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The Race Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies PhD Network

The Race Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies (REPS) PhD Network provides a space for PhD students to collaborate across the research areas of race, ethnicity and postcolonial studies, and is a platform for developing and nurturing new thinking in these areas. The REPS PhD Network is based at the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics and is run by PhD students in the Department. The Network also seeks to actively engage with other researchers, research departments and universities in order to develop a supportive REPS research community.

Annually, the LSE REPS PhD Network puts on a department sponsored REPS Seminar Series which include invited guest lectures, film screenings and student discussion groups.

Recent Events

REPS Valongo Docks posterDebating the Documentary Valongo Docks Memories

In 2011, excavations conducted as part of development projects in the port area of Rio de Janeiro uncovered Valongo Docks’ site. In this place, close to a million slaves arrived until 1831, when slave trade became illegal in Brazil.
In the Valongo Docks hundreds of thousands of slaves arrived in Brazil between the last years of the 18th century until 1831. Valongo Docks Memories argues for the historical importance of this site in Rio de Janeiro, especially for Afro-Brazilian culture. Historically neglected by the State, this region is now an important part of Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Project.
Speakers: Mestre Carlão (Kabula Arts) and Prof. Matthias Assunção (University of Essex)
Time and Date: Thursday 11th of June 2015, 6:30 pm-8pm.
Venue: Lincoln’s Inn Fields Building – Room 32L.LG.04.

This event is free and open to all, seating on a first come first served basis.

For further information please contact Bruno Muniz at b.barboza-muniz@lse.ac.uk  

Twitter: @dubmuniz

Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies PhD Symposium 2015              

4 and 5 June 2015, Robert McKenzie Room, LSE

The REPS Network has organized this year’s 6th annual PhD symposium with the support of the Runnymede Academic Forum, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the University of Manchester and the LSE Students’ Union and it is hosted by the LSE Social Policy and LSE Sociology Departments. We have assembled a varied and interesting programme with presentations based on recently completed, on-going or planned research. We have also secured participation from a number of esteemed academics carrying out research in the area of ‘race’, ethnicity and post-colonial studies. Please see programme (Word).

Michaelmas Term 2014

RR vector 2REPS Seminar Series:

Film screening: Riots Reframed

Chair: Dr Suki Ali (LSE Sociology)

Wednesday 8 October, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre, (NAB LG.01) New Academic Building, LSE

Riots Reframed is a feature-length documentary which reframes England’s 2011 riots through voices of resistance – threading these perspectives together using moody instrumentals, dramatic monologue and raw spoken word. Riots Reframed is a poetic but fierce challenge to the system we live under--a radical social commentary grounded in knowledge and art that synthesises a number of voices, from prominent social, cultural and political analysts, to prisoners still recovering from time inside.

Screening followed by a conversation with Director Fahim Alam, chaired by Dr Suki Ali.

CheickREPS Seminar Series: 

Film screening: Va’ Pensiero – Walking stories

Wednesday 22 October, 6.30-8pm, Alumni Theatre (NAB LG.09), New Academic Building

Screening followed by conversation with director Dagmawi Yimer (via Skype) and Alessandro Triulzi the president of the Migrant Memories Archive. 

Va’ Pensiero – Walking stories is an interwoven account of two racist attacks in Milan and Florence and the victims’ painful attempts to piece the fragments of their lives back
together. This powerful account brings together the overlapping stories of the three
protagonists’ ordeal and their enduring hope of building a life in Italy, despite the fear and uncertainty of suddenly being plunged back to the moment of the attacks by one
look or gesture. To learn more about the film visit http://www.va-pensiero.org/en/.  

Languages: Italian and Wolof with English subtitles.

Ruth BeharREPS Seminar Series guest lecture:

Displacement, Longing and Belonging: Notes on Traveling Heavy

Speaker: Professor Ruth Behar
Chair: Dr Ana Gutierrez Garza (LSE Fellow, Anthropology) with Olivia Mena (LSE Sociology PhD student)

Thursday 30 October, 6.30-8pm, TW1.G.01, Tower 1, LSE

Travelers are those who go elsewhere because they want to. Immigrants are those who go elsewhere because they have to. Professor Ruth Behar explores these two different contemporary forms of movement across spatial borders. Drawing from a range of family stories and ethnographic travels described in her new book, Traveling Heavy, she will speak about issues of identity and place and the dilemmas of doing research in Cuba.

Ruth Behar was born in Havana, Cuba, and grew up in New York. She is the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Among her honors, she is the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. Ruth has worked as an ethnographer in Spain, Mexico, and Cuba, and is known for her humanistic approach to understanding identity, immigration, and the search for home in our global era. Download the poster (PDF).

Past activities (2013-14)

winter Pictures REPS 2014

REPS Seminar Series:

The Remnants of Colonial Capital: Economic Crisis and Alienation in the Tea Plantations of South India

Dr. Jayaseelan Raj
30 June 2014, 6 -7.30 pm
Robert McKenzie Room (STC 219), St. Clement’s Building, LSE

In the early 1990s, the Indian tea industry was plunged into a devastating economic crisis. Many plantations were shut down; others limited their operations to plucking and selling the tea leaves to a few surviving factories. A new corporative structure has taken over the plantations used the discourse of crisis, of financial emergency and meltdown, to renegotiate wages and conditions with workers. This paper explores the consequences of this crisis for the plantation workforce. It also attempts to trace out the social forces that reproduce the workers’ alienation in the crisis context.

Jayaseelan Raj is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Poverty and Inequality Research Programme at the Department of Anthropology, LSE

Hosted by The Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies PhD Network, the REPS Seminar Series aims to develop opportunities for intellectual exchange in a friendly and relaxed environment with intellectuals from outside the LSE, engaged in path breaking research. 

Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies PhD Symposium 2014

12 and 13 June, 2014
Vera Anstey Room, LSE

The REPS Network has organized this year’s symposium with the support of the London School of Economics (LSE) Department of Sociology, the Department of Social Policy, the Runnymede Trust's AHRC Academic Forum grant, and Mike Savage's ESRC Professorial Fellowship. Schedule (PDF).

REPS Symposium 2014 CfP

Remembering Stuart Hall Reading

March 7, 2014, 2-3 pm
Robert McKenzie Room S219, St. Clement's Building

Join us for a reading and remembrance of the intellectual contributions and work of Stuart Hall. This one-hour interactive event will be an open reading and conversation to commemorate and reflect on his work and intellectual contributions to the field of sociology and cultural theory. We will be reading excerpts from his work and playing clips from some of his interviews and conversations. Please come to listen and learn more, and if you would like to, share your own reflection or short reading from one of his works.

Racialised ‘price-tag’: Commodification of migrant workers from post-socialist EU and its effects within East-West labour relations

Dr Barbara Samaluk
4th March 2014, 6.30pm-8pm
Robert McKenzie Room, St. Clement's Building, LSE


This paper explores intersectional commodification of migrant workers from post-socialist EU Accession 8 (A8) countries and its effects within transnationalised East-West labour relations. Using historical and macro socio-economic contexts as its point of departure, the paper explores on-going colonial processes that re-emerged during post-socialist transition and EU accession process. Specifically it focuses on the role of transnational employment agencies that emerged in the region during this process and act as important intermediaries in supplying and commodifying new colonial subjects as suitable for particular jobs in the UK labour market. Finally, the paper explores how these colonial processes affect emigration from Poland and Slovenia, as well as the value appropriation and extraction possibilities and strategies of diverse actors involved in transnational labour relations between East and West.

Through a transdisciplinary adoption of a Bourdieuian conceptual framework, this research offers an original theoretical and methodological toolkit for complex, multilevel, intersectional analyses that uncovers the misrecognised power relations associated with embodied categories, spatial and temporal dimensions and varying modalities of knowledge. The paper exposes the unequal level playing field amongst migrant workers on one side and transnational employment agencies and their client employers and customers on the other. It demonstrates the power of the latter to exploit on-going colonial relations, unequal economic geographies and commodification of subjectivities for strategic utilisation, segmentation and disciplining of migrant labour. By providing a broader comparative analysis of diverse actors and A8 groups, the paper exposes on-going colonial post-socialist order, widens understanding of A8 labour migration to the UK and leads to insights into the remaking of class, race and gender politics on the local and global scales.

Researching Racism

Dr Helen Kim, Dr Malcolm James and Dr Naaz Rashid
12 December 2013, 6 p.m.
Robert Mckenzie Room, St. Clement's Building, LSE

This panel invited three early career scholars to reflect on their work researching and writing about race and racism and talk about their experiences building careers in this moment.

Discussion on:
-Networks for scholarship on race and racism and new emerging topics in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies
-Negotiating the changing institutional geographies of studying race and racism in the academy
-Responsibilities in being a researcher working on race and racism.

Connect with REPS

To sign up to the LSE REPS Network email listserv (email list) for announcements and discussions. By signing up to the listserv you will be notified about forthcoming events, calls for papers and calls for speakers.To subscribe, click here: mailto:listserv@listserv.lse.ac.uk?body=SUBSCRIBE%20SOCIOLOGY-REPS-L .
Student members help organize and participate inside a larger U.K.-wide network which hosts a rotating summer REPS PhD Symposium annually at different universities. For more information on the larger national student network visit http://repsphd.wordpress.com.