Who are we?
The Decolonising SOAS Working Group comprises a range of staff and students from around the School, including Student Union sabbatical officers and other postgraduate and undergraduate students, colleagues from Student Advice and Wellbeing, academic colleagues from different fields, GTAs, colleagues working on Quality Assurance and Learning and Teaching matters and the Pro-Directors for Learning and Teaching and Research and Enterprise.
Students and staff involved in the Decolonising SOAS Working Group include the following:
Meera Sabaratnam, Chair of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group. Dr Meera Sabaratnam is Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Her research interests are in the colonial and postcolonial dimensions of international relations, in both theory and practice. She has worked on questions of decolonisation, Eurocentrism, race and methodology in IR. She has applied these concepts to the analysis of international development aid, peacebuilding and statebuilding, most recently in her book Decolonising Intervention (2017). Her regional interests are in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Currently she is working on questions of race in IR theory and a postcolonial historiography of the First World War.
Lindiwe Dovey. Dr Lindiwe Dovey is a scholar, teacher, filmmaker, and film curator, and her work aims to combine film scholarship and practice in mutually enlightening ways. As a filmmaker she has concentrated on making adaptations of literature (for example, of Olive Schreiner and Vladimir Nabokov’s writing), and adaptation and cultural appropriation are also topics she has reflected on in depth in her scholarly work. As a film curator, Lindiwe has been instrumental in raising the profile and visibility of African film in the UK. She is the Co-Founder of Film Africa, for which she was also the Co-Director and the Film Programme Director in 2011 and 2012; and the Founding Director of the Cambridge African Film Festival, the UK’s longest running annual African film festival.
Awino Okech. Dr. Awino Okech’s teaching and research interests lies in the nexus between gender, sexuality and nation/state making projects as they occur in conflict and post-conflict societies. In addition, Dr Okech sees the processes through which knowledge production occurs as critical to transforming and re-thinking academic practice today. Therefore the politics of knowledge production, research and research(ing) form a central part for her teaching and researching focus.
Rachel Humphreys. Rachel Humphreys is Head of the International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies at SOAS.
Manjeet Ramgotra. Dr Manjeet Ramgotra studied Politics and French at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and after living in France for a number of years, she wrote a PhD in political theory at the LSE on the conservative roots of republicanism in the history of western political thought. More recently, her research has developed to examine republicanism in the twentieth-century post-colonial moment, notably in the founding of the Indian republic. Manjeet is a strong advocate of decolonising the curriculum and has reconceptualized her teaching to include more women, people of colour and to reconsider how we construct knowledge.
Romina Istratii. Dr Romina Istratii has eight years’ experience as a decolonial development researcher and practitioner working to consolidate cosmology-sensitive and people-centred methodologies for analysing and addressing issues with gender dimensions in religious societies of Africa. Dr Istratii has been an active member of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group since 2016, first participating as one of the student Editors-in-Chief of The SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research (SJPR) and then in her capacity as Research Funding Officer in SOAS’s Research and Enterprise Directorate, where she has worked since completing her PhD. In her role, Dr Istratii has been actively working on: a) extending research development and funding resources to SOAS PhD students as part of ‘decolonising’ the doctoral experience, b) developing online training materials for SOAS researchers to help them in navigating better ethical concerns and hierarchies in international research vis-à-vis the current regulatory/governance funding framework of the UK/EU, and c) promoting conversations between UK funders and research office staff and decolonial academics at SOAS to increase reflexivity about inequalities in research development and to inspire creative initiatives for change. Dr Istratii keeps a log of her activities on decolonising research development and funding here.
Julia Sallabank. Dr Julia Sallabank is Reader in Language Policy and Revitalisation in the Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, SOAS.
Alyosxa Tudor. Dr Alyosxa Tudor is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. Their work connects trans and queer feminist approaches with transnational feminism and postcolonial studies. Alyosxa’s main research interest lies in analysing (knowledge productions on) migrations, diasporas and borders in relation to critiques of Eurocentrism and to processes of gendering and racialisation.
Angus Lockyer. Dr Angus Lockyer is a Lecturer in the History of Japan in the Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies at SOAS. He is also a member of the SOAS Japan Research Centre (JRC).
Amina Yaqin. Dr Amina Yaqin is Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies in the Centre for English Studies, School of Arts.
I grew up in Lahore and have been a member of permanent academic staff at SOAS since 2000. I began my career in the South Asia Dept where I taught Urdu. Given my interest in feminist writing and theory I became co-founding chair of the Centre for Gender Studies and as a regional specialist I went on to serve as the founding Chair of the Centre for the Study of Pakistan. As a teacher, I am proud to have introduced the Postcolonial Theory and Practice course at SOAS and the MA Postcolonial Studies. I am inspired by the global decolonising movement and I am deeply invested in it as a parent, a teacher and a researcher. My research is interdisciplinary and I work across literary studies, cultural studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies to inform my critical practice. I have published in peer reviewed journals such as Interventions, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Fashion Theory, Pakistaniaat. My major publications include a co-authored book with Peter Morey on Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and Representation after 911(Harvard University Press, 2011); co-edited books on Contesting Islamophobia: media, politics and culture(IB Tauris/Bloomsbury 2019); Muslims, Trust and Multiculturalism: New Directions(Palgrave MacMillan 2018); Culture, Diaspora and Modernity in Muslim Writing(Routledge 2012). I have been a collaborator with Peter Morey on two cutting edge research projects, an AHRC funded International Research Network Grant on Framing Muslimsand an RCUK funded Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue. I am currently leading a seedcorn funded project on Empathy, Trust and Cultural Difference.I enjoy public engagement and have co-curated a literature festival and a photography exhibition. I have also presented at Lahore, Karachi, Dhaka, Lutonia, and Bradford Literature Festivals.I love to translate poetry and creative writing is a hidden passion. Both aspects of my work have been published in journals. I welcome Mphil/PhD students who would like to work on themes related to postcolonial theory, literature, gender and culture. I am currently co-editor of a book series with five inter-university colleagues on Multicultural Textualitiespublished by Manchester University Press. I also act as Advisory Board member for the Journal for Commonwealth Literature, Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studiesand the Anthem series on South Asian Literature, Aesthetics and Culture