Current Projects

Current Projects

Satnam Virdee

Satnam Virdee is currently working on two book-length projects. The first is a historical sociology of racist and anti-racist collective action in Britain since the nineteenth century. Combining a re-reading of classic texts in labour history with original archival research the study explores how working class radicalism was blunted through an incremental incorporation of parts of the working class into a nationalist project. The book is scheduled for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.

The second book project is provisionally entitled Racism and Modernity and is contracted for publication with Polity Press. This work will offer a wide-ranging critical analysis of different modalities of racism since the late 18th century. Scholarly attachment to a black/ white racism problematic has come under growing criticism recently carrying as it does the danger of rendering invisible the experiences of other racialized social groups such as Hispanics in America and Asians in Britain. The need to redress this matter becomes particularly urgent when one considers that the Hispanic population in America is now of similar demographic size to that of the black population and the Asian population in Britain is twice the demographic size of the black population. This concern is further accentuated today where the changes wrought by the processes associated with globalisation have brought in their wake new waves of migrants from Latin America and Asia to the United States and Arab Muslims and east Europeans to western Europe. Accompanying these migrations have been ‘new racisms’ (e.g. Islamaphobia) which need to be mapped, tracked and theorised. Hence, rather than thinking about a singular modality of racism, this volume will undertake to rethink and go beyond our current theoretical perspectives and map the different modalities of racism and their effects.

Robert Gibb

The Conversion of Asylum Applicants’ Narratives into Legal Discourses in the UK and France: A Comparative Study of Problems of Cultural Translation

Robert Gibb is currently writing up the results of this AHRC-funded large research project (total awarded: £224,841), undertaken in collaboration with Professor Anthony Good (University of Edinburgh). The project studied the processes – and problems – of cultural translation involved when lawyers (usually aided by interpreters) seek to convert asylum applicants’ accounts of persecution into legal language. It assess the implications of these processes for the adjudicating of asylum claims in the two quite different national legal systems of France and the UK. Papers based on the findings have recently been presented at workshops in Toronto and Edinburgh.

More information:

Francesca Scrinzi

Gender relations in anti-immigration social movements in Europe

"Women's associations and representations of gender in the Northern League party: a study of documentary sources"

Through observation and interviews with women and men activists, this ethnographic project investigates the gendered division of work in the Italian radical right anti-immigration party the Northern league.
Funder: British Academy £1,756 (Small grant award n. SG090376)
Dates: 15 September to 13 November 2010

"Gendering the study of anti-immigration movements in Europe: women and men activists in the Northern League party in Italy"

Through archival research, this documentary project investigates women’s activism and the gendered dimensions of racist ideology in the Italian radical right anti-immigration party the Northern league.
Funder: Adam Smith Research Foundation £1,200 (Seedcorn grant)
Dates: 10 June to 10 July 2010

These two studies will constitute the basis for a broader comparative study of gender and anti-immigration activism in contemporary Europe.

Broadening the debate about the international division of care

FS aims to contribute to broadening debates about the international division of care by investigating migrant domestic workers in public and bureaucratised settings. Recent scholarship about migrant domestic labour has mainly focused on the traditional household-based domestic and care services in the private sphere. FS has published a journal article about private companies providing home-based cleaning services in France and is co-author of a comparative conference paper about non-profit sector associations providing home-based care services in Italy and the Netherlands.

International migration, care work and the gendered and racialised construction of 'skill'

FS is completing a monographic book based on her comparative doctoral research, concerning migrant domestic workers and care-givers in Italy and France.

Migrant and native women's activism in contemporary Italy

An ethnographic study of migrant and native women's associations in Italy
Funder: British Academy small grant (£976, award n. SG110856)
Dates: to be conducted in 2012

Andrew Smith

My current project involves a consideration of the history of representations of imperial defeat. There has been a significant growth, in recent years, of research on popular imperialism, especially in the late Victorian period. Despite all the bombast and triumphalism of this tradition, I want to show, there were always another aspect, the tendency to  representation instances of glorious defeat (real or imagined), images of empire surrounded, besieged or encircled. It is the history of that tradition, and what it reveals about the effort to imagine empire publically, that I wish to investigate. An essay from this work is due to be submitted in the summer of 2011.

Previous Projects

  • A Historical Sociology of Racism and Anti-Racism in England
  • Cultural Formation and Resistance
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Nationalisms
  • Invisible Fences? Inter-Group Relations in a Multicultural Area of Copenhagen
  • Migrant male domestic workers
  • Migration, gender relations in the organisation of agricultural sector
  • Muabet – Local Dimensions of Democracy-building in Southeast Europe
  • Race, Class and Stratification
  • Racism, Ethnicity and Nationalism in Scotland and England
  • The Politics of Racism and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  • Transnational Governmentality in South East Europe