What's wrong with Black History Month?

What's wrong with Black History Month?

Issued: Tue, 03 Oct 2017 14:08:00 BST

What’s Wrong with Black History Month - a panel discussion

Speakers: Prof Alison Phipps, Tawona Sitholé, Mel Baak, Gameli Tordzro

Whilst it is laudable that The University of Glasgow and other public and civic bodies are keen to remember excluded histories and highlight the critical ways in which structural racism has continued historically into the present day, Black History Month itself is a contested concept and a of contestable value.

In this panel members of the UNESCO-RILA academic and artistic team, and members of GRAMNet will join in a panel discussion and open up a conversation around: What is wrong with Black History Month? And they will enable listening to differing experiences of what the presence of Black History Month, in 'Black, and White' lives alike, can mean.

Free and open to all - no registration required 

Date: Thursday 12 October 2017
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
Venue: Fore Hall, location A8 on campus map

Alison Phipps - Sunglasses portrait largeProf Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts

Alison Phipps is UNESCO Chair, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. She Co-Convenes Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet). She is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Waikato University, Aotearoa New Zealand, was Thinker in Residence at the EU Hawke Centre, University of South Australia in 2016, and Principal Investigator for the £2 million AHRC Large Grant ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the body, law and the state.’  In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Social Sciences.

She has undertaken work in, amongst others, Palestine, Sudan, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, USA, Portugal, Ghana. She is regularly advises public, governmental and third sector bodies on migration, arts and languages policy.

Tawona Sithole - Seeds Compare Tawona Sitholé, Artist in Residence, UNESCO Chair Arts Hub

Tawona is a poet, playwright, mbira musician, educator and facilitator. His ancestral family name, Ganyamatope, is a reminder of his heritage, which inspires him to make connections with other people through creativity, and the natural outlook to learn. As co-founder of Seeds of Thought arts group, Tawona’s work involves supporting and facilitating access to the creative arts. Tawona is Poet in Residence for GRAMNet and works in a variety of settings and institutions. As he continues to write, teach and perform, mostly he appreciates his work for the many inspiring people it allows him to meet.


Mel Bak Photo 2017 Dr Melanie Baak,  Convener Migration and Refugee Research Network (MARRNet), University of South Australia

Melanie is an Endeavour Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of South Australia and convenor of the Migration and Refugee Research Network. Her research expertise focuses on the varied experiences of people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. In recent research projects she has collaborated with several refugee background communities recently resettled in Australia including South Sudanese, Bhutanese, Burmese and Congolese to explore themes including; belonging, schooling and education, employment, identity, home, place, transition, family and gender. Her recently published book is ‘Negotiating Belongings: stories of forced migration of Dinka women from South Sudan’ (Sense, 2016). Mel was awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellowship to visit the University of Glasgow for 4 months in 2017 during which time she will research schools as sites of resettlement for Syrian refugees in Glasgow. 

Gameli Tordzro playing with Ha Orchestra Gameli Tordzro, Artist in Residence, UNESCO Chair Arts Hub

Gameli is a Ghanaian multiple arts professional and a Creative Arts (CA) researcher consultant in Glasgow. He the Artistic Director of Pan African Arts Scotland and a researcher at the Creative Arts and Translation Cultures Hub of the Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language The Body Law and the State (RM Borders) research project at the University of Glasgow School of Education. His research interests include arts, culture, language, migration and global peace, and global education. His current focus is on arts as language for research.