Skip to main content

Black Women, Womanist Learning and Higher Education: The Politics of Representation and Community Activism

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

Birkbeck Gender & Sexuality and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in collaboration with the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communications, Birkbeck, University of London

Free event open to all: Book your place

This one-day conference will explore the role of the black woman in promoting learning development and political activism in the community. It seeks to bring together the work of researchers, academics and activists in the field of gender, 'race', education and community development to explore Womanism and the influence of education for building stronger, local communities.

The conference therefore draws heavily on the concept of 'Womanism' which acknowledges the need to tackle the under-representation of black women in British feminist research. It will engage with 'Womanist learning' a black feminist approach in education and learning which depicts the ways in which older black women learn whilst at the same time locating their learning in the heart of their communities. In this way Womanist learning becomes synonymous with community activism as the women find ways to help build stronger, local communities and rise above past and current oppression.

It will specifically bring together women in higher education, research students and activists presenting papers and sharing their research in the following areas: Black women, community and political representation; Pedagogies for change: Teaching strategies for Womanist learning; Black women, media representation, social technologies and community; Mothers and sisters in the struggle: Reclaiming black women's grass roots activism; Black women, sexuality, community and change; Widening access and Womanist participation in higher education: Intersectionality and inequality; Communities in crisis: Black women, youth justice. criminality and society; Womanism and faith based strategies for promoting inclusion; Black women, disability, challenge and the health of black communities.

This event will support the development of research in this important field. A new research network (comprising black women academics and research students and activists) entitled: 'Womanism, Activism and Higher Education' will be established. This network will work closely with BiGS and colleagues from the Research Centre for Social Change and Transformation in Higher Education in promoting research to generate collaboration and facilitate research in this area.

Key Contributors:

Community Activists and Academics Working for Change

Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality provides a forum for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange in gender and sexuality studies. It brings together scholars working in the arts and humanities and the social sciences and encourages dialogue with practitioners in the creative industries as well as with non-academic constituencies.

The Birkeck Institute for the Humanities stimulates research, public debate and collaboration among academics and intellectuals on important issues of our time. Key to its remit is the promotion of new ideas and forms of understanding in the humanities.

Contact name: