The Graduate School is pleased to announce its end of term Virtual Panel discussion: ‘Decolonising Fictions, Thesis Peripheries and Disordering Whiteness’.
Decolonising commitments by universities are increasingly performative. At the same time, student-led initiatives, including those at Goldsmiths, have created collaborative call-and-response engagements, lifting structural inequalities out of the mundane, demythologising whiteness (Mbembe, n.d.) and deprofessionalising community engagement. Yet the costs of this work are exhaustion, feelings of stuckness and a sense of ‘nothing changes’.
In this event, we focus on postgraduate structures, environments and relationships. We question the naturalisation of angst and isolation as a necessary part of the postgraduate experience and address the ‘broken pipeline’ that at Goldsmiths that has led to small numbers of Black postgraduate students, as well as those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups. We want to recognise the effects of hermeneutic and testimonial injustice and how ‘disciplining goes much further than disciplinarity' (Chen, 2014: 178), shaping how we encounter and value each other and how certain forms of knowledge are validated and circulate. Why can it be so difficult to be open to the vitality of pedagogical vulnerability: of not-knowing and of falling short in ways that resist valorising abjection as some sort of inert resistance or intellectual pathway? Why is so much of the intellectual and emotional labour of students and staff who are Black and of colour unrecognised? How might we better prise open spaces of care within a context of its radical disavowal? We hope that these conversations will contribute to reimagining postgraduate study released from some of the weight of structural inequalities, as well as neoliberal imperatives that weigh especially heavily on those with disabilities and care-givers.
We will ask former Deans of the Graduate School to account for how racism and whiteness work in the postgraduate cultures and processes that they have overseen and what can be done to refuse, or disrupt these persistent forces. Their reflections will open into a roundtable of students and staff. What might pedagogical vulnerability look like for students and supervisors? Can postgraduate study be healthy and life enhancing for individuals and communities? What must change?
Opening Panel: Les Back (Sociology); Mark Johnson (Anthropology); Alan Pickering (Psychology); Derval Tubridy (English and Creative Writing)
Contributors: Lucia Llano (Centre for Caribbean and Diasporic Studies, PhD candidate); Akanksha Mehta (Media, Communications and Cultural Studies); Jeremiah Spillane (Subject Librarian, PhD candidate); Brett St Louis (Sociology); Chloe Turner (Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, PhD candidate); Elizabeth Williams (Academic Support Manager Library Management Team and Cultural Historian of Black Britain, Africa and the Black Diaspora)
Chair: Yasmin Gunaratnam (Sociology)
All welcome. Teams joining link: https://tinyurl.com/y34o2f9v
Dates & times
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