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Contemporary Womanist research post George Floyd: compelling developments in Black Feminist Theory

Venue: Online

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  • Please note: this event will be recorded
  • This event will take place on Blackboard Collaborate. A guest link to join the sessions will be sent out at 5pm on Monday 7th March

Keynote speaker: Professor Patricia Daley, : 'Lives lived globally: Black women's cartographies of being: the importance of relationality in research on black women'

Keynote speaker: Dr Tanja Burkhard, 'Black Feminism and Qualitative Research'

Other speakers: Carla Bascombe, Jen Davis, Dr Jan Etienne, Professor Uvanney Maylor, Professor Phillis Sheppard, Professor Marcia Wilson

Performance: Poppy Seed


At a time of a worldwide resurgence of collective anti-racist struggle, how can Womanist research promote social justice and actively include research participants in knowledge production? Since the murder of George Floyd there is a new urgency to confront structural racism and patriarchal forces in education, which continue to marginalise the contribution of black women as activist researchers. This conference brings together those interested in using black feminist theory as a reflective lens to ultimately improve black lives.

How are we able to collaborate with social justice minded researchers in developing a strategic way forward?

Contemporary Womanist research seeks to resist as it generates intergenerational, collaborative approaches for change, elevating the narratives of black women and building on the dimensions of an Afrocentric feminist epistemology.  Contemporary Womanist research centres the voices of black women at each stage of the research process. In this way the knowledge claims of the black woman, the lived experiences, and the ethic of caring and personal accountability become vital elements of the research journey. 

The conference considers the influence of black women academics and their potential to change the scope, discourse, and agenda of research on black communities. It acknowledges the invisibility of research participants and practitioners in the field of doing Womanist research and in particular, the under-representation of black, British womanist voices.

How can collaborative Womanist strategies help to strengthen approaches in black feminist research? How do we develop and strengthen our collective roles as progressive, activist educators and researchers as we collect and analyse challenging narratives set to bring about critical change aimed at decolonising education establishments?  What evidenced based strategies should we be adopting when working collaboratively with others in education and in community setting?

The conference is aimed at activists working in education, social justice, community arts, health, social work, and related areas; Researchers and academics in social sciences interested in black feminist and critical race theory, post-colonial and decolonial methodologies; Students of Sociology, Psychosocial studies, Politics; Humanities, Youth and Community Development studies; Individuals focused on constructions of Motherhood; intersectionality, faith, disability, sexualities; 'race', racism, ethnicity and culture.

Conference programme


11-1 - Conference Videos:

  • Inside of who you are: For the Black Womanist Researcher - Angela Harvey – Poppyseed
  • Researching ‘Self’ and the voice of the black woman in the research process: Acts of Decolonization: A Discursive theory study from the borderland/La Frontera - Dr Joao Tinoco.
  • Black Feminist Theory and Practise and the “Refugee Crisis” – Revisiting theory and struggle on the margins - Nandita Sirker
  • Windrush women’s wisdom - Visual narratives as tools for Womanist research - Iesha Denize Ledeatte
  • In Her Shoes: Interrogations of Intersectional Colourism’ in Évelyne Trouillot’s Short Fiction - Carla Bascombe


Conference Chair: Elizabeth Charles

2.00: Welcome - Professor Karen Wells (Director, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research)

2.05: Brief introductions to conference papers:

Dr Clare Choak, Professor Patricia Daley, Mel Green, Carmelita Kadeena Whyte, Iesha Denize Ledeatte, Professor Uvanney Maylor, Nandita Sirker, Professor Phillis Sheppard, Dr Joao Tinoco, Professor Marcia Wilson, Palmela Witter.

2.15: Contemporary Womanist Research Post George Floyd, Dr Jan Etienne

2.30: Black Feminism and Qualitative Research: Dr Tanja Burkhard

2.50: Questions and Discussion

3.15: Performance Poet – Poppyseed


4.30: Plenary

5.00: End


*Speaker Panels (3.30-4.30pm) details:

Title / Panel speaker(P)/Welcome(W)  /Chair(C) /Note taker(NT)
1.Windrush women’s wisdom - Visual narratives as tools for Womanist research. Iesha Denize Ledeatte(P)/Julia Barratt-Mowatt(W)/Dr Beverley Hayward (C)/Dr Beverley Hayward(NT)
2. Saving Black Lives: Black Women’s research and leadership in Higher Education. Professor Marcia Wilson (P)/Lurraine Jones (W)/Lurraine Jones (C)/Lurraine Jones(NT)
3. Black feminist research as a tool for Black women’s survival. Professor Uvanney Maylor (P)/Dr Titus Mathurin (W)/Dr Titus Mathurin (C)/Jen Davis(NT)
4. Black Lives Matter – A black womanist approach to fighting racial injustice in the Voluntary Sector. Palmela Witter (P)/Yasmin Adan (W)/Yasmin Adan (C)/Yasmin Adan(NT)
5. Black Feminist Theory and Practise and the “Refugee Crisis” – Revisiting theory and struggle on the margins. Nandita Sirker (P)/Funmike Alonge (W)/Natasha Cox (C)/Funmike Alonge(NT)
6. A voice for black women’s art in society - a charter. Carmelita Kadeena-Whyte (P)/Rosalind Harris(W)/Lou Miller (C)/Lou Miller(NT)
7.  Raising disability: Exploring the intersections of a Black mother raising an autistic child. Mel Green (P)/Dr Jan Etienne (W)/Dr Jan Etienne(C)/Dr Jan Etienne(NT)
8. Researching ‘Self’ and the voice of the black woman in the research process: Acts of Decolonization: A Discursive theory study from the borderland/La Frontera. Dr Joao Tinoco (P)/Agatha Modeste (W)/Dr Sue Dunn(C)/Dr Sue Dunn(NT)
9. Decolonisation and Higher Education: Adopting a black and postcolonial feminist approach to the degree awarding gap. Dr Clare Choak (P)/Yolanda Royer-Yarde(W)/Dr Christina Howell Richardson(C)/Dr Christina Howell Richardson (NT)
10. Womanist Research in a Double Pandemic. Professor Phillis Sheppard (P)/Dawn Joseph(W)/Dawn Joseph(C)/Dawn Joseph(NT) 

This event is organised in partnership with the Womanism, Activism, Higher Education Research Network 

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