Talking cultural democracy at Research Fortnight

While on a tour earlier today in the newsroom at Research Fortnight (RF), I was momentarily reminded of my earlier days as a journalist, seeking out the next exclusive – only this time I was not the one asking the questions!

On this occasion I was in the newsroom at the invitation of RF journalist Adam Smith to speak to 14 journalists including RF Editor Ehsan Masood about Black British Academics, cultural democracy and my developments in research around cultural democracy at Bournemouth University, which I joined as a full-time  lecturer in  September 2014.

It was a challenge to cover so much ground in 20 minutes, but thanks to Adam’s firm chairing I stuck to the allotted time, which allowed a generous 40 minutes for questions while tucking into a Victoria sandwich cake filled with fresh cream, brought especially for the occasion!

During my talk I relayed how Black British Academics has grown exponentially over just two years from a network for staff and students of colour, to an organisation leading institutional change across the higher education sector.

I shared how I transfer professional practice undertaken through Black British Academics into pedagogic development and research incorporating cultural democracy as a conceputal framework.

At a recent conference in Dubai I attended to present a research paper where cultural democracy formed the conceptual framework, there was intense interest from fellow academics around the world about cultural democracy.

They were keen to explore the potential of cultural democracy as a framework through which to better understand and address issues around race and ethnicity in different cultural contexts, for example among different ethnic groups in Nigeria, Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt and Malaysia to name a few.

Through cultural democracy, I aim to turn my vision for a world where all ethnic and cultural groups have an equal share of the social, cultural, economic and political power in society, into a reality.   So watch this space!


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Dr Deborah Gabriel

Dr Gabriel is a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University in the Faculty of Media and Communication - and the Founder of Black British Academics. A self-defined scholar-activist, she is concerned with contributing to social justice and equality. Her research interests are focused around political communication and discourse, raced and gendered constructions and representations in media and popular culture, equality, inclusion and liberation in teaching practice and the dynamics of race, ethnicity and culture in higher education. In addition to a full-time academic role, she also undertakes consultancy work in research, public relations, strategic communication, equality, diversity and inclusion in educational and academic practice.

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