Faculty of Social Sciences
I have held a Readership in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Psychology) since October 2007. Prior to that I held a Readership in Gender and Ethnicity at Lancaster University in the Institute for Women’s Studies, where I was Head of Department. Before that I was a member of the Social Policy Department at the Open University 1995-2004, holding a Lectureship and then a Senior Lectureship. I have intellectual collaborations with colleagues in Gender studies at the University of Lund, Sweden and colleagues in Education at York University in Toronto, where I have held Visiting Professorships for short periods. I held a semester-long Visiting Fellow position at Clark University, Massachusetts, USA (2004) and was Visiting Professor at the University of Tampere, Finland on an Erasmus/Socrates Exchange (2007). In the past decade I have been an International Visiting Fellow at a number of Summer Institutes held at Cornel and Syracuse Universities and at Spelman College (one of the Historic Black Colleges) in the USA under the auspices of the Future of Minority Studies network (funded by the Mellon Foundation). I am co-editor of the European Journal of Women’s Studies (five year impact factor 1.398) and on the editorial boards of Free Associations, Social Politics, Studies in the Maternal and DarkMatter. I participate regularly in seminar and colloquia addressing questions of gender, multiculturalism; intersectionality; and social and psychic constructions of and investments in racialisation in social policy and practice. I have taken up invitations to teach advanced classes on these issues, including a graduate class on Psychoanalytic Approaches to Race and Racism at York University, Toronto in the summer of 2012.
I am a member of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) and co-director of the Psychosocial Programme convened under the auspices of CCIG. I convened the University funded Intimate Futures research group, from which two ESRC standard grant proposals were submitted, one of which was successful (‘Enduring Love?).
I am also trained as a psychodynamic psychotherapist drawing on my theoretical and clinical learning in that field to stretch and enrich my understanding of the psychosocial dynamics of gender and race in macro, organisational and inter-subjective interactions.
BSc, Social Anthropology (London School of Economics)
M.Phil., Development Studies (Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University)
PhD, Social Policy (The Open University)
Post Graduate Diploma, Working With Groups [Psychodynamic perspectives] (Tavistock Clinic and University of East London)
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy [clinical training] (Tavistock Clinic and University of Essex).
British Sociological Society; Tavistock and Portman Institute
British Psychoanalytic Council
Currently my main teaching commitments are connected to Social psychology: critical perspectives on self and others (DD307) for which I am Module Team Chair (Presentation) and Deputy Chair for the Award Board. I have also been a central member of the Life-Cycle Review team, acting as Deputy Chair for the production undertaken as part of that review. I will contribute to aspects of the new production to be undertaken by the Psychology department. Since 2007, I have also contributed to Research methods dissertation in social sciences (D845), the Social Science Faculty’s Master’s module in research methods.
My research focuses on formation and experience of gendered and racialised subjectivity in situated contexts across a range of sites, including that of the welfare agency; feminist organising; and interpersonal and intrapsychic dynamics constituted in the face of difference. My research is theoretically informed and empirically grounded. Empirically I have conducted three major pieces of research, each of which has provided the basis for numerous publications. Theoretically I have been concerned to explore how modes of colonial thought, with its constitution of radical difference grounded in the making of racialised and gendered subjects and identities are entangled in contemporary practices of citizenship and social welfare in ways that, I argue, mark them as postcolonial. I use a blend of poststructuralist, feminist, critical race, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and group analytic theory to show how social policy formations, organisational and professional practices are implicated in the processes by which specific ethnic groups are marked as less than full citizens. I trace this as a social process of racialisation in which forms of colonial thought are simultaneously disavowed and deployed to produce a narrow conception of multiculturalism in which ‘tolerance’ establishes the limits of the social.
I am also concerned to explore in an empirically grounded fashion, the ways in which processes of racialisation and gender formation shape or impact upon the dynamics of social interaction in everyday practicein welfare organisations. I explore the social and systems-psychodynamic flows and shifts in the everyday livedness of racialised and gendered identities. This involves an interrogation of ways in which the discourses of ‘race’, ethnicity and gender circulating in specific arena configure the organisational and affective terrain of daily practice. I investigate how the subject positions they offer are inhabited and how both the terms of daily practice and subjectivities on offer are disturbed or contested by those subject to them. As the site for the enactment of social citizenship, I argue that the terrain of daily life, including its psychic dimensions, inside the welfare agency is a central meeting point for multiple and competing conceptions of difference. I foreground the disjunction between policy understandings of difference (and its implications for professional practice) and those understandings of differencethat emerge from the subjectivitiesand experiences of professionals and clients (both of whom are embodied through the dynamic confluence of intrapsychic conflicts, inter-subjective entanglement and discourses of social difference) as they interact in the course of institutional life.
A third strand of my work involves exploration of the ways in which narratives of experience, as constituted in conditions of hierarchically organised social difference, provide a powerful lens though which to analyse the ways in which policies, discourses and practices of citizenship and welfare partially configure micro-social interaction. Part of this exploration involves the ways in which selves and subjects are discontinuous with these policies, discourses and practices and through their practices of self signal sometimes subterranean, always multiple potentialities for a different kind of knowing and being. In this regard the psychoanalytic offers a fruitful place from which to begin the inquiry.
I am currently working on a single authored book of essays. Difficult Knowledge: gender and the trauma of race is a new project that will bring together a number of essays and which emerges from a plenary presentation that using autobiographical narrative form to explore the psycho-social dynamics and effects of discourses of racial difference on intimate relationships. It combines black feminist, critical raceand psychoanalytic theory to frame the essays and the narrative running across them.
A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
Citizenship: personal lives and social policy(2004) edited and co-authored. Bristol, The Policy Press in Association with the Open University.
‘Race’, Gender, Social Welfare: Encounters in a postcolonial society(2000) Cambridge, Polity Press.
Difficult Knowledges: gender and the trauma of race, proposal in preparation for submission to potential publisher – probably Duke University Press.
Rethinking European Welfare,(2001) edited (with J. Fink and J. Clarke), London.
Rethinking Social Policy, (2000) edited (with S. Gewirtz and J. Clarke), London, Sage.
Unsettling Welfare: The Reconstruction of Social Policy, (1998) edited (with G. Hughes, London, Routledge.
Forming Nation, Framing Welfare, 1998 editor, London, Routledge.
Charting the Journey: Writings by Black and Third World Women(1988) (edited with S. Grewal, J. Kay, L. Landor and P. Parmar), London, Sheba Feminist Books.
‘Unsafe Travel: Experiencing Intersectionality and Feminist Displacements’, (2013) Signs: a journal of women and culture (in press).
‘Only Connect? The difficult imperatives of the concepts we use’, (2013) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 20(1) (in press).
‘In the Absence of Truth at Least not the Lie: travels towards self, other and relatedness’, (2012) Psychology of Women Section Review (BPS).
‘Where Might I Find You’: Popular Music and the Internal Space of the Father’, (2012) Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, vol.17 Issue 2 (June).
‘Locating the Complexities of Feminist Europe’, (2012) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 19 (2).
‘Our Memories of the Uprising: the 1980s revisited’: report on a meeting, History Workshop Journal, Autumn 2011 (with Phillip Hatfield and Sarah Evans of the BL).
‘The ‘Europe’ of the European Journal of Women’s Studies’, (2010) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 18 (1).
‘Celebrating Intersectionality? Debates on a Multi-Faceted Concept in Gender Studies, (2009) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 16 (3).
‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’ (2009); Studies in the Maternal, vol.1(1), an e-journal.
‘Racialising Culture is Ordinary’, (2007) Cultural Studies 21/6 (Nov), pp.866-886.
‘Journeying Toward the Nation(al): Cultural Difference as the Impossibility of Citizenship’, (2006) Mobilities, vol. 1(3) November.
‘Imaginaries of Europe, Technologies of Gender, Economies of Power’, (2006) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 13(2), Spring, pp.87-102.
‘Cosmopolitan Phantasies and Multicultural Publics’, (2004) Treca special issue, Borders, Boundaries, Borderlands.
‘Welcome to the Margins: Diversity, Tolerance and Policies of Exclusion’, (2005) Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 28, no.3 May special issue, pp.536-558.
‘Contemporary political contexts, changing terrains and revisited discourses’, (2005) Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28, no.3, pp.423 – 444 (with Sarah Neal).
‘Audre Lorde: Vignette and Mental Conversations’, (2005), Feminist Review, 80, pp.130-145.
‘Racialising emotional labour and emotionalising racialised labour:anger, fear and shame in social welfare’, (2001) in Journal of Social Work Practice, vol.15, no.2, pp.125-142 (with Y. Gunaratnam).
‘Negotiated Belongings’ an interview with Simon Hamilton-Clarke (1998) in ‘Windrush Echoes’, Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, no.10, Autumn, pp.157–169.
‘Situated Voices: Black Women’s Experience and Social Work’ (1996) in Feminist Review 53, Summer, pp.24–56.
‘Welfare Settlements and Racializing Practices’, (1996) in ‘The Public Good’, Soundings: a Journal of Politics and Culture, pp.109–120.
‘Audre Lorde: Vignettes and Mental Conversations’ (1990) in Feminist Review 34, pp.100–114.
Mobilities (2006), vol.1(3), November, Special Issue, co-edited with Anne-Marie Fortier.
Ethnic and Racial Studies (2005), vol. 25(3) May Special Issue co-edited with Sarah Neal.
‘Windrush Echoes’ (1998) Special Issue of Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, no.10, Autumn, edited with L. Young.
‘Citizenship: Pushing the Boundaries’ (1997) Feminist Review 57, Autumn, with H. Crowley, P. Werbner, N. Yuval-Davis.
‘Contesting Feminist Orthodoxies’ (1996) Feminist Review 54, Autumn, with M. Storr.
‘The Irish Issue, The British Question’ (1995) Feminist Review 50, with C. Connolly, C. Hall, M. Hickman, A. Phoenix, A. Smyth (eds).
‘The New Politics of Sex and the State’ (1994) Feminist Review 48, with H. Crowley, N. Druce, M. MacIntosh, A. Whitehead (eds).
‘Thinking Through Ethnicities’ (1993) Feminist Review 45, with L. Gamman, C. Hall, A. Phoenix, A. Whitehead, L. Young (eds).
‘Many Voices, One Chant: Black Feminist Perspectives’ (1984) Feminist Review 17, with V. Amos, A. Mama and P. Parmar (eds).
Visions of Legacy: Legacies of Vision’ (2011) in Transatlantic Conversations: Feminism as Travelling Theory, ed. Kathy Davis and Mary Evans, London: Ashgate.
‘Reading Obama: Collective Responsibility and the Politics of Tears’, (2010) in Who Shall Be First: feminists think the 2008 Presidential Election, ed. Beverly Guy-Sheftal and Johnnetta Betsch-Cole, SUNY, (with M. Jacqui Alexander and Gloria Wekker).
‘Animating hatreds: research encounters, organisational secrets, emotional truths’, (2009, September), in Secrecy and Silence in the research process, ed. By Roisin Ryan-Flood and Ros Gill, London, Routledge.
‘Cosmopolitan Phantasies and Multicultural Publics’ (2007) in Wissenschaf(f)t Geschlecht ( Gendered Knowledge), L. Behmenburg, M. Berweger, J. Gevers, et.al. (eds), Frankfurt: Ulrike Helmer Verlag.
‘Racialising Culture is Ordinary’, in Contemporary Culture and Everyday Life, (2004) E.B. Silva and T. Bennett, (eds), Durham: Sociology Press, pp.111-129.
‘“Do Not Go Gently…”: Terrains of Citizenship and Landscapes of the Personal’, in Citizenship: personal lives and social policy (2004) G. Lewis (ed) Bristol: The Policy Press in association with The Open University, pp.1-37.
‘“All That Heaven Allows”: The Worker-Citizen in the Post-War Welfare State’, in Citizenship: personal lives and social policy (2004), ibid. (with J. Fink), pp.39-83.
‘Race’, ‘Ethnicity’ and Identity’, in Questioning Identity, (2004) K. Woodward (ed) London: Routledge (with A. Phoenix), pp. 115-150.
‘Migrants’ in The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, (2003) P. Alcock, A. Erskine and M. May (eds.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishers (second edition), pp.325-334.
‘Difference and Social Policy’, in Developments in British Social Policy 2, (2003) N. Ellison and C. Pierson (eds.), second edition Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.90-106.
‘Categories of Exclusion: “Race”, Gender and the Micro-social in Social Services Departments’ (2001) in The Changing Politics of Gender Equality in Britain, E. Breitenbach, A. Brown, F. Mackay, J. Webb, (eds.), Basingstoke, Palgrave, pp.143-163.
‘Transitions and Trajectories in European Welfare ’ (2001), in Rethinking European Welfare, J. Fink, G. Lewis and J. Clarke (eds.), London: Sage in association with The Open University (with J. Fink and J. Clarke, pp.1-30.
‘Expanding the Social Policy Imaginary’, in Rethinking Social Policy, (2000) G. Lewis, S. Gewirtz and J. Clarke (eds), London, Sage in association with The Open University, pp.1-21.
‘Discursive Histories, the Pursuit of Multiculturalism and Social Policy’ (2000) in Rethinking Social Policy, ibid. pp.259-275.
“Stuart Hall” and Social Policy’ ‘An Encounter of Strangers? (2000) in Without Guarantees , P. Gilroy, L. Grossberg, A. McRobbie (eds.), Verso Press, pp.193-202.
‘The Body and Social Policy: Social Policy and the Body’ (2000) in Organizing Bodies, L. Mackie et al. (eds.), Macmillan, with G. Hughes and E. Saraga (responsible for 80% of authorship), pp.10–31.
‘“Coming Apart at the Seams”: The Crises of the Welfare State’ (1998) in Unsettling Welfare: The Reconstruction of Social Policy, G. Hughes and G. Lewis (eds.), London, Routledge in association with The Open University, pp.39-79.
‘Citizenship’ (1998) in Imagining Welfare Futures, G. Hughes (ed.), London, Routledge, in association with The Open University, pp.103-150.
‘Welfare and the Social Construction of “Race”’ (1998) in Embodying the Social, E. Saraga (ed.), London, Routledge in association with The Open University, pp.91–138.
‘Black Women’s Employment and the British Economy’ (1993) in Inside Babylon: The Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, W. James and C. Harris (eds.) London, Verso, pp.73–96.
‘Who Feels It Knows It: Rethinking the Peace Movement’ (1988) in Charting the Journey, S. Grewal, J. Kay, L. Landor, G. Lewis and P. Parmar (eds.) London, Sheba, pp.271–277; and ‘Preface’, pp.1-6.
‘From Deepest Kilburn’ (1985) in Truth, Dare, Promise: Girls Growing Up in the Fifties, L. Heron (ed.) London, Virago, pp.213–236.
Last updated: 12 April 2013