October sees Black History Month marked across the UK with a number of events being held on campus and academic initiatives launched at Goldsmiths, University of London to coincide with the annual celebration.
One of the highlights is the New Perspectives on Black History conference on the 20 and 21 October. Presented by Goldsmiths Students’ Union, the event will examine the latest research findings in Black British History, with young and emerging scholars specialising in this area presenting their work.
This month has also seen the launch of the College’s new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (LTAS). A roadmap for pedagogy for the next five years, it is the result of a close collaboration between the College and Goldsmiths’ Students Union.
A key example of the College’s commitment to equality and inclusion, one of its key pillars speaks to the College’s goal of ensuring the learning experience is fully representative.
Its aim is to “proactively challenge the white, middleclass, ablist, male-dominated curricula that are prevalent across the Higher Education sector, and to centre the work of marginalised scholars on race, sexuality, gender and disability within academia”.
Representation in scholarship is integral to all work at Goldsmiths and this ambition extends across all education.
Earlier this year Dr Deidre Osborne, Reader in English Literature and Drama in the Department of Theatre and Performance, facilitated a new A level teaching resource entitled Contemporary Black British Writing.
The free resource provides in-depth information on the work of 12 key black British writers, as well as a wealth of references to critical materials to support independent study.
Writing in a blog for the Runnymede Trust, Dr Osborne says the guide “celebrates perspectives habitually marginalised or omitted from British education”.
She continues: “It catalyses the cultural valuing of literature that centralises black people’s perspectives and is written by black authors.
"While the A-level will set the expectations of students wanting to continue this interest at university, it infers the earlier step of challenging the norms that society and educators unconsciously propagate even at primary school stage.”
Dr Osborne was also one of the co-conveners of Britain’s first MA in Black British Writing and is also a convener for the conference On Whose Terms? Ten Years On… which is taking place at Goldsmiths in March 2018.
This term has also seen the first cohort of scholars join the new MA Race, Media and Social Justice.
Student Jasper Williams says she chose the course because it “stood out”, adding: “The programme tackled contemporary debates surrounding race and ethnicity from both a media and sociological perspective, which I found unique.
“Also, the programme aims to equip students with the necessary skills to understand the representation of race and ethnicity in media with focus on post-colonial and critical race theories."