In recent years, sociologists have called attention to the everyday dynamics of ‘lived’ multiculture – the ‘local negotiations’ and ‘processes of cohabitation’ that have, it has been argued, made ethnic diversity an ‘ordinary feature’ of urban life – in Britain, and across mainland Europe. In this seminar, Kieran Connell from Queen’s University Belfast will explore how we might interrogate the historical dimensions of these themes by focusing on Balsall Heath, an inner-city area of Birmingham, Britain’s second city. As part of a wider project to examine the multicultural inner-city, Kieran makes the case for the importance of space in relation to what the cultural theorist Stuart Hall has called the process of multicultural ‘drift’. In this respect, sources such as photography offer a particularly useful way of getting at the topographical changes to the inner-city landscape brought about in the context of mass migration.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!
Kieran Connell is Lecturer in Contemporary British History at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a Fulbright Scholar and the co-editor of Cultural Studies 50 Years On. His first monograph, Black Handsworth: race in 1980s Britain, was published by the University of California Press in February 2019.