The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


27 February 2017 | 5:15 pm to 15 March 2017 | 5:15 pm

'Race' and Development Studies

Monday 27th February 17:15-18:45 Bedford Way (20) – 604 Monday 6th March 17:15-18:45 Room 101, DPU Wednesday 15th March 17:15-18:45 Room 101, DPU
Open to
The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
race development
This mini-series highlights the neglect of ‘race’ in intellectual and practical engagements with development and its study. It problematises through a racial lens the organising concepts of development such as ‘equality’ and ‘poverty’, the public narrations of black bodies and black women’s bodies, and the role of the academy as a site of development study. It also stimulates dialogue on ways forward through anti-racist praxis.

The mini-series on kicks off on Monday 27th February at 17:15 with a talk from Professor Steve Garner (Birmingham City University) on White guys finally catch a break’: Popular engagements with ‘race’, nation and equality in 21st Century England.


Steve is Professor of Critical Race Studies and Head of Criminology and Sociology at Birmingham City University. He has worked in France, Ireland, the USA and England, and has published widely on racisms and their intersections with class and nation. He is the author of ‘Whiteness: an introduction’ (Routledge), ‘Racisms’ (Sage) and ‘Racism in the Irish Experience’ (Pluto). His latest book is ‘A Moral Economy of Whiteness’ (Routledge).


Talk Abstract:

2016 witnessed a renewed focus of Anglo-American politics on specific instrumentalist uses of the concepts of ‘race’, nation and equality. Analyses suggest that ‘immigration’ was a key issue in both the Brexit referendum vote and Donald Trump’s election victory.
However, based on fieldwork carried out well before 2016, I suggest that some of the overlapping narratives about 'race', nation and immigration deployed go back a decade or more. The assumptions underpinning the place where public understandings of ‘race’, nation and equality are currently located means listening to discursive patterns. These are quite clear that; ‘equality’ is a dirty word; racism is a thing of the past; black and minority people are privileged in relation to dis-privileged white UK people. We’ll look at the frames that shape such conclusions in relation to residential areas; and to public policy, and ask what this means for any potential anti-racist responses.

On Monday 6th March at 17:15 Dr Kalpana Wilson (Birkbeck) will be talking about Race/Gender and Development: from colonial tea plantations to 'Smart Economics'. Her talk will explore the ways that 'race', and its intersections with gender, continue to be central to the discourses, structures and practices of development. It will focus in particular on the intensification and extension of the labour of women from low-income households in the global South within neoliberal development approaches epitomised by the slogan 'Gender Equality as Smart Economics', arguing that this labour is both gendered and racialised.  It emphasises the need to think about the omnipresence of 'race' in development not only in terms of discursive continuities with colonialism, but also material ones.
On Wednesday 15th March at 17:15 Dr Divya Tolia-Kelly (Durham University) will be taking on Being and Feeling in the spaces of museum and academy: outlining the possibilities of postcolonial/anti-racist praxis. Her paper will be in two parts. The first is about thinking through race at the space of museum through the Great Chain of Being. This is by way of exploring ways in which black bodies are narrated, classified and positioned in a hierarchy of culture. And the second is exploring the playing out of the black experience in the university. As a coach and mentor to black academics at Durham, she will share the impact of race on the experience of being within the academy. Overall the aim is to illustrate how the experience of race in HE compounds and conflates with experiences of being seen as ‘other’ through cultural narratives of museum, academia and the body. The attempt in the paper to see how there is an unconscious folding together of being and feeling ‘other’, and is an attempt to reflect the layers of being a Black academic working with postcolonial theory and practice in HE.