Conference co-convenor Isabelle Higgins answers a few questions on the upcoming conference The post-Windrush generation: black British voices of resistance, on 6 and 7 May 2022.
Q: Isabelle, what is your conference about?
This conference focuses on Black British Voices of the Post-Windrush generation, a group of academics, activists and artists, and reflects on their contribution to British Society and the Black experience in Britain.
Q: What are the big themes addressed by this conference?
The conference is a real opportunity to reflect on the scholarship done by a specific generation of scholars, and to think about the notion of ‘resistance’ – asking what it means to resist systems of racialised oppression, and how different people have done this effectively in different ways.
Q: Who will the event be of interest to?
Scholars from across the arts and humanities seeking to understand recent histories of racialised oppression in the UK context, as well as scholars whose work focuses on the relationship between the West Indies and the rest of the world, either in the past or the present. I also think the conference holds real importance for a younger generation of scholars thinking about ‘race’, racism and/or intersectional oppression, as it gives context and history to many of the ideas and theories that we rely upon and mobilise today.
Q: How did this conference come about?
The conference is a result of Dr Kenny Monrose’s important work on the experiences of the Post-Windrush generation in Britain, and my co-convenor Joe Cotton’s commitment to anti-racist work within the University. When Kenny and Joe asked me to be part of the conference’s organising team I was delighted! As a daughter of the Post-Windrush generation, I grew up listening to stories about the lived experience and social context in which my mother and uncles grew up, experienced racism and resisted oppression in many forms. So, contributing to bringing together voices from this generation feels like a real honour.
Q: Who are the speakers and what can delegates expect from the conference?
The speakers are a wide and varied group, including eminent academics, artists and activists. I’m also really excited to see the contributions from my generation (who we might call the post-post-Windrush generation) and their responses to and reflections upon the important work done by the generation to which our mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles belong.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the conference?
Watch this space! Our hope is that the conference will be both a celebration and a starting point for ongoing conversations, education and collaboration about the role of the Post Windrush generation and how it can inform the practices and scholarship of the next generation.
Q: How can people find out more?
Isabelle Higgins is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Cambridge. Her current research, which she began as an undergraduate, focuses on examining the ways in which intersectional inequalities are reproduced in digital environments. She is currently working on a novel which draws on her experiences growing up mixed-race in rural Derbyshire in the 1990s, as well as wider experiences of her Afro-Caribbean family over three generations.