Abstract Heidi Safia Mirza

Respecting Difference: Towards a critical pedagogy for social justice educators in post-race times.

Professor of Race Faith and Culture, Heidi Safia Mirza, Goldsmiths College, University of London


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’.