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.
The book brought 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.
New Urban Multicultures: Conviviality and Racism will address these different dimensions of contemporary multiculture. Papers cover an array of topics including the dynamics of urban encounters, place and belonging, migration, new ethnicities, popular music, and aesthetic responses to multiculture. The programme is now online.
The conference is sponsored by the Centre for Urban and Community Research, the Department of Media and Communications and the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London.
About the organisers:
Dr Emma Jackson
Emma is a lecturer in Sociology. Previously, she held an Urban Studies Foundation Fellowship at the University of Glasgow. She teaches, researches and writes on cities, belonging and the production of space. She is author of Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility (2015), co-author of The Middle Classes and the City: a Study of Paris and London (2015) and co-editor of Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location (2014).
Dr Anamik Saha
Anamik is a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications. Before coming to Goldsmiths he worked in the University of Leeds, first as an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow and then as a Lecturer in Communications. His research interests are in race and cultural production in its industrial and urban contexts. He has published his work in journals such as Media Culture and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities, and European Journal of Cultural Studies. He is currently writing a book entitled Race and the Cultural Industries for Polity Press.