Professor of Race, Faith and Culture Heidi Safia Mirza is keynote speaker at JustEd Conference

We’re happy to announce that Heidi Safia Mirza, Professor of Race, Faith and Culture, Goldsmiths College, University of London will be keynote speaker at JustEd Conference on 8–9 March 2016 in Helsinki.

“Her work is very relevant to the research interest of the Nordic Centre of Excellence JustEd,” director Gunilla Holm says.

Heidi Safia Mirza

Heidi Safia Mirza focuses in her work on ethnicity, race, gender, faith, culture and identity in education. She has widely researched educational inequalities, including minority student’s experiences in schools and processes of racialisation in higher education.

Professor Mirza has contributed significantly to the research on equality and human rights issues for Muslim, Black and minority communities. Her recent work explores current debates on multiculturalism and diversity, as well as cultural and religious difference, Islamophobia and gendered violence.

Keynote talk at JustEd Conference

The topic of Mirza’s keynote talk is “Respecting Difference: Towards a critical pedagogy for social justice educators in post-race times.” She describes it as follows:

“In my lecture I will draw on black feminist and critical race perspectives to explore the ways in which professional educators can engage in ‘embodied’ work that enables them to begin the process of ‘decolonising’ their places of teaching and learning.

In the context of the significant numbers of  Muslim, Black and Asian students who are now entering  European education systems, I unpack the ways in which ‘just being there’ can create unsettling spaces of contestation in our still overwhelmingly white institutions.

Drawing on my research on the pedagogic practices of teacher educators and their dilemmas of teaching race, faith and culture, I explore the difficult concept of ‘spaces of safety’ which offers us the radical possibility of transcending the ‘stuck’ institutional discourses of ‘diversity’ and racial equality which dominates our educational landscapes in so called ‘post –race times’.”

Read more about the JustEd Conference here.