Mr Ben Gowland

  • Research Assistant (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)

Research interests

My research centres on spatial politics, particularly forms of political activity that seek to advance the rights of subaltern peoples and groups; build and expand spaces for democratic political expression; and, challenge regimes of coloniality. I have a partiuclar focus on the West Indies where I research politicial and social movements that challenged (neo)colonialism, (neo)imperialism and the limits of post-colonial sovereignty in the decades following indepdnence in the early 1960s.

My PhD research was focused on the spatial politics of the West Indian Black Power movement where I examined the decolonial practices and imaginaries that Black Power groups and actors articulated in opposition to West Indian Nationalist governments and imperial powers. Central to my work here was a focus on the transnational soldiarities and networks that were built and animated through West Indian Black Power politics as well as the similarly transnational geographies and practices of repression the movement faced. My reserach contributes to ongoing work in the fields of Black Geographies, the geographies of Black Internationalism, Subaltern Geopolitics, Black Power Studies, Black Atlantic geographies and Decolonial Studies. 

I am currently working as a research assistant on the Leverhulme funded project 'Trade unions and spaces of democratisation in Britain, the Caribbean and Greece'. Here I am focused on the Caribbean and the ways Caribbean trade unions advanced democratic politics in these post-colonial societies and challenged the anti-democratic practices of local governments and foreign corporations and states.


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