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Transcripts:  All transcripts available here

 

Latest episode:

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As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Black People’s Day of Action march that took place on 2nd March 1981, Paul Gilroy welcomes Linton Kwesi Johnson, poet and activist, to reflect on the events of that day and year, and discuss how we see these patterns repeated in Black life in this country today in the forms of inequality and conflict and demands for truth, right and justice.

This conversation was recorded on 9th February 2021

Speaker: Linton Kwesi Johnson, world-renowned reggae poet and recording artist
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

Read the transcript for this podcast

 

Previous episodes:

In conversation with Les Back

 

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In conversation with Les Back

Luke de Noronha is joined by Les Back, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, to talk about the concept of the ‘metropolitan paradox’, reflecting on how the events of 1981 – the New Cross house fire and the resulting Black People’s Day of Action march – formed his thinking and future academic work. Discussing how the tragedy of Grenfell Tower paralleled that of 1981, Les explores how the demonstrations and silent walks provide a service of hope.

This conversation was recorded on 29th January 2021

Speakers: Luke de Noronha, Lecturer in Race, Ethnicity & Postcolonial Studies, UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre  //  Les Back, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Dennis Bovell

 

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In conversation with Dennis Bovell

Dennis Bovell, UK reggae pioneer and writer of the hit song Silly Games, joins Paul Gilroy for a conversation about his career as a producer, multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and more. Dennis discusses not having any musical boundaries, working across reggae to country to afrobeats, and recounts stories of working with Linton Kwesi Johnson, Leroy Smart, Fela Kuti and John Kpiaye.

This conversation was recorded on 21st November 2020

Speaker: Dennis Bovell, UK Reggae pioneer, producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and sound engineer
Image: Photo by Tim Schnetgoeke
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Pragna Patel

 

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In conversation with Pragna Patel

Maki Kimura (UCL Political Science & UCL Arts and Sciences) is joined by Pragna Patel, director and founding member of Southall Black Sisters. Pragna speaks to us about the feminist and anti-racist roots of Southall Black Sisters, discussing intersectionality and structures of inequality, domestic abuse and violence against women and girls, and how the pandemic has further impacted vulnerable groups such as migrant women.

This conversation was recorded on 10th November 2020

Speakers: Maki Kimura, Lecturer in UCL Political Science & UCL Arts and Sciences  //  Pragna Patel, director and founding member of Southall Black Sisters
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

 

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In conversation with Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Tamar Garb is joined by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, South African National Research Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma, for a conversation about her work and recent interventions into a very difficult political and social landscape in South Africa. Pumla uses social psychology and psychoanalysis to discuss the ongoing threat and challenge of racism, the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, and the notion of the aesthetic as a site for reparative humanism.

This conversation was recorded on 6th November 2020

Speakers: Tamar Garb, Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art at UCL  //  Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, South African National Research Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma at Stellenbosch University, and the 2020-2021 Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Sindre Bangstad

 

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In conversation with Sindre Bangstad

Social anthropologist, Sindre Bangstad, discusses how local memories have been mobilised in the context of the Norwegian anti-racist movement, addressing the deep racialised grammar of the national imaginary of what Norway is. Exploring examples of right-wing extremism, Sindre reflects on the 2001 murder of Benjamin Hermansen as we approach the 20-year anniversary of his death.

This conversation was recorded on 27th October 2020

Speaker: Sindre Bangstad, Research Professor at KIFO, the Institute for Church, Religion and Worldview Research
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: Toward a Global History of White Supremacy

 

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Short Takes: Toward a Global History of White Supremacy

Our latest Short Take is provided by Camilla Schofield, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at UEA. This year, in conjunction with her fellow editors Daniel Geary and Jennifer Sutton, Camilla has produced Global White Nationalism: From Apartheid to Trump, an important anthology of writing covering different historical examples and geographical regions. Camilla talks to us about this substantive contribution to the really urgent discussions about whiteness, and the kind of political and scholarly intervention that it represents.

Speaker: Camilla Schofield, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at University of East Anglia
Image: Global White Nationalism: From Apartheid to Trump (Manchester University Press, 2020)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Antonella Bundu

 

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In conversation with Antonella Bundu

Paul Gilroy is joined by Antonella Bundu, Italian activist and council member for a left coalition, for a conversation about the politics of Florence, Italy, and her position within the polity. Antonella discusses Black presence and belonging in the Italian context, fighting for social and civil rights, and the work that still needs to be done for an anti-racist and anti-fascist society.

This conversation was recorded on 23rd October 2020

Speaker: Antonella Bundu, activist and council member leading the left opposition Sinistra Progetto Comune group
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Steve McQueen

 

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In conversation with Steve McQueen

Award-winning filmmaker, Steve McQueen, joins Paul Gilroy for a conversation on the motivation for his Small Axe film series. McQueen addresses making something that is Black and beautiful in depicting justice and freedom, and how art can give recognition to Black British lives by shoring up “who we are, where we came from and what we contributed to this country”.

This conversation was recorded on 26th October 2020

Speaker: Steve McQueen, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and artist; creator and director of Small Axe
Image: Photo by John Russo
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Olivia U. Rutazibwa

 

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In conversation with Olivia U. Rutazibwa

Olivia U. Rutazibwa, Senior Lecturer in International Development and European Studies, explores rethinking international relations with a critical and anti-colonial perspective. Addressing the tearing down of statues of Leopold II in Belgium, reparations and recognition, and moving away from the language of ‘aid’, Olivia discusses decolonial thought and concepts of dignity, retreat and repair.

This conversation was recorded on 13th October 2020

Speaker: Olivia U. Rutazibwa, Senior Lecturer in International Development and European Studies at the University of Portsmouth
Image: © Malebo Sephodi
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Francio Guadeloupe

 

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In conversation with Francio Guadeloupe

Social and cultural anthropologist Francio Guadeloupe joins us for a conversation on understanding the black condition and the racialisation of Muslims within the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean. Addressing the conviviality and creolization of the Kingdom, Francio explains the harmony and struggle that is present and looks at the changing politics of race.

This conversation was recorded on 7th October 2020

Speaker: Francio Guadeloupe, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Gloria Wekker

 

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In conversation with Gloria Wekker

Gloria Wekker, author of White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, discusses white innocence and colour-blindness in the Netherlands; reflecting on the country’s relationship with colonialism, its lack of discourse about race, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge exchange. Gloria also looks back on her experiences in the US: the moment she learned she was black, how the prom shaped her understanding of intersectionality, and the significance of having a black female professor for the first time.

This conversation was recorded on 1st October 2020

Speaker: Gloria Wekker, Professor Emeritus at Utrecht University
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica

 

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Short Takes: Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica

Our latest Short Takes podcast is provided by Luke de Noronha, author of Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica. “An ethnography of deportation, and therefore an ethnography of separation, absence and exile”, Luke talks us through the motivation for his research and its contribution to our collective understanding and shared struggles.

Speaker: Luke de Noronha, Simon Research Fellow at the University of Manchester
Image: Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica (Manchester University Press, 2020)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Dorothy E. Roberts

 

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In conversation with Dorothy E. Roberts

Acclaimed scholar of race, gender and law, Dorothy E. Roberts discusses the harm and health inequities produced by structural racism, with race correction in medicine disqualifying black people from specialised care, and evident collaboration of doctors and lawyers in promoting juridical ideas about race. Addressing a violent policing system that can be traced back to slave patrols and black codes, Dorothy also explains the need for abolition of the entire policing apparatus in the US.

This conversation was recorded on 28th August 2020

Speaker: Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, University of Pennsylvania
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Jacob Dlamini

 

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In conversation with Jacob Dlamini

Tamar Garb welcomes Jacob Dlamini for a conversation on the limitations of racialisations and categorisations, the problematic ethnicising of blackness, and understanding the centrality of race while also understanding that race doesn't explain everything. Jacob speaks on his work exploring the role of collaborators during apartheid, and how the traumas of the children of collaborators is important to the context of the traumas of South Africa’s past.

This conversation was recorded on 30th July 2020

Speakers: Tamar Garb, Director of UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art  //  Jacob Dlamini, Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Gail Lewis

 

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In conversation with Gail Lewis

Gail Lewis, psychotherapist and Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE, joins us for a conversation on Britain’s racial formation; speaking across the generational lines; and how music captures life and sustains us. Gail offers her psychoanalysis on black lives ‘mattering’ and how “being present to the aliveness, and the moments of deadening, and the moments of possibility, even in silence, really teaches you something about being ‘with’.”

This conversation was recorded on 13th July 2020

Speaker: Gail Lewis, Visiting Senior Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies at London School of Economics
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with George the Poet

 

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In conversation with George the Poet

Paul Gilroy is joined by George the Poet, for a conversation on poetry, podcasting and storytelling; looking at how hybridity and sociological thought have impacted George’s process of intuition and priorities in advocating for his community. George also discusses how, moving forward, these priorities are evolving around communication systems, value creation and academia.

This conversation was recorded on 9th July 2020

Speaker: George the Poet, spoken-word artist, poet and podcast host of Have You Heard George’s Podcast?
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (Age of Slavery)

 

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Short Takes: An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (Age of Slavery)

Our latest Short Take is provided by Marlene L. Daut, Professor of African Diaspora Studies at the Woodson Institute, historian of Haiti, and an important voice in the burgeoning historical archive of neglected political and cultural dynamics of the Haitian revolution. Here Marlene talks to us about a forthcoming anthology she has co-edited with Grégory Pierrot and Marion Rohrleitner, titled An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (Age of Slavery).

Speaker: Marlene L. Daut, Professor of African Diaspora Studies in the Carter G. Woodson Institute and the Program in American Studies at the University of Virginia
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with David Theo Goldberg

 

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In conversation with David Theo Goldberg

David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California’s Humanities Research Institute, offers his insight about the state of critical thinking around race and racism, and the effacement of historicality in favour of presentism; and responds to the sanction of comparativisms and relationalities as “racism anywhere is not possible to be upheld without racisms elsewhere”.

This conversation was recorded on 8th July 2020

Speaker: David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Courtenay Griffiths QC

 

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In conversation with Courtenay Griffiths QC

Paul Gilroy is joined by Courtenay Griffiths QC, distinguished criminal defence advocate with 40 years of experience, for a conversation on racism within the criminal justice system and its disproportionate effect on black people, and the need to confront patterns of criminalisation, the hierarchy within institutions and reforming education in relation to this.

This conversation was recorded on 24th June 2020

Speaker: Courtenay Griffiths QC, Barrister, 25 Bedford Row
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Suresh Grover

 

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In conversation with Suresh Grover

Suresh Grover, Director of the anti-racist grassroots group The Monitoring Group, joins us to discuss his work and campaigning in the struggle against racism in Britain, the notion of black as a political colour and the vision of an inclusive political culture, and the importance of exposing the lived experiences of black communities in addressing institutional and state racism.

This conversation was recorded on 23rd June 2020

Speaker: Suresh Grover, Director of The Monitoring Group
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: James Baldwin’s ‘Little Houses’ and Abel Meeropol’s ‘Strange Fruit’

 

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Short Takes: James Baldwin’s ‘Little Houses’ and Abel Meeropol’s ‘Strange Fruit’

Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor of African and African American Studies as well as Professor of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University, provides a taster of his eagerly anticipated publication of his major study on James Baldwin. Speaking on Baldwin’s former teacher, Abel Meeropol, writer of Strange Fruit which later became an anthem of the anti-lynching, anti-white supremacist movement, Robert offers a snippet of Baldwin’s young life.

Speaker: Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Professor of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University
Image: James Baldwin taken in Hyde Park, London, 1969, by Allan Warren (This image is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: How Literature Matters: An Ethical Reading of Black British Women's Writing

 

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Short Takes: How Literature Matters: An Ethical Reading of Black British Women's Writing

This Short Take has been generously provided to us by Suzanne Scafe, co-author of the ground-breaking 1985 book Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain, and known for her involvement in supplementary schooling and the Brixton Black Women's Group. In this episode, Suzanne speaks to us about her new work in process and soon for publication, How Literature Matters: An Ethical Reading of Black British Women's Writing.

Speaker: Suzanne Scafe, author and Visiting Fellow at London South Bank University
Image: Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain (Verso Books, 2018)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Nikhil Pal Singh

 

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In conversation with Nikhil Pal Singh

Nikhil Pal Singh, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at NYU, talks us through ‘the unfinished struggle for democracy’ and the racialised ordering of systems in the United States; the balance of forces of the right and left; and the voice of corporate multiculturalism and celebrity renunciations of white privilege in response to Black Lives Matter.

This conversation was recorded on 16th June 2020

Speaker: Nikhil Pal Singh, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History, and Faculty Director of the NYU Prison Education Program, New York University
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Achille Mbembe

 

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In conversation with Achille Mbembe

Achille Mbembe, author, commentator and philosopher, addresses his recent work The Universal Right to Breathe and Brutalisme in the context of the racial disparity of deaths and racially inflicted violence; speaking on the power of witnessing in preventing others from being expropriated of their breath, and the significance of respiration at the beginning and end of life.

This conversation was recorded on 17th June 2020

Speaker: Achille Mbembe, Research Professor at the Wits Institute For Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Patricia J. Williams

 

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In conversation with Patricia J. Williams

Distinguished writer, commentator and American legal scholar Patricia J. Williams joins Paul Gilroy to talk about the legacies of Critical Race Theory, the eugenic character of racialised governance and the current call to defund the police.

This conversation was recorded on 12th June 2020. Apologies for the noise of a smoke alarm in the background.

Speaker: Patricia J. Williams, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities at Northeastern University, Boston
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Gary Younge

 

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In conversation with Gary Younge

Paul Gilroy and Gary Younge, Professor of Sociology at Manchester University and distinguished journalist, reflect on Mark Twain’s reputed words ‘history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes’, the first political memories that shaped them, and the potential in engaging sympathy and humour critically.

This conversation was recorded on 12th June 2020

Speaker: Gary Younge, Professor of Sociology at Manchester University and journalist
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Alondra Nelson

 

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In conversation with Alondra Nelson

Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council in the US and Harold F. Linder Chair in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, joins us to question who is assumed to be the disposable demographic, and the politics of genetic data and racial biology being used to understand the ‘black body’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This conversation was recorded on 8th June 2020

Speaker: Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council and Harold F. Linder Chair in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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In conversation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore

 

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In conversation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore

We’re joined by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Geography in Earth and Environmental Sciences at CUNY, for a conversation on the current crises of Covid-19 and state violence, touching on the desire for learning as a means of activism, the political geography of mobilisation and double consciousness.

This conversation was recorded on 7th June 2020

Speaker: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City

 

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Short Takes: Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City

In this episode of Short Takes, we’re joined by Joy White, author of the eagerly anticipated book Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City, published recently by Repeater, and Joy is going to talk a little bit about the arguments in her book and introduce the urgency of this intervention, particularly now in the context for our political culture created by the Covid emergency and racialised police brutality.

SpeakerJoy White, Sociologist, Ethnographer and Researcher
ImageTerraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City (Repeater, 2020)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question

 

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Short Takes: Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question

One of the most amazing publications of the last few years in the broad field of Black Studies and African American Studies has been Bénédicte Boisseron’s book Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question, published by Columbia University Press. In the second of our Short Takes series, Boisseron joins us now to talk about Afro-Dog, and to discuss the places where the study of racism and racialisation intersect with Animal Studies, and why that connection is important for both areas of specialisation in the Humanities.

SpeakerBénédicte Boisseron, Associate Professor of Afroamerican & African Studies, University of Michigan
ImageAfro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question (Columbia University Press, 2018)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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Short Takes: In the words of Sarah Parker Remond

 

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Short Takes: In the words of Sarah Parker Remond

Welcome to our Short Takes podcast series! We'll be highlighting important research and conversations around the topics of racism and racialisation, with contributions from academics, activists and cultural practitioners.

In the first of our series, Sirpa Salenius, the biographer of Sarah Parker Remond, and author of An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), is going to present some elements of Sarah Parker Remond’s life in Europe, and show why we felt it was such a wonderful thing to be able to use Sarah Parker Remond’s name to express the spirit and the character and the direction of the work that our centre is going to conduct in the future.
Please note, this recording uses various pronunciations of Remond's name (Europe-US).

SpeakerSirpa Salenius, Senior Lecturer at University of Eastern Finland
Image: Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

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