UCL’s Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism & Racialisation was established in 2019 in response to student-led demands for the transformation of the curriculum and a reparative reckoning with the powerful, but often unacknowledged, colonial and imperial histories of our university, our city and our nation.
Working closely with many partners on-site, the Sarah Parker Remond Centre accommodates a unique, multi-disciplinary community of students, teachers and researchers. It provides a focal point for scholarship, teaching and public engagement activities that are addressed to various problems of racial inequality and hierarchy.
Alongside its role in coordinating and facilitating existing initiatives, the Centre is committed to the production of new, historically-informed, critical knowledge addressed to some of the most urgent social and political questions of our time. Its affiliates explore the impact of racism, scientific, metaphysical and cultural, on the development of all varieties of academic inquiry. There is particular interest in the complex legacies of race-thinking across the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the continuing effects of racialised inequality in the workings of government, law, the arts, culture, science, technology and social life.
The Centre is firmly grounded in the academic humanities and mindful of the significance of culture, literature and the arts in the development of movements against racial hierarchy. Its initial priorities for research and teaching are located in three key areas where the impact of racial divisions can be apprehended all of which have big implications for the future of race politics in Britain and beyond. These are (1) environmental humanities, (2) medical humanities, and (3) the rapidly expanding fields of “big data” and AI. These areas point, not only to the residual effects of colonial and imperial relations, but to emergent patterns in the racial ordering of the world.
The Centre is committed to scholarly practice at the highest level, however, its work is not only scholarly. Its work is outward-facing and dedicated to public engagement with the full range of BME communities. The Centre’s location in London is therefore considered an important asset and our approach to all aspects of our work is transnational and global. We endorse comparative research into these worldly issues and, in present circumstances, we are especially keen to contribute to broader European discussion about the continuing problems of exclusion, inclusivity and belonging that result from the conjunction of racism with nationalism.
By connecting humanists and social scientists, and linking their concerns to other disciplines across the university, we will deliver research-led postgraduate teaching that engages with the ways that racial divisions persist and are still being reproduced. Studying those problems equips our students with the critical knowledge and academic skills required to shape policy and action in government, civil society organisations and commercial sectors around the world.