Past events

Latest events

Racial equality in a time of crisis

Online conference, 9-12 March 2021 with Stuart Hall Foundation and The Runnymede Trust. View the sessions on YouTube:

Launch of EVENS

16 February 2021

Launch of our landmark survey, the Evidence for Equality National Survey. 

Launch of the Covid race and ethnic inequalities programme

15 February 2021

Launching our new research programme which responds to the crisis posed by the pandemic and its effects on racial and ethnic minority people's lives.

Previous events by academic year:

Past Events 2021-2022

Tackling the crisis of ethnic minority youth unemployment

Watch the recording

Date: Monday, 7 February 2022.

What is racial in racial capitalism? (Gargi Battacharyya)

Watch the recording.

Date: Thursday, 3 February 2022

Marginalised Voices: The Impact of Covid on Older Ethnic Minority People 

Watch the recording.

Date: Monday, 6 December 2021

Joint seminar from CoDE and Runnymede Trust based on briefing on the impact of Covid-19 on older people.

Speakers: Tracey Bignall, Senior Policy and Practice Officer at the Race Equality Foundation; Brenda Hayanga, research fellow at the University of Sussex; Shane Ward, CEO of the West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre. Chair: Dharmi Kapadia, CoDE.

Navigating Islamophobia in Denmark (Amani Hassani)

Watch the recorded online seminar here

Date: Thursday, 18 November 2021

Abstract: Case study of how Danish Muslims experience Islamophobia in everyday life. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Copenhagen, the paper unpacks the experiences of racialisation in Denmark – a ‘colourblind’ progressive liberal nation – where little attention is given to racialised power dynamics that are reproduced in everyday interactions. Structural Islamophobia is promoted through political discourse and mainstreaming of anti-Muslim racism, which inadvertently trickles down to everyday social and spatial encounters.

Members of the OSCH Young Collective Hawwa Alam (Manchester Museum Cultural Learning & Participation Officer Apprentice) and Samihah Mudabbir (Manchester Museum Social Action Intern) acted as discussants for this seminar.

Past Events 2020-2021

Who is the 'Britain' within Tate Britain? A Black Feminist Responds

Watch the recorded online seminar here

  • Speaker: Janine Francois (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts)
  • Date: 15 October 2020
  • Abstract: ‘Safe(r) spaces’ has reached mainstream attention with arguments for and against its use and are often presented as an infringement on ‘freedom of speech.’ However, ‘safe(r) spaces’ date back to the women’s liberation movements of the 1970s, where feminists were demanding separatists spaces from cis-gendered men. Whilst competing definitions may circulate, this paper will define what a ‘safe(r) space’ is within an arts museum context by problematising whether Tate Britain can be a 'safe(r) space’ to discuss race and cultural differences? Tate Britain is an art museum entrusted to the ‘British’ public to display ‘British’ historical and contemporary artworks, however, it’s frequent and most ‘traditional’ audiences are often white and middle class. I will pose, ‘who is the ‘Britain’ within Tate Britain? And how does it contend with ‘Britain/Britishness’ that is transnational, racial and historical, as recent events like ‘Brexit’ (2016) the ‘Windrush Scandal’(2018) and the toppling of Colston statue (2020) has shown it to be? By interrogating the historical, ontological and textual framings of Tate Britain through comparison of the art works: Brunia’s ‘Dancing Scene in West Indies’ (1764-96) and Piper’s ‘Go West Young Man’ (1987) and adopting Araeen’s (2010) critique of whiteness and Hall’s questionings of heritage, nationhood, memorialisation (2008) alongside Critical Race Theory. This paper will explore who is ‘safety’ intended for and what are they seeking safety from? Especially as ‘safety’ is employed through the discourses of surveillance culture, ‘anti-terrorism,’ immigration and citizenship to protect the white-western-neo-liberal-nation-state. Therefore, how might a site like Tate Britain reinforce such dominant structures through security, curatorial and interpretation? I will conclude by proposing ‘brave(r)’ spaces as both a counter-position to ‘safe(r) spaces,’ and as a praxis for art museums to address their colonial histories through the lenses of intersectionality and decoloniality.

Black and Brown at the Intersection: Critical Thoughts Concerning Race, Disability and Debility

Watch the recorded online seminar here

  • Speaker: Viji Kuppan, Leeds Beckett University
  • Date: 19 November 2020
  • Abstract: In this seminar Viji Kuppan draws from previous writing presented in the book, The Fire Now (Johnson et al, 2018), Crippin’ Blackness: Narratives of Disabled People of Colour from Slavery to Trump, and a forthcoming piece, entitled, Black Crip Killjoys: Dissident Voices and Neglected Stories from the Margins to speak to entangled racialized, disabled and gendered alterity in neoliberal times. To understand these complex moments and situations of multiple and simultaneous oppression Viji will interrogate social and cultural life in its spectacular (including spectacularly violent), and many mundane forms. In so doing Viji situates the often silenced and erased Black and Brown Crip body as experiencing debility (Puar, 2017) long before and rather than (if ever) it is hailed as being disabled.

Navigating Silence: Black British Women in Education and the Workplace

Watch the recorded webinar here

  • Speaker: April-Louise Pennant
  • Date: 11 March 2021
  • Abstract: This paper frames the educational journeys and experiences of Black British women graduates, combining the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice (BTP) within the context of Black Feminist epistemology. In particular, it focuses upon how they understand and engage with the education system, illustrating the barriers they face and the strategies they employ to navigate towards educational ‘success’. Additionally, this paper begins to explore how far Black British women graduates’ educational ‘success’ translates into the workplace, as well as the additional efforts and strategies they may need to continue to utilise or develop in order to succeed there. In this way, the paper critiques narrow notions of educational ‘success’ whilst highlighting the huge costs endured by Black British women graduates who often do not enjoy the same rewards as their peers.


Past Events 2019-2020


Diane Abbott, misogynoir and the politics of Black British feminism

  • Speaker: Dr Lisa Palmer, Deputy Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • Date: 27th February 2020
  • Abstract: This seminar presents Dr Lisa Palmer's paper that argues that we cannot understand the acute intensification of white supremacist politics in contemporary Britain without paying close attention to how this racism is also explicitly and inherently gendered and sexualised. The paper will examine the misogynoir experienced by the British Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott through Shirley Anne Tate’s (2015) powerful analysis of the Sable-Saffron Venus in the English imaginary. The paper will explore these issues by mapping Black British feminism’s anticolonial politics to argue that we should bring this tradition to bear in our analysis of this most recent iteration of racism in our contemporary times. 

Race, Class and Gender and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Does School Prepare Men for Prison?

  • Speaker: Dr Karen Graham, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Date: 28th November 2020
  • Abstract: The potential link between educational ‘failure’ and offending is perennially debated. Research and popular discourses tend to focus on the community, cultural or family backgrounds from which the children who ‘fail’ come, and/or on provision for those ‘at risk’ of school and social exclusion. These discussions often prioritise the apparent significance of race, class and gender, indicated by the over-representation of poor, male, Black students in punitive school disciplinary processes and a parallel disproportionality in the criminal justice system. However, many of these approaches assume educational systems to be intrinsically good and consider cases of educational failure to be anomalies that require ironing out. This seminar will summarise a piece of research that takes a different view. It will draw on classic sociological theories of unequal reproduction through education and life history research with former prisoners collected for a doctoral thesis. 

Conviviality at/from the border

  • Speaker: Dr Luke de Noronha, Simon Fellow at the University of Manchester
  • Date: 31st October 2019
  • Abstract: Paul Gilroy’s theorisations of ‘conviviality’ have been profoundly generative, leading some sociologists to announce a ‘conviviality turn’. However, there is a risk that, as Les Back and Shamser Sinha put it, conviviality becomes a by-word for saccharine diversity fantasies. In other words, conviviality gets reduced to everyday diversity and ‘getting along’ across and despite cultural difference, which can only be based on a partial, incomplete or misreading of Gilroy’s admittedly difficult argument in After Empire. Importantly, Gilroy finds conviviality so precious precisely because the background to everyday multiculture is the nightmare of resurgent nationalism, colonial melancholia and neoliberal statecraft. Without that backdrop, conviviality loses purchase on the relation between culture and power. In this context, Luke's argument is that we might usefully consider conviviality from and at the border - from the wings of Immigration Removal Centres, or in the life stories of ‘deportees’. He suggests that listening to people in detention or post-deportation reminds us not only that there is a radical openness to lived culture in multi-status Britain - i.e. many people subject to immigration control demonstrate an outernational sensibility and are often ‘against race’ - but also demonstrates why conviviality is such a vital resource of hope in dark times. In short, thinking about conviviality from the border might help us recalibrate and reappraise the significance of multiculture in the context of intensifying racist state violence.

Past events 2018-2019


Encounters with the Neighbour in 1970s’ British Multicultural Comedy

  • Speaker: Dr Sarah Ilott, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Date: 28th March 2019
  • Abstract: “If you don’t shut up, I’ll come and move in next door to you!” Such was the frequent response to audience heckles made by Britain’s first well-known black comedian, Charlie Williams. His retort appropriated racist rhetoric of the time, in which the black neighbour was frequently mobilised as an object of fear, threatening the imagined homogeneity of formerly white communities. What Williams’s response to heckles exemplifies is a negotiation of a complex set of power relations informed both by the mechanics of the triadic relationship between Teller, Audience and Butt of a joke and by the social context shaping relationships between blacks and whites in a systemically racist society. With reference to this context, I explore the mobilisation of the figure of the black neighbour in 1970s’ comedy as a means of commenting upon and critiquing British multicultural discourse of the time through a consideration of popular and mainstream sitcoms.


Past events 2017-2018


Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life

  • Speakers: Marcus Hunter, UCLA and Professor Zandria Robinson, Rhodes College.
  • Date: 24 May 2018
  • Abstract: From Central District Seattle to Holly Springs to Harlem, Black people have built a dynamic network of cities where black culture is maintained, created, and defended. But imagine—what if our current maps of black life are wrong? Chocolate Cities offers a refreshingly persuasive cartography of the United States—a “Black Map” that more accurately reflects the lived experiences and the future of Black life in America. The book draws on film, fiction, music, and oral history to map the Black American experience of race, place, and liberation from slavery to freedom. And as the United States moves toward a majority-minority society, Chocolate Cities provides a provocative, broad, and necessary assessment of how racial and ethnic minorities make and change America’s social, economic, and political landscape.

Post-millennial local whiteness: Reviving racialism and the expropriation of race

  • Speaker: Brett St Louis, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Date: 24 April 2018
  • Abstract: In the midst of various early 21st century events, including the ‘death of multiculturalism’, enlargement of the European Union and not least Brexit appeals to local whiteness in the UK are undergoing significant change. In this paper, I propose the revival of ‘racialism’ as a key aspect of this developing practical sensibility. Promoted by figures such as David Goodhart and Eric Kaufmann, racialist local white identification is intended to indicate a non-invidious white ethno-racial formation based on ‘self-interest’ and a positive preference for ‘co-ethnics’ sharing common values. Drawing on David Harvey’s notion of ‘accumulation by dispossession’, I demonstrate how the operation of racialist British local whiteness configures and expropriates race as a zero-sum political resource. Post-millennial local whiteness is thus used to constitute and privilege ‘indigenous’ Britons while seeking to disarm migrants’ and minority ethnic groups’ indictment of racism.

New Nationalism, Old Ideologies and Left Problems

  • Speaker: Sivamohan Valluvan, University of Warwick
  • Date: 20 March 2018
  • Abstract: This talk will argue that one core feature of challenging the contemporary nationalist capture involves properly reckoning with its conjunctural affinity to multiple ideological repertoires, some of which we mistakenly consider to be inured from such trends. These multiple discursive heritages include but are not limited to: the liberal – nation in relation to Eurocentric interpretations of tolerance, free speech, secularism, the rule of law and civility; the neoliberal – nation as mediator of economic enterprise and ‘homo economicus’; the conservative – nation in nostalgic relation to the provincial, imperial, Christianist, or rustic whiteness; and the communitarian left – nation in relation to the welfare state and broader anti-market, anti-globalisation sentiments. Particular attention will be given in this talk to the challenges that new nationalism poses to the possibilities of a popular but anti-racist Left politics.

The choreography of everyday multiculture; Bowling together?

  • Speaker: Emma Jackson,  Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Date: 20 February 2018
  • Abstract: Bowling has been used as both a bellwether and a metaphor for society. Most famously, a decline in participation in bowling leagues is used by Putnam (2000) to suggest a decline in American community. However, I challenge this thesis from within bowling itself. Firstly, through an examination of the classed and racialised history of bowling in the USA, I argue that the use of bowling as shorthand for ‘good community’ obscures histories of exclusion and co-option. Secondly, through an ethnographic study of a contemporary London bowling alley, I argue that this site can offer important insights into modes of sharing urban space and forms of participation that depart from accounts of community-based on formal bridging activities that Putnam idealises. The talk thus reorients a discussion of community participation towards a focus on practices of belonging and mundane embodied and material practices of conviviality.

Migration, Marriage and Motherhood: Understanding the Economic Inactivity of Pakistani Women in Britain

  • Speaker:  Asma Khan, Cardiff University
  • Date: 30 January 2018
  • Abstract: My mixed methods doctoral study aims to understand and explain the factors that cause Muslim women in Britain to be more likely to be economically inactive than women of other religious belongings. I will present some of the findings from the qualitative phase of the research project, fieldwork for which took place in an area of high Pakistani residential density in Manchester. The labour market experiences of first-generation Pakistani women will be compared with those of second generation women. Comparisons will be drawn as to how the two migrant generations experience the life stages of migration, marriage and motherhood differently within the context of a neighbourhood of high co-ethnic density. These key life stages are all known to have a significant effect on economic activity but little is known about how they are experienced, mediated and negotiated by Pakistani women. Rich qualitative interview data from interviews will be presented as evidence of the ways in which religious beliefs and practice, ethnicity, education and social class intersect to affect and shape life stages for Muslim women. Labour market experiences of the interviewees were framed by the socio-economic circumstances of their families, which are determined by the occupation of their husbands or fathers, as well as the normative frameworks of the surrounding ethno-religious community. The interviewees represented a range of Islamic beliefs and practice.

The (cultural) taste of racial domination: exclusion and representation in middle-class culture

  • Speaker: Ali Meghli
  • Date: 21 November 2017
  • Abstract: I analyse how members of the black middle-class attempt to reconfigure the tacit conflation between whiteness and middle-class culture. Many of my participants, for instance, signalled a preference for middle-class cultural forms – including literature, art, and theatre – which include positive, or authentic portrayals of blackness. Many also claimed they supported black cultural producers – regardless of the content of the cultural form – as they believe that by increasing the legitimacy of black cultural producers, they can also increase the legitimacy of black consumers of middle-class cultural forms.
    Prior research has demonstrated how the black middle-class often refer to themselves as invisible members of society. My research examines how this invisibility is produced, felt, and reconfigured in the middle-class cultural sphere.

The Diversity Bargain: And other dilemmas of race, admissions, and meritocracy at elite universities

  • Speaker: Natasha K. Warikoo, Harvard University
  • Date: 3 October 2017
  • Abstract: The Diversity Bargain draws on interviews with students at top American and British universities—Harvard, Brown, and Oxford—to reveal just how winners of supposedly meritocratic systems make sense of those systems. Along the way, Warikoo illuminates how students think about race, showing that students’ conceptions of race are deeply tied to their beliefs about fairness in admissions, especially in the United States. White American students express a diversity bargain, supporting affirmative action in as much as it benefits themselves, while white British students reject considerations of both race and class in admissions, maintaining faith in standardized exams and university interviews to select the most deserving students. Ultimately, students’ perspectives in both the United States and Britain will maintain racial inequality if they continue to hold little understanding of and vision for reducing racial inequality in society—and in particular in the outcomes of the admissions process—as they currently seem to do.

Past events 2016-2017

CoDE summer conference

Documenting, understanding, and addressing ethnic inequalities

  • Date: 20-21 June 2017

CoDE held this major two-day conference in Manchester to discuss the outcomes of its first four years of work. The conference brought together a wide range of constituencies into dialogue – the public, policy makers, NGOs, politicians, the media and academics – around our emerging findings on the patterning and drivers of ethnic inequalities across a range of domains.

The conference included a mix of activities:
Plenary presentations from high profile figures in the field; Themed sessions summarising the key findings and policy implications of our research (organised around topics such as Employment and education, Migration, place and community, Health and wellbeing, Racisms, Politics and political representation); Workshops discussing the state of race/ethnicity in the UK in the light of our research; Question panel style discussions, with panels comprised of experts from a range of fields; Interactive exhibitions; Spoken word and graphic artists.


Racialisation relations

  • Speaker: Professor Nasar Meer
  • Date: 25 April 2017
  • Abstract: In order to discuss Islamophobia we should not isolate if from other forms of racial discrimination. To this end this presentation will support Goldberg’s (2009) insistence that in addition to comparativist methodologies employed in the study of race, we also need relational methodologies. That is to say that where the former compares and contrasts, the latter also seeks to connect. Conceptually this means drawing on ideas of radicalisation to illustrate the conceptual and empirical relations between Islamophobia and other forms of racism, and in this presentation antisemitism in particular.

Them and us: 'Black neighbourhoods' as a social capital resource

  • Speaker: Professor Tracey Reynolds
  • Date: 28 March 2017
  • Abstract: The seminar will examine the experiences of black youths and their families living in socially deprived areas of London in order to examine the way in which they recognise the term 'black neighbourhood' as a resource for ethnic identity formation and collective mobilisation. Despite of the problems that are typically associated with 'black neighbourhoods', these neighbourhoods also represent spaces through which a range of social capital resources such as reciprocal ties of trust and solidarity are generated. These spaces provide a sense of wellbeing and belonging.
    However, the analysis will also show that the young people's experiences of the neighbourhood are not always positive, and such spaces create negative outcomes for them and their families. I will highlight the restrictive capacity of 'black neighbourhoods' and the various ways in which they limit opportunities to 'get on' in terms of social mobility.

Self Defence is No Offence: Resisting Racialization and Criminalization of Muslims in Neoliberal Britain

  • Speaker: Dr Waqas Tufail, School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences, Leeds Beckett University
  • Date: 28 February 2017
  • Abstract: This paper presents findings from an on-going study exploring the context and aftermath of the 'grooming' scandals that came to dominate headlines in the popular press.  The 'grooming' scandals referred to revelations that groups of men had been sexually abusing scores of young girls in several towns in the UK. The subsequent discourse racialized South Asian men and held the culture of Muslim communities in particular to be the main cause.
    Following the emergence of the 'grooming' scandal, violent anti-Muslim racism has taken place on a regular basis in the towns affected. In Rotherham, 81-year old Muslim grandfather Mushin Ahmed was beaten and stamped to death by two white men who repeatedly referred to him as a 'groomer' during the assault. More than a dozen far-right demonstrations have taken place in Rotherham since news of the scandal broke. Multiple interviewees from within Rotherham have spoken of the town being 'under siege' from organised fascists. In an unprecedented move, Muslim communities within Rotherham unanimously agreed to boycott South Yorkshire police for not taking racist attacks against Muslims seriously and a national defence campaign was launched to have charges dropped against 12 local Muslim men charged with serious offences after responding to repeated instances of far-right provocation.
    This paper posits that the rhetoric and actions of local liberal elites, in addition to the expected hostility from far-right and conservative agitators, served to exacerbate rather than ameliorate the targeting of Muslims with Rotherham. Using the events in Rotherham as a case study, this paper presents an in-depth, localised analysis of racial neoliberalism in Britain today where race, class, gender and anti-Muslim racism intertwine.

Addressing ethnic inequalities in healthcare experiences and outcomes: what has evidence got to do with it?

  • Speaker: Prof Sarah Salway, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), The University of Sheffield
  • Date: 24 January 2017
  • Abstract:The expectation that healthcare policy and practice should be informed by the best available research evidence in order to enhance quality and efficiency is now well established across most health systems. Among the various economic and demographic factors motivating "evidence-based health system transformation", increasing ethno-cultural diversity of the population stands out as a particular challenge in the UK and elsewhere. Persistent ethnic inequalities in healthcare experiences and outcomes, as well as concerns regarding inappropriate and inefficient use of resources, have prompted a significant growth in research into ethnicity, health and healthcare in recent years. However, while the volume of such research expands, the impact on policy and practice is less readily apparent. At the same time, there are pockets of service innovation that arise without any obvious link to formal research. This situation raises the troubling question: What is the role of research evidence? And, by implication: What is the role of researchers?
    The disappointing impact of research on the ground is not peculiar to the field of ethnic diversity and inequality. Indeed, this so-called "second gap in translation" is widely recognised and has resulted in a growing industry of knowledge translation and implementation research. However, to-date this activity has not often focused on ethno-cultural diversity and inequality. Drawing on ideas from the knowledge translation literature and personal reflections on research practice, this presentation will highlight some core ambiguities and contradictions in how we understand, generate and mobilise research evidence in this area. In particular, the presentation will consider: the rhetoric and reality of ethnic equality as a driver within UK health policy; the incongruity of instrumental, linear models of evidence application within the messy, emotional and value-laden world of healthcare decision-making; and the way in which dominant notions of research rigour limit our ability to deal with contingency and context and silence other ways of knowing. The presentation will also identify some missed opportunities and promising developments, including examples of influential evidence mobilisation and sustained co-production partnerships. It will thereby invite discussion around how we can establish new ways of researching that can have greater impact on positive healthcare transformation for multi-ethnic populations.

Electronic records from primary and secondary care to understand ethnic minority mental health inequalities- possibilities and pitfalls

  • Speaker: Dr Jayati Das-Munshi, Dept of Health Services and Population Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
  • Date: 13 December 2016
  • Abstract: We are in an era of 'big' data; data characterised by the four V's of 'volume', 'velocity', 'variety' and 'veracity'. Electronic medical records are increasingly being used across mental health Trusts across the UK and have been in use in UK primary care for many years and may present an example of data which meets some of these criteria. As such, they present a unique opportunity to potentially understand mental health outcomes in populations which are typically hard to reach. However, despite the potential of this, there are many challenges to utilising and applying this data in an understanding of mental health inequalities.
    Jayati leads a mixed methods project which focuses on physical health inequalities in people with severe mental illnesses with an emphasis on ethnic inequalities. The study will utilise information from more than 1.0 million electronic health records from UK primary and secondary healthcare covering an ethnically diverse region in South and East London. The study will also involve qualitative methodologies (focus groups and interviews) conducted in collaboration with service user researchers. Initial findings from the study have focussed on variations in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in severe mental illness by ethnicity and ethnic minority differences in mortality outcomes in people with severe mental illnesses. In the next year, there are plans to utilise Natural Language Processing (NLP) to derive an individual-level measure for socioeconomic position in health records as well as recruit participants for qualitative studies utilising information in electronic mental health records to inform sampling.
    Her talk will focus on initial findings from this study and in particular the potential as well as methodological challenges in trying to use such data to understand health inequalities

Historical and contemporary constructions of Liverpool 8: The role of legacy and agency in place identity

  • Speaker: Dr Gemma Catney, Department of Geography and Planning, and Dr Diane Frost, Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, The University of Liverpool
  • Date: 22 November 2016
  • Abstract: This paper explores the subjectivities of neighbourhood identity in 'Liverpool 8' (part of the wider Toxteth locale). This area of Liverpool is of particular interest given the historically significant emergence of politicised community identities rooted in urban unrest, socio-economic inequalities, racial discrimination, and coercive policing. We use in-depth interviews and focus groups alongside innovative community mapping to explore what is understood by 'L8'. We consider whether the highly politicised neighbourhood identities of the recent past have been reproduced and passed on through successive generations, or whether these have been replaced with other forms of identity. Three broad themes have framed this research, which we will consider in this paper: (i) How the formation and reproduction of neighbourhood identities relate to geographical, political, generational, contemporary and historical contexts; the intersectionality of other factors ('race'/ethnicity, class and gender); and the way identities can be subject to contestation and challenge; (ii) The role played by external perceptions of neighbourhood identity, in particular how far these can reinforce, perpetuate or undermine internal identities of belonging; (iii) The extent to which neighbourhood identity and allegiance are both relational and rooted in wider structural factors that influence and impact on levels of social inequality and exclusion.

Difference and diversity though the lens of encounter

  • Speaker: Dr Helen Wilson, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester
  • Date: 27 September 2016
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, 'geographies of encounter' has been used as a shorthand for a body of work which has sought to document how people negotiate difference in their everyday lives. Yet whilst the notion of encounter is frequently used, less is said about how it is conceptualized and what it says about how difference comes to matter. The central aim of this paper is to argue that, far from a general term for meeting, 'encounter' is a conceptually charged construct that is worthy of sustained and critical attention. In scrutinizing how encounters might be approached as distinctive relational events that are shaped by shock, rupture and surprise, the paper outlines a number of implications for how we approach difference, power and transformation, within work on race and ethnicity.


Migration and Families in Europe: National and Local Perspectives at a Time of Euroscepticism

  • Date: 7 - 8 February 2017

Organised by CoDE this two-day international conference brought together researchers, practitioners in government and voluntary sectors and postgraduate students to discuss migration and families in Europe.
The conference explored a range of topics on family migration including ageing and elderly migration; refugee families; parenting and migrant children; family migration policies and the movement of families to and within the EU; and methods and challenges in researching family migration.

Keynote speakers

Supporters and funders

The conference was organised by the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Diversity (CoDE) with support from the following:

Further details:

Ethnic inequalities at work: policy and institutional responses

  • Date: 3 - 4 November 2016
  • Event type: A Cumberland Lodge event

Past events 2015-2016

CoDE and School of Social Sciences Seminar Series

"But what if they get dipped" - Deportation and the study of multi-racial, multi-racist AND multi-status Britain

  • Speaker: Luke de Noronha (DPhil Candidate in Anthropology, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford
  • Date: 14 June 2016
  • Abstract:Britain is increasingly multi-status. In multi-status Britain, more and more people live with insecure immigration statuses - rendered temporary, deportable, and disposable. Immigration control is more widely and aggressively enforced than ever before. The borders are everywhere and everyday. As such, immigrants cannot assume that they are on a path toward settlement and naturalisation. Their course is one with many obstacles; more snakes than ladders. In this context, scholars of race and ethnicity cannot necessarily assume their research subjects will be around forever. Sometimes we deport 'Black Britons'. Importantly, deportation carves through friendship groups, family lives, and intimate relationships. Deportation, then, provides the starkest illustration of how immigration status comes to matter in people's lives. However, the broader point is that more people have insecure immigration statuses, and immigration control gets into their lives more. Therefore scholars of race and ethnicity need to work immigration control into their theorising on multi-racial, multi-racist Britain. In this presentation I explore these arguments through the story of one key research participant, Ricardo. Hopefully his story will help us think about and discuss the relationship between contemporary forms of immigration control and race and racism in multi-status Britain.

Distant relations and proximate Others? Exploring the geography of friendship networks in ethnically diverse areas

  • Speaker: Richard Gale, Cardiff University
  • Date: 24 May 2016
  • Abstract: In his foundational work, Georg Simmel outlined a relational view of sociology of abiding importance. In his work on dyads and triads in particular, he emphasised the primacy of social ties as the focus of sociological analysis, with the claim that 'only when one individual has an effect, immediate or mediate, upon another, is mere spatial aggregation or temporal succession transformed into society' (Simmel, 1908). Yet despite Simmel's known influence on Robert Park, the sociological - and thereafter geographical - study of segregation initiated by the Chicago School diverged from this Simmelian tradition, making 'spatial aggregation' and its assumed link to social interaction an unexamined axiom of segregation analysis. Drawing on ethnographic research on British Muslim friendships in Birmingham, this paper presents a conceptual and empirical critique of segregation research as developed in the UK context, combining established ecological approaches with a spatial application of social network analysis. Above all, it suggests that spatial proximity and neighbourhood attachment are necessary but not sufficient to account for the strength, spatial dispersion and cultural composition of friendship networks. Rather, the findings reveal a complex picture in which residential patterns are cross-cut by life-course experiences, including level of education and marital ties, as determinants of the geography of friendship.   

 Thinking about Jews: from antisemitism to racialization

  • Speaker: David Feldman, University of London
  • Date: 3 May 2016
  • Abstract: Scholarly investigation of antisemitism invariably expresses the assumption that the phenomenon simply exists in the world awaiting the attention of researchers whose task is to trace its varying density, ferocity and causes. This paper, by contrast, distinguishes aversion to Jews and abuse of Jews from the concept of antisemitism. For whereas aversion and abuse can be traced over centuries and millennia, the term antisemitism was invented in the late-nineteenth century. Although the term originated with anti-Jewish propagandists and agitators in Germany in the 1870s, the term antisemitism was quickly taken up by Jews themselves and their allies and was used to describe their enemies and critics. This paper asks what has been at stake when the term antisemitism has been used. It will develop three themes: first, it will trace the changing meanings ascribed to the term antisemitism over the last 130 years, second it will argue that the charge of antisemitism has always been given meaning by a larger political project and that this project has changed over time, finally it will ask what might be gained if we replace the study of antisemitism by the study of racialization in the case of Jews.

Tottenham before and after the riots

  • Speaker: Bryan Fanning, University College Dublin
  • Date: 22 March 2016
  • Abstract: The seminar examines various diagnoses of the causes of the 2011 riots in Tottenham and policy prescriptions that emerged in the aftermath. The analysis is located within a wider history of UK urban policy and the specific local history of Haringey, the borough in which Tottenham is located. This history includes the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots. The 2011 Tottenham riots coincided with the end of an era of British urban policy, occurring as they did at a time when various community-centred regeneration programmes such as Labour's New Deal for Communities (NDC) were being wound down or had recently come to an end.  

Thinking through racial capitalism today

  • Speaker: Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of East London
  • Date: 23 February 2016
  • Abstract: This paper considers the renewed interest in concepts of racial capitalism and the place of this re-evaluation in rethinking histories of capitalism. I want to think again about how we can encompass an analysis of many forms of labour in our understandings of capitalist formation and histories of racism. In particular, I would like to think about how we might articulate a political economy of racism that can illuminate the challenges of our own times.

Empire, race, and citizenship: questioning European histories of belonging

  • Speaker: Gurminder Bhambra, University of Warwick
  • Date: 26 January 2016
  • Abstract: The idea of the political community as a national political order has been central to European self-understanding and to European historical sociology. Yet, many European states were imperial states as much as they were national states - and often prior to or alongside becoming national states - and so the political community of the state was always much broader and more racially stratified than is usually acknowledged. This paper takes the increased media attention on the 'refugee crisis' to rethink our understandings of citizenship and rights in light of the challenges being posed to Europe regarding its policies towards refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants.

What is the Britishness in 'British values' and the citizenship process?

  • Speaker: Bridget Byrne, University of Manchester
  • Date: 08 December 2015
  • Abstract: This paper will explore the representation and teaching of Britishness in both the requirement for schools to teach 'British Values' and the ways in which Britishness is represented in the citizenship test and invoked in citizenship ceremonies. In the last 15-20 years, there has been increasing focus from Labour, Coalition and Conservative governments on citizenship. This has included repeated attempts to teach different population groups the importance (and content) of 'British values'. This paper will bring together some of the diverse policies - particularly those involved with migration, naturalisation and children's education to consider the representations of Britishness that are involved and ask what exclusions do these policies imply. The paper will ask what are the spaces for 'citizenship acts' left by these representations.

Racial affective economies, disalienation and 'race made ordinary'

  • Speaker: Shirley Tate, University of Leeds
  • Date: 24 November 2015
  • Abstract: This paper speaks against tolerance as an instrument of institutionalized anti-racism within academia where collegiality is a minimal expectation in interpersonal interactions. Through auto-ethnographic readings, the discussion focuses on the racial affective economies produced in universities as tolerance 'makes race ordinary'. Within this reading 'making race ordinary' is shown to produce unliveable lives because of its racial affective economies animated by contemptuous tolerance, disgust and disattendability. These negative affects emerge within the epistemology of ignorance produced by the Racial Contract and have affective and career consequences for racialized others placed outside of organizational networks. The paper argues that to destabilize the white power in networks which decide on access, tenure and promotion and to enable liveable lives within universities, the transformative potential of the transracial intimacy of friendship must be engaged. This entails 'race made ordinary' through disalienation/estrangement from the 'raced' subject positionings of the Racial Contract.

'Movimient es vida': Some reflections on movement and sedentarism in light of the 'migrant crisis'

  • Speaker: Colin Clark, University of the West of Scotland
  • Date: 27 October 2015
  • Abstract: Recent events across Europe have starkly illustrated that movement is not always life, despite Brad Pitt's well-intentioned advice to a terrified family in the Hollywood film World War Z. Indeed, the ongoing refugee crisis has shown borders for what they truly are as well as the successive political failures of European governments to address what is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Such inaction and posturing has been as transparent as it has been inexcusable; point-scoring and finger-pointing has failed to prevent scenes of human life being washed upon our shores and fleeing people barricaded into cages and fed like animals in a zoo. Tear gas and water cannons arm Europe's welcoming parties who stand behind higher barbed-wire fences whose suggestion is clear. In this presentation I would like to take a small step-back from the immediate and, building on the work of Irish scholar Robbie McVeigh (1997) (himself leaning on Ibn Khaldun), examine the idea/practice of 'movement' and how this apparently jars with racialized ideas/practices of sedentarism (hereby defined, more or less, as an ideology and practice of anti-nomadism). Using the example of the current refugee crisis and how it is being played-out within the EU, it might be argued that it is the latest example of a crisis of Western ('civil') sedentarist states in the face of the movement of ('barbaric') Eastern 'others'. Bearing in mind the overall themes being raised, two key questions will be tackled with an eye on Scottish perspectives and responses: 1) within this global debate, what are the immediate issues and implications for 'class and nation' in contemporary Scotland and 2) how is 'movement' a class issue as well as a racialized issue?

Feral beauty? Aesthetics, locality and racialization

  • Speaker: Andrew Smith, University of Glasgow
  • Date: 29 September 2015
  • Abstract: Following from the suggestion of bell hooks that we understand that 'aesthetics […] is a way of inhabiting space', what I try to explore in this paper - using evidence from the CoDE local area case studies - is the role of aesthetic claims in the way in which respondents describe the neighbourhoods in which they are based and work. Although a developing body of philosophical writing has emphasized the potential of 'everyday aesthetics' to act in ways that lead to a proper valuing of human specificity and individuality, the data from the first tranche of the CoDE project suggests a much more problematic relationship, in which attributions of beauty and ugliness often intersect with the racializing of local space. This intersection, I argue,  is already implicit in the longer history of western aesthetics and its complicity with 'race-making'. At the same, however, there is evidence of a conscious counter-narrative which involves the elaboration of an alternative aesthetics which seeks to celebrate what Paul Gilroy has called 'the feral beauty of postcolonial society'.

Past events 2014-2015

We were involved in a range of events between September 2014 and August 2015, details of which have been categorised below:


The CoDE Seminar Series highlights our research on ethnicity and ethnic inequalities during the academic year. Below are the details of seminars which have taken place so far as part of the 2014-15 series.

Socially-assigned ethnicity and health: towards a better understanding of the role racialisation in structuring health outcomes

  • Speaker: Dr Donna Cormack, University of Otago
  • Date: 2 July 2015 - 12:30
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

International migration and demographic change in Spain before and during the economic crisis (2000-2014):a demo-spatial analysis

  • Speaker: Juan Galeano, (PhD Student in Demography), Centre d'Estudis Demografics, Barcelona, Spain
  • Date: 11 June 2015
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

Negative politics: the conformity, struggles and radical possibilities of youth culture in outer East London

  • Speaker: Dr Malcolm James, University of Sussex
  • Date: 26 May 2015
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

Creative approaches to researching and engaging diverse communities

  • Speaker: Dr Claire Dwyer, University College London
  • Date: 28 April 2015
  • Where: Ken Kitchen Committee Room, John Owens Building
  • No registration required

Enacting citizenship: migration, gender, performing theory and methods

  • Speaker: Dr Umut Erel,  The Open University
  • Date: 24 February 2015
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

Does competition eliminate discrimination? Evidence from the commercial sex market in Singapore

  • Speaker: Kevin Lang, University of Boston
  • Date: 18 February 2015
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required
  • Please note: this seminar will take place at  the alternative time of 16:15 - 17:30

Becoming undocumented and staying undocumented: the routes to irregularity and no way back

  • Speaker: Mr Jon Spencer, University of Manchester
  • Date: 27 January 2015
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

'Always up for the craic': young Irish professional migrants narrating ambiguous positioning in contemporary Britain

  • Speaker: Professor Louise Ryan, Middlesex University
  • Date: 25 November 2014
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

I accept them, but not their behaviour by Muslims and non-Muslims in Belgium

  • Speaker: Dr Jolanda van der Noll, Universite catholique de Louvain
  • Date: 28 October 2014
  • Where: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, room 2.07
  • No registration required

Equality and Group Identity 

  • Speaker: Tariq Modood, University of Bristol
  • Date: 30 September 2014
  • Where: Arthur Lewis Building, room G.019
  • No registration required

Public lectures

By hosting lectures and discussion panels for the public, we're engaging as many people as possible with the topic of ethnic identity and ethnic inequalities. Below are the public lectures we have hosted so far this academic year.

Policy workshop: Shaping welcoming places

  • Date: 27 October 2015
  • Where: Sackville Street Council Chamber
  • Further information:

Evolving understandings of racism and resistance - local and global conceptions and struggles

A one-day conference with the University of East London in conjunction with the BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group

CoDE public engagement event

  • 10 July 2015 11-6pm
  • Type of event: Pop-up research event
  • Where: On the street, Loudoun Square, Butetown, Cardiff
  • For more info contact:

Ethnic identity and inequalities in Britain

There is no cost to attend this event however registration is required.

  • Date: 21 May 2015, 4 - 6pm
  • Type of event: Book launch
  • Where: Manchester Central Library

Public lectures and discussion panels

By hosting lectures and discussion panels for the public, we're engaging as many people as possible with the topic of ethnic identity and ethnic inequalities. Below are the public lectures we have hosted so far this academic year.

How to get to 100 - and enjoy it

An ESRC Centre for Population Change event in association with CoDE

  • Date: 10 - 14 November 2014
  • Where: The Lowry, Manchester

Why ethnicity matters to local authority action on poverty

Supported by CoDE, Glasgow City Council, JRF, Egino

  • Date: 10 November 2014
  • Where: Glasgow City Chambers, George Square

Understanding the US Civil Rights movement

  • Speaker: Professor Lou Kushnick (CoDE)
  • Date: 9 October 2014, 5.30 - 7pm
  • Where: Performance Space, Ground floor, Central Library


The CoDE team host conferences, as well as being asked to speak at externally organised events. Below are the conferences we have been part of so far this academic year.

Migration, integration and neighbourhoods: where's the harm?

A Cumberland Lodge event in association with CoDE and the Runnymede Trust.

  • Date: 21 - 22 November 2014
  • Where: Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor, Berkshire
  • Briefing available for download

Briefing events

CoDE briefing events are specifically for addressing research output which has policy implications. Below are the briefings events we have hosted so far this academic year.

Dealing with local inequalities

CoDE, Runnymede and NLGN launched the report: Dealing with local inequalities.

  • Date: 3 December 2014, 4 - 6pm
  • Where: Hub Westminster, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4TE
  • Address by: Stephen Williams, Minister for Integration and Race Inequality

Past events 2013-2014

We were involved in a range of events between September 2013 and August 2014, details of which have been categorised below:


The CoDE Seminar Series highlights all the activities that have been taking place over the course of the academic year. Below are the details of our 2013-14 series, as well as information about stand alone seminars we hosted during this year.

Big Data and New Approaches to Analysing BME Political and Economic Participation

  • Presentation by Richard Webber and Trevor Phillips
  • Date: Friday 20 June 2014, 2 - 4pm, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, 1.69

CoDE Seminar Series

The distribution of the ethnic pay gap in the UK

  • Speaker: Ken Clark, University of Manchester
  • Date: 24 June 2014

From "Darker Cardiff" to "Tiger Bay": Racialising the Social Question

  • Speaker: Neil Evans, University of Wales, Cardiff
  • Date: 25 February 2014

Spatialities of Multiculture in Schools and Further Education Colleges

  • Speaker: Katy Bennett, University of Leicester and Sarah Neal, University of Surrey, ESRC Living Multiculture
  • Date: 28 January 2014

The social mobility of ethnic minorities in Britain (1982-2011): changes over time and across generations

  • Speaker: Yajoun Li, University of Manchester
  • Date: 26 November 2013

The East London contraflow

  • Speaker: Tim Butler, King's College London
  • Date: 29 October 2013

Increases in naturalisation rates highlights demographic changes in the Republic of Ireland

  • Speaker: Fidele Mutwarasibo, Immigrant Council of Ireland
  • Date: 24 September 2013

Public lectures and discussion panels

By hosting lectures and discussion panels for the public, we're engaging as many people as possible with the topic of ethnic identity and ethnic inequalities.

Black and Asian history

  • Date: 9 July 2014, 2-5 pm
  • Event type: AIURRRC and CoDE workshops
  • Where: Manchester Central Library


  • Date: 17 July 2014, 2-5 pm
  • Event type: AIURRRC and CoDE workshops
  • Where: Manchester Central Library

Please contact if you are interested in attending.

The Making of the Modern Refugee: Peter Gatrell in conversation

  • Speaker: Peter Gatrell
  • Date: 17 June, 5pm - 7pm
  • Where: Manchester Central Library

Roma migrants: challenges and opportunities in European perspective

  • Speaker: Yaron Matras (Professor Of Linguistics, University of Manchester)
  • Date: 27 May 2014

Public attention was drawn once again to the migration of Roma in the months preceding the lifting of employment restrictions on nationals of new EU-states last autumn. This talk focused on the challenges of research and policy interface in this area, drawing on case studies to illustrate the pitfalls of research that is geared toward policy impact at local, national and European levels.

Roma migrants: a challenge or an opportunity for our cities?

  • Date: 14 February 2014

A panel discussion forum with:

  • Rt Hon. David Blunkett, MP, Dr Michael Stewart (University College London)
  • Carol Powell, Principal, Gorton Mount Primary Academy
  • Fay Selvan, Chief Executive, The Big Life Company
  • Professor Yaron Matras, University of Manchester
  • Dr Nissa Finney (Chair), University of Manchester
  • Ramona Constantin, Romani Community Outreach Worker and launch of the book 'I met lucky people': The Story of the Romani Gypsies (Penguin Press/Allen Lane), by Yaron Matras


The CoDE team host conferences, as well as being asked to speak at externally organised events. Below are the conferences we have been part of.

Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) Launch Conference Dynamics of Diversity: Evidence from the 2011 Census

  • Date: 30 October 2013

The conference includes presentations on key research findings from the CoDE/JRF Census Briefings and discussion around the history of race relations in the CoDE case study sites: Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, and the London Borough of Newham. The conference is free to attend, and is funded by The University of Manchester Hallsworth Fund.

Briefing events

CoDE briefing events are specifically for addressing research output which has policy implications. Below are the briefings events we have hosted.

CoDE/Cumberland Lodge House of Lords Briefing event

  • Speaker: Baroness Prashar
  • Date: 12 June 2014

Baroness Prashar, in partnership with CoDE and Cumberland Lodge, hosted a joint event at the House of Lords to deliver a briefing developed from the policy workshop "Addressing Ethnic Inequalities in Social Mobility" held at the Lodge in November 2013.

Past events 2012-2013

We were involved in a range of events between September 2012 and August 2013, details of which have been categorised below:

Public lectures and discussion panels

In 2013, our symposium on the future of the multi-ethnic city brought together researchers from across the country.

Symposium and public lecture: The future of the multi-ethnic city

  • Chairs: Professor Claire Alexander, Dr Helen Wilson and Dr Yasminah Beebeejaun
  • Papers from: Femi Adekunle, Joseph Downing, Robin Finlay, Leila Hadj-Abdou, Bethan Harries, Ajmal Hussain, Malcolm James, Tina Patel, Naaz Rashid, Alina Rzepnikowska, and Shamser Sinha
  • Date: 29 May 2013

This interdisciplinary event brought together scholars interested in race, ethnicity and the urban.

It addressed questions such as:

  • What is the future of post-industrial cities in an era of renewed economic uncertainty and a creeping racialised politics of citizenship?
  • How can scholarly work engage with questions about the future of such cities and the engendering of new inequalities?


Below are the conferences we took part in over the 2012-13 academic year.

Diverse Neighbourhoods Conference: Policy messages from The University of Manchester

  • Date: 31 May 2013

Neighbourhoods with a large mix of residents from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have been widely stigmatised, and recent political debates have associated immigration and ethnic diversity with a reduction in social cohesion. However, findings from research conducted at The University of Manchester show that it is deprivation, rather than diversity, that is the key factor. This event aims to disseminate this research to policy, third sector, media and public audiences by discussing the following findings: 

  • British neighbourhoods are very ethnically mixed, and increasingly so;
  • It is deprivation, and not ethnic diversity, which erodes social cohesion and leads to other detrimental health and social outcomes;
  • Neighbourhood ethnic diversity has social benefits including for social cohesion and health.

This event will bring together University of Manchester researchers with local and national policy makers, third sector organisations and the media to debate the characteristics of ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, counteracting common myths about these areas.

Thus, the main aim of the event is to influence how people involved in the governance of diverse neighbourhoods, broader political bodies, and the media think about diverse communities.

Delegates will receive a University of Manchester Policy Brief on Diverse Neighbourhoods. The themed sessions will consist of short presentations from University of Manchester and community organisations, with ample time for discussion. We are delighted that the Beating Wing Orchestra and the spoken word artist Yusra Warsama will perform at the event.

Addressing Ethnic Inequalities in Social Mobility 

  • Date: 13 - 15 November 2013.

In partnership with Cumberland Lodge key research findings from CoDE research will be discussed:

  • Ethnic minorities in Britain are experiencing growth in clerical, professional and managerial employment (absolute mobility), however they still face significant barriers to enjoying the levels of social mobility of their white British peers (relative mobility).
  • Immigrant minorities have lower rates of social mobility than does the rest of British society. Their children experience rates of upwards mobility that are similar to their white British peers. Despite this mobility, the second generation still faces significant ethnic penalties in the labour market.
  • Levels of educational attainment have improved significantly for ethnic minorities, but these have not translated into improved outcomes in the labour market. The success of policy interventions and third sector projects targeted at ethnic inequalities in early childhood and education, contrasts to the continuing employment barriers faced by young black men and Muslim women.