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ECPR

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Stein Rokkan Lecture: The Academic Legacies of British Empire: Social Anthropology and International Relations

Institutions

Building: Appleton Tower, Floor: M, Room: M5

Tuesday 17:30 - 19:00 (19/04/2022)


Speaker – Robbie Shilliam, Johns Hopkins University This talk speaks to the contemporary moral panic over 'wokeness', its supposed infiltration into academic spaces and its purported degeneration of the ethos of higher education. Taking a cue from the Rhodes Must Fall campaign of 2015, Robbie tracks the centrality of social anthropology in the academic debate over the colonial development of Southern Africa and, more broadly, the destabilizing effects of 'native' migration from rural to urban areas as well as black migration from colonies to Britain’s metropoles. Robbie makes the case that so-called 'domestic' race relations are best understood as an internationalized discourse on black competency to inhabit white spaces and an important part of the academic development of British International Relations. Today’s moral panic over 'wokeness', Robbie suggests, is an afterlife of the empire’s concern over black migration; and International Relations should not consider itself a disciplinary bystander in these contemporary controversies.