Public Conversations & Appearances

  • Policy Ontologies; working across theory and practice

    Event type: 

    One-day symposium 

    When: 

    01 June 2020

    10:00-16:00

    Where:  Online 

    Hosted by Birkbeck  School of Law

    Contribution details coming soon  

     

     

     

     

    Booking details here 

  • Access, success, progress: Critical conversations

    Event type: 

    Annual Symposium

    When: 

    May 13 2020

    10:00-16:00

    Where:  

    Sheffield Hallam University

    Contribution details coming soon

     

    Booking details here 

  • Leeds International Festival - L20 

    Event type: 

    Talk

    When: 

    5 May 2020

    18:30-21:30

    Where:  

    L20 Cube

    Future.Identity.Power: Reframing Equality and Justice

    MeToo. #BlackLivesMatter. Brexit populism. Global nationalisms. How do we live together despite our differences? What does equality & justice mean for Generation Future? This event challenges preconceptions and connects us through our multiple identities. In association with Leeds Beckett University

    What does equality and justice mean for Generation Future? How does this relate to changing identities and relationships of power?

    In the febrile atmosphere of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, Brexit populisms and global nationalisms, the issue of how we live together peaceably, despite differences and complexity, is challenging. Mainstream narratives tell us fearfulness and suspicion are growing, and that anger, hate, disappointment and sadness are on the rise in public culture.

    Curated by Shona Hunter of Leeds Beckett University, Future. Identity. Power takes these narratives seriously, but asks us to challenge fatalistic preconceptions about our capacity to live well together. Future. Identity. Power will focus on both the everyday and the extraordinary ways that people struggle together for justice, equality, and diversity, reframing the world and our place in it for the collective good. The event asks bold questions about how we can draw on our multiple identities of race, class, gender, generation and sexuality, to create – and highlight – unexpected connections between us.

    The event contributors are: 

    Jay Bernard

    Lacy M. Johnson

    Sharmila Sen

    Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

     

    For a podcast interview with Shona Hunter go to  Anchor  

    For a short introductions on its themes go to this video short

    For more about the festival go to the site 

     

     

     

    Buy Tickets here 

  • Guild of Psychotherapists Race and Culture Group: The Question of Hue in Psychoanalysis: Training, Institutions and Practice

    Event type: 

    Seminar day 

    When: 

    29 February 2020

    10:00-16:00

    Where:  

    The Guild of Psychotherapists, Nelson Square SE1 0QA

    The power of whiteness as a mythology of the good 

     

    Amidst increasing mainstream recognition that whiteness is an identity position which implies an orientation to power and privilege the way this orientation manifests is highly contested and often misunderstood. One commonly recognised affective mode of whiteness is the fragility and defensiveness through which whiteness protects itself against interrogation. This is largely a defensiveness driven by the desire to resist seeing the white self as violent and violating of others, to resist seeing the ‘darker’ side of the self. It is a defence against the discomfort of recognising whiteness as a manifestation of fear, shame, guilt. 

     

    On the one hand helpful in exposing power, these accounts of white defensiveness can mask the way whiteness operates as a mythology of the good, as an expression of the human desire for wholeness and healthiness, as a resistance to human fracture and the inevitability of difference. This is because these accounts start from the point of the mythology of whiteness as a hue, rather than the mythology of power and vulnerability framing human subjectivity.  Seshadri-Crooks (2000) develops a different view rooted in understanding the contradictory desire for whiteness. 

     

    Race is a regime of visibility that secures our investment in racial identity. We make such an investment because the unconscious signifier Whiteness, which founds the logic of racial difference, promises wholeness. (This is what it means to desire Whiteness: not a desire to become Caucasian [!] but, to put it redundantly, it is an “insatiable desire” on the part of all raced subjects to overcome difference.) Whiteness attempts to signify being, or that aspect of the subject which escapes language. Obviously, such a project is impossible because Whiteness is a historical and cultural invention. However, what guarantees Whiteness its place as a master signifier is visual difference. The phenotype secures our belief in racial difference, thereby perpetuating our desire for Whiteness. (Seshadri-Crooks, 2000: 21)

     

     

     

    When we begin to understand whiteness as a master signifier which works as a form of general protection against the human experience of difference, uncertainty and related anxiety, we have starting point from which to see how it sutures into everyday meanings and practices such as ideals of good professionalism. How whiteness is smuggled into other meanings and practices outside of our everyday awareness. 

     

    The heart of my paper today explores how whiteness works as a master signifier to create and hold together ideas of the good health and social care professional and to situate some professionals outside of the idea of the good, as the bad, unhelpful or problematic professional. It builds out of the analysis of an imagined dialogue between a range of health and social care professionals around what it is like to be a professional in the context of health and social care change. Through the interpretation of the symbolic, material and affective dynamics in a dialogue about profession we can see the ways race and Whiteness comes to be the invisible frame for ideas of profession through intersecting ideals of gender, class, generation. 

     

     

    As people working with emotion, those working with psychoanalytic ideas have an opportunity here to enter into the debate on fragility and defensiveness to help societal understandings of power and its relationship to affect and material reality and personal and social discomfort. And yet, there is evidence of white defence here too in the shape and profile of the psychoanalytic body of ideas, its professional profile and ways of practicing. So; the questions remain what should be done? What can be done? How can community be reinvented? What does that reinvention mean and what shape could it take? 

     

     

    References 

    Hunter, S. (2015) Power, Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance? London: Routledge. 

    Seshadri-Crooks, K. (2000) Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian analysis of race, London: Routledge.

    Booking details here 

  • BAMED Network Conference South 

    Event type: 

    Conference 

    When: 

    18 January 2020

    09:00-16:00

    Where:  

    University of East London, Stratford Campus

    Educating ourselves about white privilege and power 

     

    The session considers the question of how we can recognise, understand and challenge the coded ways in which histories of power enter into the educational space, and in particular histories of white power and oppression via biographies and relationships and the ways that these dynamics play out between institutional actors. 

    It connects the constantly necessary work of engaging in our personal power literacy as part of a resolution towards challenging white supremacy and institutional whiteness in educational settings. 

    Key objectives: 

    • To frame an understanding of how whiteness matters in the education institutional setting. 

    • To introduce participants to the idea of whiteness as a racial identification.

    • To develop insights into how whiteness works at the lived level.

    • To develop insights into how we can understand this lived aspect of whiteness as an orientation to power.

    Tickets available here 

  • Changing the Narrative 'Attainment gaps' in higher education

    Event type:

    Symposium

    When: 

    22 October, 2019

    09:00-17:00

    Where: 

    University of Derby

    Disorienting the (neo)liberal fantasy of whiteness 

    The idea of ‘awarding gaps’ speaks to the idea of its friend and ally ‘institutional whiteness’ in that it reframes our understanding of institutional inactions and failures to address racism and inequality as a form of positive action for whiteness which creates unequal outcomes for racialised people and groups who are learning and working in our higher educational spaces. This idea of inaction as a positive action for whiteness speaks to the apparent invisibility of whiteness in our higher educational spaces in the sense that it highlights processes and practices that are not usually associated with whiteness or race as fundamental to the reproduction of racist inequality like the 26% gap between the educational outcomes for Black students. Neoliberalism as a(n incoherent, differentiated and disparate) set of material, cultural and affective practices in HE is fundamentally white. Its promulgation of certain ideas of success, excellence and achievement via vehicles like the REF and the TEF and other performance indicators frames the academy and all those who travel in it through the values of whiteness. This is the basic premise of my current work on White States of Mind. 

     

    In today’s workshop I will do some framing of this basic premise from where we can then unpack together what it means in practice in our everyday academic contexts; in the production of policy, including but not confined to curriculum framing; in teaching spaces and our interactions within them as learners and workers; and in our own desires for academic success and recognition. What does it mean to work and learn in such an academy? How is disruptive/disturbing/disorienting changed produced? And how is it already happening in front of our noses? 

     

    Register here

  • Men up North 

    Event type:

    Symposium

    When: 

    29 June, 2019

    10-15:00

    Where: 

    Sheffield Hallam University, 

    Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB  

    The institutionalisation of white masculinity as an organisational ideal, fear, shame, blame and denial’.

    Talking to the thematic of whiteness, power and positioning in our understandings of contemporary masculinity, I consider the way that masculine ideals are articulated through intersecting relations of race, class, sexuality and generation which come together to produce normative whiteness as an institutional ideal. This is an institutional ideal which is damaging for all institutional actors in its upholding of racist relations of domination and subordination. It creates toxic institutional cultures where shame, blame and fear frame men's and women's working lives. 

    Because this is an institutional ideal that is collectively created through the dynamic relations between multiple differently positioned women and men, we can see avenues through which these relations can be changed. 

    This is a filmed contribution the video is available here

     Information is available about the Men up North initiative here

    Tickets available

  • The Future of Legal Gender

    Event type: 

    Summer Colloquium

    When:

    20 June, 2019

    9-4:30pm

    Where:

    Somerset House East Wing, King's College London

    Contribution details coming soon 

    This is a closed event

  • Sheffield Festival of Education

    When: 

    14 & 15 June 2019

    10:00 -4:00pm

    Where:

    Sheffield Institute of Education

    Sheffield Institute of Education 

    Educating ourselves about white privilege and power 

    This session considers the question of how we can recognise, understand and challenge the coded ways in which histories of power enter into the educational space, and in particular histories of white power and oppression, via biographies and relationships and dynamics between institutional actors. It uses the session leader's personal biography as a bounce of point for question and conversation between participants. 

    Tickets available 

  • Higher education and societal transformation: decolonisation and racial equality 

    When:

    3-5 June, 2019

    Where:

    University of Brasilia,

    Centre for Advanced Multidisciplinary Studies (CEAM)

    Governing Global Coloniality Through Excellence: the reproduction of neoliberal whiteness through the idea of the 'world class' University

    Keynote address and Early Career Researcher workshops and mentoring 

    This is a closed event

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