Rethinking Race in Scotland event: Saturday 27 January 2018
Issued: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 14:08:00 GMT
On Saturday 27 January, over 300 people attended a conference on 'Rethinking Race in Scotland' in the Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre. This was one of the largest gatherings to discuss the historical and contemporary aspects of race and racism ever to be held in Scotland. Co-hosted by colleagues in Sociology and the London-based Consented magazine, the conference brought together academics, journalists and political activists to explore the, often difficult, issues involved. The organisers were particularly pleased at the high level of attendance and participation by people of colour, and the fact that the conference had reached beyond a purely academic audience.
The day was introduced by Sociology PhD candidate Smina Ahktar, who was followed by Dr Maureen McBride, one of the editors (along with Neil Davidson, Minna Liinpaa and Satnam Virdee) of a new collection, No Problem Here: Understanding Racism in Scotland . As Maureen explained, the book, like many of the presentations which were to follow, highlights the way in which racism has been embedded in Scottish society since the days of slavery and Irish Catholic migration. Sociology was also well represented in the panels with Minna Liinpaa discussing Scottish participation in the British Empire, Teresa Piacentini and Gareth Mulvey exploring different aspects of migration into Scotland, and Geetha Marcus from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies emphasising the need for education to raise awareness of the Scottish role outside of Scotland.
The event also involved important contributions from SNP Councillor Graham Campbell, journalist Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff, STUC Black Member's Committee Chair Suki Sanga, Dr Brendan McGeever of Birkbeck College, Dr Kojo Koram of Essex University and Dr Chandrika Kaul of St. Andrews' University.