New Urban Multicultures: Conviviality and Racism Conference

I’m very pleased to be organising this conference with Anamik Saha marking the 20th anniversary of ‘New Ethnicities and Urban Cultures‘. Here is the Call for Papers.

Goldsmiths, University of London

Tuesday 17th May 2016

The publication of ‘New Ethnicities and Urban Cultures: Racisms and Multiculture in Young Lives’ by Les Back marked a turn in the sociology of race and racism in bringing together Stuart Hall’s concept of ‘new ethnicities’ with a commitment to empirically grounded ethnographic research. This conference celebrates 20 years since the publication of this influential book and examines the present and the future of the study of urban multiculture.

Re-engaging with this book and its themes of the co-presence of racism and the possibilities of multiculture is timely and urgent. This approach simultaneously challenges both simplistic and ideological state and media discourses on the failure of multiculturalism and over-celebratory accounts of cultural diversity that are inattentive to manifestations of power and racism. It can help us to uncover hidden (and not so hidden) forms of living with difference, the ambivalences of what Hall calls ‘multicultural drift’ and emergent forms of culture. The experience of urban multiculture is not always convivial or fraught; instead it is much more complex, rich, contradictory and multi-layered than these official discourses allow for.

The conference seeks to bring together researchers interested in contemporary multiculture who are working in the tradition of interdisciplinary modes that take culture seriously while being attuned to how social dynamics are tied to structures of power. We are interested in papers from scholars at different stages in a variety of disciplines and would particularly like to encourage submissions from PhD and Early Career Researchers.

Themes of papers could include:

Youth and the city

Emerging music cultures

Hierarchies of belonging within multiculture

Ethnography and innovative methods

New black feminisms

Experiences of refugees and asylum seekers

Race and racism

New urban ethnicities

Generational change, racism and multiculture

Policing borders

Queer identities

Colonial and post-colonial migration

Intersections of power, culture and exclusion

Conviviality in urban encounters

Gentrification, displacement and urban dynamics

Race and youth culture

Race in education

Senses and the city

Austerity and poverty

Theories of cosmopolitanism, citizenship and postcoloniality

Critical approaches to multicultural policy, cohesion and integration

Race, cultural industries and cultural production

Media representations of urban multiculture

Policing race

New formations of migration

Aesthetic responses to urban multiculture

Institutional power and young lives

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent to and by 30th January 2016. Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Paul Gilroy and Professor Les Back.

Attendance is free but registration is required (opens February 2016).

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