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Centre for Research on Race and Law

The Centre for Research on Race and Law, launched in 2017, brings together Birkbeck’s work in the Law School and elsewhere, on the conceptual and practical connections between race and law.  It has been established practice in many other disciplines to consider various issues through the lens of race, but much rarer for race to be used as an explicit analytical framework in the discipline of law.  Law as a discipline in Britain and the Global North has traditionally failed to address questions of race, despite considerable societal interest, instead focussing on questions of equality as confined to the field of human rights or discrimination law.

The research of various scholars at Birkbeck Law School leads the way in the development of rigorous race-conscious critical analysis of a range of areas of law.

The Centre’s Directors are Dr Nadine El-Enany and Dr Sarah Keenan.


  • Dr Monish Bhatia (Birkbeck Law School)
  • Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones (Birkbeck Law School)
  • Dr Stewart Motha (Birkbeck Law School)
  • Bernard Keenan (Birkbeck Law School)
  • Kojo Koram (Birkbeck Law School)
  • Yasmeen Narayan (Director of the Race Forum, Department of Psychosocial Studies)
  • Gail Lewis (Department of Psychosocial Studies)
  • Silvia Posocco (Department of Psychosocial Studies)
  • William Ackah (Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies)


  • Nadine El-Enany, 'From Love to Justice: The Role of Family in Death in Custody Cases' (Leverhulme Fellowship funded project).
  • Sarah Keenan, 'Making Land Liquid: The Temporality of Race and Title Registration' (Leverhulme Fellowship funded project).


  • 2 December 2018 Beyond the Promise of Secularism. A day of talks, conversation and poetry, with lunch provided. Part of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative’s #RaiseYourGaze series of events, and in collaboration with Kent Law School. Some free tickets available. For further details and registration please see the event listing here.
  • 26 October 2018 Interrogating State Violence: Custodial Deaths, Justice and Resistance. A conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Families & Friends Campaign.  *More tickets recently released!* For further details and registration please see the event listing here.


  • 25 June 2018 The Remains of Empire: From Grenfell to the Gweagal Shield at UBC Vancouver.  Nadine El-Enany spoke on “The Colonial Logic of Grenfell“; and Sarah Keenan on “Give Back the Gweagal Shield”.
  • 4 May 2018 Race and Surveillance conference, in collaboration with the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology, supported by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
  • 13 April 2018 Book launch for Nisha Kapoor's 'Deport, Deprive, Extradite'.
  • 18 October 2017 Workshop "Strategic Litigation: Anti-Racism in the Courtroom". Exploring the limits and possibilities of ‘strategic’ anti-racist litigation within legal systems. A recording of the event is available here.
  • 6 October 2017 Feminist Legal Studies 25th Anniversary Lecture: Sara Ahmed on The Institutional as Usual: Sexism, Racism and the Politics of Complaint, in collaboration with Feminist Legal Studies journal.
  • 2 September 2017 Nadine El-Enany and Sarah Keenan (with Nigel de Noronha) participated in a panel discussion on Grenfell at the 2017 Critical Legal Conference, University of Warwick.
  • 15 May 2017 Launch of the centre “Law, Race and Brexit Britain”.  A recording of the event is available here.