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Latest episode:

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It has often been argued that eugenicists were not real scientists, but almost all of their ideas were grounded in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century scientific discourse. Science is a social and a socialised endeavour. Scientists are people, and their work is embodied in the social and historical contexts in which they live. In this episode, Subhadra speaks to science historians and communicators who are experts in exploring and uncovering the stories around our science. Together they look at how eugenic thinking can be perpetuated, but also confronted by the stories we tell.

This conversation was recorded on 23rd March 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: Chiara Ambrosio, Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Science in UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies, with a special focus on the history of art and science. Chiara is one of the co-founders of Muso at IMPROPERA, the improvised opera production inspired by objects from science museums.

Emily Dawson is Associate Professor in Science Communication at UCL Science and Technology Studies. She was awarded The Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2020 for her work on the sociology of science and education, getting people to talk across the science/non-science disciplinary divide. Emily is the author of Equity, Exclusion & Everyday Science Learning, which was published by Routledge in 2019.

Rokia Ballo is part of the team who run Science London, a volunteer-led organization dedicated to training and enabling scientists and science communicators to employ equitable practise within their work. Science London have been nominated for the National Diversity Awards 2021.

Angela Saini is an award-winning writer, science journalist and broadcaster whose two most recent books tackle and challenge the inbuilt inequalities in the life sciences. In Inferior, she looked at the science of gender, and in Superior, she looked at the science of race.

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions


Katherine McKittrick and David Gillborn are two of the scholars mentioned in the conversation.

What Does Eugenics Mean To Us? Episode 2: Curating Heads

 

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Episode 2: Curating Heads

This episode documents and commemorates a collaborative research project at UCL, which brought together geneticists, historians, archaeologists and museum curators to consider how science mediates the dilemma of death. It was called Curating Heads and its scientific aims were to use the latest techniques in Ancient DNA analysis to sequence the genomes of two historic figures at UCL: the philosopher Jeremy Bentham and the archaeologist, William Matthew Flinders Petrie. The exhibition that grew out of this research showcased this work and also critically examined the legacies of eugenics in genetics and archaeology. Join Subhadra and her guests as they reminisce about the project and reflect on the benefits of collaborative and interdisciplinary work.

This conversation was recorded on 30th March 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: Alice Stevenson was Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology during the run of this project. She is now Associate Professor in Museum Studies at UCL's Institute of Archaeology, and also the co-founder of a brilliant decolonial museum project called 100 Histories of 100 Worlds in 1 Object.

A historian and classicist by training, Debbie Challis was Audience Development at the Petrie Museum where her research, public programmes and exhibitions are seminal milestones in the history of critical eugenics at UCL. She is the author of The Archaeology of Race, and she is now Education and Outreach Officer at the London School of Economics Library. 

Mark Thomas is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics in the Research Department of UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment. He is also UCL's ancient DNA researcher to the stars, having worked on aDNA projects on Richard III, and Charles Byrne (who was known as the Irish giant).

Tim Causer is Research Fellow at The Bentham Project based at UCL Laws, and as such one of UCL's go-to Bentham experts. Together with Professor Philip Schofield, Tim is an editor of Panopticon vs. New South Wales and Other Writings on Australia, a forthcoming collection of the works of Jeremy Bentham.

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions


The rest of the team behind Curating Heads, and its accompanying exhibition What Does It Mean to Be Human? were: Dr Elizabeth Dobson, Dr Lucy van Dorp, Dr Tom Booth and Dr Selina Hurley. Nick Booth was the Curator of the Auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham at the time of the project.

What Does Eugenics Mean To Us? Episode 3: The legacy of Cyril Burt

 

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Episode 3: The legacy of Cyril Burt

Two of the fields where eugenic thinking had an enormous influence, and where some of its legacies continue to hold sway are Psychology and Education Studies. An influential figure in both those fields was a former UCL Professor of Psychology, Sir Cyril Burt. In this episode Subhadra and her guests wade through Burt’s legacy and reflect on how to confront and confound eugenic thinking in both these fields.

This conversation was recorded on 31st March 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: If you believe what you read on Twitter, Jack Bicker is just another millennial philosopher. By day, though, he is Senior Teaching Fellow in Philosophy and Education Studies at UCL's Institute of Education, where his work encompasses critical theory, aspects of political philosophy, philosophy of mind, psychoanalysis, and developmental psychology.

Peter Fonagy is an award-winning psychologist and academic whose research centres on issues of early attachment relationships, social cognition, borderline personality disorder and violence. Among many other roles, he is Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London and also Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL.

Lasana Harris is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at UCL. He is one of the brains behind the Unstereotype Experiment, which explored how increasing empathy in marketing professionals could increase creative and inclusive thinking, and his research at UCL examines the many different aspects of how we as humans perceive things and each other.

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions


You can also listen to Linton Kwesi Johnson in conversation with Paul Gilory on the SPRC podcast.

What Does Eugenics Mean To Us? Episode 4: Confronting ableism in eugenics

 

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Episode 4: Confronting ableism in eugenics

Along with being inherently racist, eugenics was also an inherently ableist concern. In this episode Subhadra speaks to experts in the field of disability studies to explore the ways in which power delineates difference between people, and how this relates to the much broader structures of our society, as well as how we think and perceive of ourselves.

This conversation was recorded on 14th April 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: Nicole Brown is Lecturer in Education at the Institute of Education here at UCL, and the editor of two books: Ableism in Academia, Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education, and the follow-up Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia, Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education, which is due out in May 2021.

Nora Groce is Leonard Cheshire Professor of Disability and Inclusive Development at UCL. A medical anthropologist, Nora works on issues of global health, international development and human rights, with a particular focus on global disability issues. 

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions

What Does Eugenics Mean To Us? Episode 5: Race and space

 

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Episode 5: Race and space

The places and spaces we inhabit profoundly affect our lives and how we live them in ways we need to think about more critically. At the launch of the project that is the subject of today's episode, Kamna Patel spoke to how people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by saying "It is not who we are and what we eat that will kill us, but where we live and where we work." Subhadra’s guests in this episode came together to write a curriculum to help students and researchers of the built environment be more mindful about the ways in which their discipline actively reinforces and reproduces racism and ableism.

This conversation was recorded on 21st April 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: Kamna Patel is Associate Professor at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit.

Yasminah Beebeejaun is Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning.

George Burridge is Senior Teaching and Learning Officer at the Bartlett Faculty Admissions Office.

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions


You can follow The Bartlett's work confronting racism in the built environment through their Inclusive Spaces series and of course, you can download their 'Race' and Space: What is 'race' doing in a nice field like the built environment (The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment, 2020) curriculum and read along for yourself. Other authors of the curriculum were Solomon Zewolde, Tania Sengupta and Catalina Ortiz.

Race, space and architecture: towards an open-access curriculum (LSE Department of Sociology, 2019) by Huda Tayob and Suzanne Hall is also available to download from the London School of Economics website.

What Does Eugenics Mean To Us? Episode 6: People, people, people

 

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Episode 6: People, people, people

One of the ways in which eugenics became incorporated into mainstream society all around the world was through the birth control movement. Early twentieth-century birth control pioneers like Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger were also ardent eugenicists, and their motives were bound up with imperial concerns about, as eugenicists saw it, the deterioration of the 'white race'. Their arguments were taken up in the cause of another imperialist concern, which was the growing population of non-white people in the colonies. In this episode, Subhadra and her guests consider how we can confront historical and contemporary eugenics practices in the continuing struggle for reproductive justice.

This conversation was recorded on 22nd April 2021

Read the transcript for this podcast


Host: Subhadra Das

Guests: Kate Law is a feminist historian who specialises in twentieth-century Southern African history. She is currently a Nottingham Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of Nottingham, and a Research Fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State. Her first book, Gendering the Settler State: White Women, Race, Liberalism and Empire in Rhodesia, 1950-1980 was published by Routledge in 2016, and her current research project is Fighting Fertility: The British Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Politics of Race and Contraception in South Africa.

Kalpana Wilson is a Lecturer in Geography and her research explores questions of race/gender, labour, neoliberalism, and reproductive rights and justice, with a particular focus on South Asia and its diasporas. She is the author of Race, Racism and Development: Interrogating History, Discourse and Practice (Zed Books, 2012) and has published widely on race, gender, international development, women’s agency and rural labour movements.

Paige Patchin Lecturer in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies, and one of the founding lecturers at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre. Paige is a feminist geographer whose work looks at structures of power in biological, health, and earth sciences. Her research interests include infectious disease, race, and empire, genetics and epigenetics, reproductive health, and the Anthropocene. Her current book project looks at the Zika public health emergency between Puerto Rico and the United States.

Producer: Cerys Bradley
Music: Blue Dot Sessions


If you want to learn more about Thomas Malthus, Robert J. Mayhew’s biography is as good a place as any to start.

Paul Erlich is an American biologist and Professor at Standford University, who gained fame for his 1968 book, The Population Bomb.

Dr Linsey McGooey’s book No Such Thing as a Free Gift – The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy is published by Verso Books.

The Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition encouraged voters in South Africa to Elect To Protect reproductive justice.

You can find out more about Dr Michelle Murphy’s work from her website, and about Dr Priscillah Machinga from her staff page at The University of the Free State. 

 

 

Previous episodes:

Short Takes: We’re Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire

 

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Short Takes: We’re Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire

Our latest Short Takes comes from Ian Sanjay Patel, author of the new book We’re Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire (Verso, 2021). This important book provides a global history of post-war migration to the UK, offering fresh insights into the relationship between migration, citizenship and decolonization.

Speaker: Ian Sanjay Patel, LSE Fellow in Human Rights, London School of Economics
Image: We’re Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire (Verso, 2021)
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

Read the transcript for this podcast

In conversation with Angela Saini
 

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In conversation with Angela Saini

Paige Patchin is joined by science journalist, Angela Saini, for a conversation on her book Superior: The Return of Race Science, discussing the resurgence of race science, pseudoscientific racial myths and problematic narratives of human difference. Angela looks at how the changing figure of the Neanderthal is an example of how the circle of humanity can be used as tool of racism in science, and discusses the implications of race science in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This conversation was recorded on 22nd March 2021

Speakers: Paige Patchin, Lecturer in Race, Ethnicity & Postcolonial Studies, UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre  //  Angela Saini, science journalist, broadcaster and author
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

Read the transcript for this podcast

In conversation with Nicholas De Genova

 

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In conversation with Nicholas De Genova

Nicholas De Genova joins Luke de Noronha for a conversation about the relationship between bordering, migration and the pandemic, and his current thinking around The Migrant Metropolis. Nicholas discusses why it’s important to think of migrant crises as racial crises, recapturing the subjectivity of migration, and the autonomy of migration as a framework.

This conversation was recorded on 8th February 2021

Speakers: Luke de Noronha, Lecturer in Race, Ethnicity & Postcolonial Studies, UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre  //  Nicholas De Genova, Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Houston
Executive producerPaul Gilroy
Producer and EditorKaissa Karhu

Read the transcript for this podcast

In conversation with Linton Kwesi Johnson

 

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In conversation with Linton Kwesi Johnson

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

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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

Read the transcript for this podcast

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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