Anti-racist and ‘decolonial’ activism in the academy and beyond

Wednesday 27th March 2019, 10am to 5.30pm followed by informal socialising

The Bluecoat, 8 School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BT

  • How is anti-racist and ‘decolonial’ work in universities located in and contributing to movements in wider society?
  • How is the relationship between race and migration understood and engaged with in activism?
  • How can recent UK campaigns be understood through a historical/transnational lens?
  • What are the legacies of such campaigns and how is this work maintained, particularly in the context of changing student cohorts?
  • How can we address institutional appropriation of anti-racist and decolonial campaigns?

In 2015, students in the UK followed South African students in launching campaigns such as ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ and ‘Why is my curriculum white?’, to ‘decolonise’ universities, garnering attention inside and beyond the academy. This seminar brings together researchers and activists to explore contemporary anti-racist and ‘decolonial’ activism in UK universities and its relationship to wider anti-racist and decolonial movements.

We will examine successes, challenges and legacies of recent ‘decolonial’ and anti-racist activism; how this relates to (resistance to) the ‘hostile environment’ on immigration and counter-terrorist profiling within universities; how staff and student activists engage with this work; and the future of this agenda. We will consider how such efforts are situated in the context of historical and global anti-racist and ‘decolonial’ activism. This will contribute to the sociologies of race, migration, and education by interrogating the foundations, structures and practices of higher education and how these are located in and inform wider debates on race, decoloniality and citizenship.

This event will be in an interactive, conversational style in which we will highlight perspectives from activists, students and academics, and encourage interaction and new connections to develop both new knowledge and practice. We encourage researchers, teachers, students and activists to attend. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. Click here to register by Friday 15th March 2019.

 A series of panels will include perspectives from:

Lunch and refreshments are provided.


The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Ala Sirriyeh ( for further queries about accessibility.

The panels will be facilitated by the organising collective: Ala Sirriyeh, University of Liverpool; Vanessa Hughes, Goldsmiths, University of London; Hannah Jones, University of Warwick; Remi Joseph-Salisbury, University of Manchester; and Meleisa Ono-George, University of Warwick.


For any enquiries related to this event please contact

This event is part of the Sociological Review Foundation Seminar Series and has been generously sponsored by the Sociological Review Foundation.

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