPhil pathway in Marginality and Exclusion
We have also supported research projects, events and conferences, aimed at wider culture change, including:
- The End Everyday Racism project
- Angela Davis and Jackie Kay‘s visit to Cambridge
- Post-Windrush Generation: Black British Voices of Resistance (May 2021)
This term we’re picking up the momentum again, both looking at practices in the Department and in Cambridge, as well as taking a broader view of racial justice movements across the globe. Our group hopes to build knowledge and critical awareness to support activity that responds to the issues raised by Black Lives Matter and the racial inequalities laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic.
The committee is chaired this year by Dr Ali Meghji. Meetings in Michaelmas term will take place at the times below via Zoom. These meetings are open to all and we particularly encourage new sociology students to attend. Join our mailing list to receive the zoom links for each session.
- Fri 9 Oct (2pm-3:30pm)
- Recommended reading: BSA, 2020. Race and Ethnicity in British Sociology.
- Guest attendee: Stephen Ashe, Co-author – Race, Ethnicity & British Sociology (BSA, 2020)
- Fri 23 Oct (2pm-3:30pm)
- Recommended reading/viewing: End Everyday Racism Report Launch (Oct 2020)
- Fri 6 Nov (2pm-3:30pm)
- Checking in on working groups and planning for the Decolonisation Dictionary
- Fri 20 Nov (2pm-3:30pm)
- Discussion of coloniality and COVID-19. Recommended readings: Robinson, 2020. Global capitalism post-pandemic; Beardall, 2020. Social-Distancing the Settler-State: Indigenous Peoples in the Age of COVID-19.
We would also like to promote the newly revived Race Research Cluster, convened by Isabelle Higgins, which this term will focus on race in digital environments.
Additionally, people may be interested in topics in this year’s Sociology Seminar Series, particularly the session with Prof Satnam Virdee: “The racialized outsider as conscience of modernity” on Tue 16 Mar 2021 at 12:30pm.