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After Multiculturalism? Conversations between History and Sociology

Event Date & Time: 19th October, 2018 12:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Institute of Historical Research (Wolfson Room 1), Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HU
Speakers: Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London and Satnam Virdee, University of Glasgow
Theme: Islamophobia, Multiculturalism, Politics, Race / Racism, Social Theory
Region / Country: Europe, UK
Historical Period: 20th century, 21st century


After Multiculturalism? Conversations between History and Sociology marks the beginning of a year-long IHR seminar series on race, decolonisation and difference in postcolonial Europe. In this first session, in three dynamic conversations, established and emerging international scholars of contemporary Britain will discuss: the past and present of ‘multiculturalism’; the shifting politics of class, race and difference in post-1968 Britain; and the role and responsibilities of anti-racist scholarship. What is lost and what is gained by framing the history of post-1968 Britain as a history of multiculturalism? How do historians and sociologists differently approach the category of ‘white working class’? And what can sociologists and historians learn from each other to drive scholarship on race and difference forward? At a moment when pundits continue to pronounce that multiculturalism has ‘failed’ in Britain and across Europe, this symposium will explore the role and responsibilities of anti-racist scholarship.


11.45 – 12.15 Lunch

12.15 – 12.30 Welcome by Camilla Schofield, University of East Anglia

12.30 – 2.00 The Past and Present of Multiculturalism 

From ‘Plural Society’ to ‘Multiculturalism’, Marc Matera, University of California, Santa Cruz
The Imperial Origins of Multiculturalism, Radhika Natarajan, Reed College
The Denial of Working-Class Multiculture, Sivamohan Valluvan, University of Warwick
Chair: Tariq Modood, University of Bristol

2.00 – 3.30 The Past and Present of Race and Class

Empire, Whiteness and the Politics of Class, Jon Lawrence, University of Exeter
Claims-making in the Name of the White Working Class, Satnam Virdee, University of Glasgow
Class and Race in the Politics of Contemporary Nationalism, Mike Savage, London School of Economics
Chair: Nicola Rollock, Goldsmiths, University of London

3.30 – 4.00 Tea break

4.00 – 5.30 Radical scholarship after Brexit

A Subaltern Reading of the Old Metropole, Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London
The Runnymede Trust: Evidence as Activism, Zubaida Haque, Runnymede Trust
Chair: David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

5.30 – 6.15 Drinks

Symposium co-convenors: Camilla Schofield and Tariq Modood.

The seminar series is funded by the British Academy and supported by the Raphael Samuel Centre.

Professor David Feldman, Director – 3

We build alliances to promote knowledge and share understanding, making our work ever-more relevant in a world threatened by populisms and conspiracy theories from the political left and right

Professor David Feldman, Director

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