Keynote Lecture

Brexit means Brexit Means Go Home: Connecting Citizens, Migrants and Minorities.

Gurminder K Bhambra (University of Warwick, Linneaeus University).

Discussant: China Mills (University of Sheffield)

Keynote Abstract

The aim of this conference is to think critically about how various forms of oppression intersect and call forth the need for creative responses in a bid to, following Audre Lorde, dismantle the master’s house. In this talk, I want to address a complementary issue – that is, what comes after, or perhaps even alongside, dismantling the house. Whatever tools we use to dismantle that house – which for now, I would call Eurocentric social science – we need also to think of the process of rebuilding – rebuilding theories and conceptual frameworks that would better enable us to address the challenges we face. One of the key challenges defining our contemporary situation is the vote to leave the EU and the corresponding rise in racist and xenophobic violence across the country. For many, the vote to leave was less about leaving the EU than for migrants and minorities to leave the UK. Claims of sovereignty and ‘taking our country back’ work with a misguided sense of who ‘we’ are and how ‘we’ came to be. As I shall argue, it is important not only to deconstruct particular categories and understandings, but also to work towards new communities of solidarity.

About Gurminder Bhambra

Gurminder K. Bhambra‘s research addresses how, within sociological understandings of modernity, the experiences and claims of non-European ‘others’ have been rendered invisible to the dominant narratives and analytical frameworks of sociology. While her research interests are primarily in the area of historical sociology, she is also interested in the intersection of the social sciences with recent work in postcolonial studies. Her current research project is on the possibilities for historical sociology in a postcolonial world. She is editor of the new monograph series, Theory for a Global Age, published by Bloomsbury Academic.