Dr Laura Guimarães Corrêa (Brazil)

Dr Laura Guimarães Corrêa (Brazil)

Dr Laura Guimarães Corrêa is an Associate Professor in the Social Communications Department at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil and is currently Director of the Advertising and Propaganda Program.

She coordinated the Research Group in Advertising, Media and Consumption (GrisPub) between 2012 and 2018 and led the funded research project Urban Writings Over the Official Discourse: Tension, Appropriation and Resistance at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 2015-2016.

Dr Guimarães Corrêa is a board member of CISECO (International Association of Semiotics and Communication) and is the leader of CORAGEM (Research Group on Communication, Race and Gender).

She researches, supervises and publishes on image, race, gender, intersectionality, visual communication, urban interventions, advertising and consumption. She is Co-Editor of Media, Institutions and Values (2012) and Editor of Black Voices in Communications: media, racisms, resistances (2019).

Prof William Lez Henry (UK)

Prof William Lez Henry (UK)

William Lez Henry is Professor of Criminology and Sociology in the School of Human and Social Sciences at University of West London. His areas of expertise are criminology, sociology, anthropology, race, education, ethnicity, youth crime and cultural studies. In addition to his academic career, Professor Henry is  reggae Deejay Lezlee Lyrix , a writer, poet and community activist who has been interviewed extensively for television and radio.

Prof Robbie Shilliam (USA)

Prof Robbie Shilliam (USA)

Robbie Shilliam is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science in the Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. He researches the political and intellectual complicities of colonialism and race in the global order; was a co-founder of the Colonial/Postcolonial/Decolonial working group of the British International Studies Association and is a long-standing active member of the Global Development section of the International Studies Association. Over the past six years, Robbie has co-curated with community intellectuals and elders a series of exhibitions in Ethiopia, Jamaica and the UK, which have brought to light the histories and significance of the Rastafari movement for contemporary politics.

He is currently working on three strands of inquiry: firstly, a re-reading of classical political economy through its intimate relationship to Atlantic slavery, with a bearing towards contemporary controversies regarding “social conservatism”; secondly, a retrieval of Ethiopianism as a critical orientation towards global order, especially in terms of its cultivation of a tradition of anti-colonial anti-fascism from the 1930s onwards; and thirdly, South-South anti-colonial connections, especially between peoples of the African Diaspora and indigenous movements.

Robbie is committed to building capacity in Political Science and International Relations for postcolonial teaching and learning. To that effect, he is presently writing a book for undergraduates which reveals the colonial and postcolonial roots of the academic study of politics as well as providing alternative routes of investigation and understanding. Decolonizing Politics will be published by Polity Press in 2020.

Prof Shirley Thompson (UK)

Prof Shirley Thompson (UK)

Shirley Thompson, Professor of Music at the University of Westminster, is a distinguished composer, visionary artist and cultural activist who has composed extensively for television, film, theatre, dance and opera. Her music is performed and screened worldwide and often described as “superbe” (Le Figaro). A visionary artist and cultural activist, Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years. New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony performed and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is an epic musical story celebrating London’s thousand-year history, and one in which the RPO is accompanied by two choirs, solo singers, a rapper and dhol drummers, a total of nearly 200 performers. This extraordinary work was originally commissioned to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the concept was latterly assumed as a framework for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She has also composed extensively for TV/film, theatre, dance and opera production, always driven by the belief in the transformative power of music to affect social, cultural and political change an approach that has been unique in the genre.

Thompson’s musical experience began with her playing the violin for various youth symphony orchestras in London, as well as choral singing with local choirs in Newham. After studying Musicology at the University of Liverpool and then specialising in Composition at Goldsmiths’ College, her first major commission came from the Greenwich International Festival, when she composed a chamber orchestral work entitled Visions, performed by the Greenwich Ensemble.

Since her 2-Act opera, A Child of the Jago, Thompson has composed a number of music theatre works. The Woman Who Refused to Dance (2007)was specially commissioned for the opening of the Parliamentary exhibition, British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People. Spirit Songs (2007)an orchestral song-trilogy was performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre and to commemorate 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency, Thompson was commissioned by South Bank Centre to compose Voice of Change (2009). The BBC Concert Orchestra Principals and vocal soloists performed this work.

She is currently working with the Minerva Scientifica/Franklin Effect project (since 2015) with the Electric Voice Theatre and Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music as mentor. Here four women composers and four women scientists collaborate to produce musical artworks that integrate scientific research, composition and performance. The resulting pieces have been performed at venues including the Science Museum, the Anatomy Museum, Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A CD of the works, The Franklin Effect, is now available on First Hand records and has garnered significant media attention.