An invitation to an evening of talks and discussion on Wednesday 16th February, 6-9pm:
‘Is this England: Who do we think we are? Culture, memory and identity in London as a ‘post-racial’ city’.
In the age of Obama, notions of ‘post-race’ are gaining currency within critical approaches to ideas of ‘race’ or ‘racism’, largely visiting the end of ‘race’ as the starting point with which to think about racial futures. Whether as part of its successful 2012 Olympic bid or as the poster child for cosmopolitanism, London is typically recast across a range of cultural spheres as the quintessential ‘post-racial’ city. Against this the intensification of carceral policing – stop and search etc – and the emergence of second and third generation suicide bombers – offer stark reminders of the continuing fault lines of race and class which underscore much of 21st century urban life.
In this landmark event, part of Birkbeck’s regular ‘race forum’, Ashwani Sharma, principal lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London, co-editor of ‘Disorienting Rhythms’ and co-founder of ‘darkmatter‘ journal (www.darkmatter101.org) – and Claire Alexander – reader in Sociology at the LSE, author of ‘The Asian Gang’ and a board member at the Runnymede Trust – draw on their own work to reflect upon increasingly fraught notions of culture, memory and identity in contemporary London. The evening will also include a discussion with the speakers to be chaired by Ko Banerjea, with the prospect of a Q&A and a broader cultural dialogue with the audience.The event will take place in room 151 (first floor) in the main Malet Street Building, Birkbeck College. Free event. No need to book.