E027 Surviving Society with Ben Rogaly

In this episode we are lucky enough to be talking to Professor Ben Rogaly, human geographer at the University of Sussex, activist, and one of Saskia’s PhD supervisors. Ben tells us about his work with residents of Peterborough, what ‘gangmastering’ is, and why Peterborough is an important place when it comes to thinking about Englishness, migration and racisms. As well as talking about whiteness in rural England, we ask Ben to help us out in thinking about the debate around anti-semitism in the Labour party – why is it such a big political issue? Why is it so complicated to talk about? And what is Zionism? Along the way, Saskia gets to whip out her 16th Century History A Level knowledge, Tissot contributes his info from the Daily Stormer, and Chantelle brings in her insider view on the Midlands. Thank you so much Ben for coming on the pod and for helping us to survive society!

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E025 Joe Kennedy: Authentocrats

This week we travel to Sussex to speak to Dr Joe Kennedy of the University of Gothenburg about his new book Authentocrats and as per we get SUPER POLITICAL. Discussing the policies and legacies of centre-ground political parties, Joe explains how he wants to show that Labour is just as guilty as the Tories and UKIP when it comes to using the ‘authentic’ views of stereotypical small-town voters as an excuse for racist policies. In a conversation that ranges from crime dramas to Game of Thrones to Lord Byron, we ponder why the way in which we talk about places matters, whether a more precise politics is possible, and whether Joe will oblige us by defining neoliberalism. Thank you so much Joe for taking the time to talk to us!

The passage Joe reads at the beginning of the episode is from pp202-203 of AuthentocratsClick here to read a longer extract from Joe’s book.

Warning: This episode contains some academic jargon. We recorded the episode in a cafe so there is some background noise for the first 28 minutes.

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E018 ‘Race’ and the Cultural Industries with Anamik Saha

Why does culture matter when it comes to racism? Does having people of colour on TV make a difference to people’s lives? This week, we talk to Goldsmiths’ very own Dr Anamik Saha about his book, Race and the Cultural Industries, which deals with these very questions and much more. Anamik gives us his theory on the representation of people of colour in pop culture, we discuss what we all thought of Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman, and Anamik brilliantly breaks down the relationship between culture, racism and capitalism. There is some ranting, some swearing, some outrageous laughter, and many, many spoilers – happy listening!

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E016 Black women in education with April-Louise Pennant

What does it mean to be a Black woman in the English education system? Special guest April-Louise Pennant talks about why she is researching the educational experiences of Black women, how those women have negotiated racism and sexism in schools and universities, and why it is important that those experiences are heard. Chantelle tells us about her activist work on getting more Black students to do PhDs, and we pull apart the reasons behind the media obsession with ‘grade inflation’. As usual, we’re ranty, we’re sweary, and we’re having a good time!

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E014 Surviving Society with Priyamvada Gopal

In this very special episode, Chantelle and Tissot chat to Dr Priyamvada Gopal, English lecturer at the University of Cambridge and brilliant anti-racist activist. Between the three of us, we pull apart racism and representation in universities, colonialism and its collaborators and the abuse that comes with anti-racist activism. There might be a few swear words in there, but mainly it’s an essential conversation that gives context to the struggles people of colour continue to face in UK higher education.

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E013 Rima Saini on ‘race’ and class

How middle class are middle class people of colour? This week we’re joined by Rima Saini, a PhD student who is researching South Asian middle classes in the UK. She unpacks how complicated being middle class can be for people of South Asian origin due to the racisms they face on a daily basis, and how they manage the clash between privilege and prejudice. We also talk about whether Meghan Markle can be an activist and a royal, how theorists of race and class are competing with each other when it comes to explaining Brexit, and why ‘race’ and class can never truly be separated. In an episode which sometimes strays into academic jargon (sorry!), we unravel issues of essentialism, respectability, tokenism, and whether you can ever really escape the ‘race’ and class other people see you as. As usual, there’s a lot of laughing, a bit of ranting, and some strong language!

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E012 The Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s Hour: Intersectionality

In our second Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s hour we are breaking down intersectionality! Special guest Brenda talks us through her role as a children’s counsellor, arguing that women and children who have been victims of domestic abuse suffer further violence at the hands of the state due to cuts to vital services, Saskia discusses one of the ultimate feminist conundrums of body image, and Chantelle wants early career researchers to recognise that, despite shitty contracts and precarity, to work in academia is to be in a position of privilege. Throughout the episode, we try to bear in mind the ways in which oppressions can intersect along the lines of gender, class, ‘race’, migration status and perceived body size. Expect the usual strong language, ranting and laughter!

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E008 EU migrants, government betrayals and the art of listening

What’s it like to be an EU migrant in Brexit Britain? We talk to special guest Alex Bulat, PhD researcher and activist, about her work on attitudes towards EU migration in Clacton-on-Sea and West Ham, and her fight for EU citizens’ rights with the 3million. Saskia contemplates the betrayals of the New Labour and Coalition governments, and Tissot reminds us how important it is to listen to opposing views. Expect the usual laughter, ranting and strong language.

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E002 News fatigue, Boris Johnson and Black History Month

This week Saskia asserts her fatigue with the news, Chantelle rants about BoJo’s irresponsible language and Tissot seeks to re-frame black history month. We discuss key political events since 2010, ‘gaffes’ and the historical importance of slavery. With some swearing, we get annoyed about who is allowed to be offensive, stereotypes and privilege.

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