This summer the LSE Sociology Department and Social Policy Department jointly hosted the fifth annual Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies PhD Symposium—a unique academic network and space where PhD students exchange ideas, present new work and receive constructive feedback from leading scholars and work collaboratively across disciplines and institutions.
It is exciting to see how this network—which had its very first meeting at the LSE five years ago, and has continued as a traveling conference at different universities in London—has now grown to include a much wider national, and even international, student participation. It is a special intellectual space, one that places an emphasis on the quality of dialogue rather than academic status. Over the last five years it has provided numerous students with a unique and vibrant intellectual space to hone their academic craft with a deeper political engagement in their research around questions of social justice and inequalities. Many participants have gone on to collaborate together.
The academics and intellectuals who first helped launch this student-led network initiative include: Paul Gilroy, Claire Alexander, Suki Ali, Les Back, John Solomos, Liza Schuster, among many others, who have continued to chair panels and lead roundtable discussions over the years maintain spaces for emerging scholars to engage critically and politically with their work inside a larger intellectual communities working on research that employ these headings.
Over the last several years we’ve witnessed a shift in participation to include much broader disciplinary boundaries, like medicine and urban studies, but find that the intentional and explicit heading of ‘race’, ethnicity and the post-colonial, continue to bring together researchers working on pressing and important questions of social inequalities and injustice.
This was a special year for the wider REPS Network as it officially launched a larger initiative to expand, what has been up until now, a primarily London-based university network to include support and participation from other institutions, faculty and students nationally, and even internationally. This year we have participants representing institutions across the U.K. including: Heriot-Watt University, University of Essex, University of Glasgow and Warwick University. This broader participation was made possible by the support of the Runnymede Trust’s AHRC Academic Forum grant and Mike Savage’s ESRC Professorial Fellowship.
If you are interested in learning more about upcoming LSE REPS-related events and seminars you can visit the LSE REPS PhD Network webpage.