E022 Why is my research group so white? Racisms in higher education

When Saskia started her PhD in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway, one of the first things she noticed was the absence of people of colour in her research group. Given the numbers of students of colour at undergraduate level in the UK, why are the academic staff and PhD students she works with almost all white? Along with special guest Dom Jackson-Cole from the University of East London, Chantelle and Tissot visited Saskia’s research group to talk about the ways in which universities exclude and profit from postgraduate students of colour, how it feels to be a racialised outsider in higher education, and why histories and realities of racism are relevant to everyone, not just students of colour.

Many thanks to Sasha Engleman and Landscape Surgery for inviting us along.

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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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E010 #USSStrikes Special: Universities, value for money, racism

Surviving Society is proud to present our first ever live podcast! Recorded at our #USSStrikes teachout at Goldsmiths College on 15 March 2018, we look at the government’s obsession with ‘value for money’ in higher education and the part racism plays in university life. Expect the usual ranting, laughing and swearing, but this time with a live audience!

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E009 Free speech on campus and The Daily Mail

Why is everyone obsessed with free speech on university campuses? And who is it that makes The Daily Mail so toxic? Saskia takes the Free Speech University Rankings to task, Chantelle decries Paul Dacre, and Tissot reminds us that social media and the far right are changing political conversations. As usual, we are a bit sweary, a bit ranty, and always ready to challenge the status quo ✊🏾

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E007 The Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s Hour

This week Chantelle and Saskia launch the first Surviving Society Alternative to Woman’s Hour! Beginning with the comments made by Catherine Deneuve about the #metoo campaign, in this episode we challenge commentators who think experiences of sexual harassment and assault are up for debate and talk about why we should avoid silencing different experiences. We discuss the missing aspects of these conversations like ‘race’, class and trans issues, our own journeys with feminism, and why we need to have a more fluid understanding of what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. Expect the usual strong language, laughter and ranting throughout.

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