UCL News


Director of UCL’s new Centre for the Study of Race and Racism announced

23 May 2019

Award-winning historian and cultural theorist, Professor Paul Gilroy, has been appointed founding Director of UCL’s new Centre for the Study of Race and Racism (CSRR).

Paul Gilroy

Starting in August 2019, Professor Gilroy will become Professor of the Humanities and will be responsible for establishing a vibrant new interdisciplinary research centre, which will be part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS).

The CSRR will harnesses academics and expertise from across UCL in the critical study of race as well as the history, theory and politics of racism and its effects.

Winner of the Holberg Prize (2019), which is given to a person who has made outstanding contributions to research in the arts, humanities, social science, the law or theology, Professor Gilroy was described by the awarding committee as ‘one of the most challenging and inventive figures in contemporary scholarship’.

On his appointment Professor Gilroy said: “I am thrilled to be taking up this exciting, creative opportunity at UCL. Building up a centre of this kind has been a long-cherished ambition of mine.”

Professor Tamar Garb, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, said: “It is with enormous pride and excitement that we welcome Paul into the UCL academic community.

“The Centre will be outward facing and aims to become a hub for radical scholarship and engaged thinking, drawing in scholars, activists, policy makers and students from across UCL’s faculties, from London, the UK and internationally.

“We reach out to our friends and colleagues across London, Britain and further afield to join him in creating a unique intellectual and pedagogic community that can help us to address the dangers and threats that confront us in an ever bifurcated and divided world.”

Along with the Director, the CSSR will be staffed initially by an administrator and two lecturers and will attract doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows as well as establishing a new MA programme for students interested in exploring processes of racialization, racialized experience and racism in global, trans-historical and multi/interdisciplinary ways.

Professor Gilroy academic profile

Paul Gilroy is one of the foremost theorists of race and racism working and teaching in the world today. Author of foundational and highly influential books such as There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack (1987), The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993), Against Race (2000), Postcolonial Melancholia (2005) and Darker Than Blue (2010).

He was one of the founding figures of a remapped global history that embedded the movement of racialized subjects and traded goods into accounts of the world as we know it. His work on racism in modern Britain has consistently countered romantic narratives of whiteness, Christianity and ethnic homogeneity as uniquely constitutive of these islands and has written the long history of Black Britons into the cultural and social fabric of Britishness. 



  • Credit: Lola Paprocka