Doctoral Study

Students in my doctoral group are doing critical research across a variety of substantive areas, including youth studies, arts-based and performance research, decolonising education, critical whiteness studies, and critical race theory. I accept a few doctoral students each year. My group meets regularly to share and develop their research projects. If you are interested in joining this group, please send me a research proposal and your CV.

Current Doctoral Students

Amina Shareef is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research focusses on the impact of the War on Terror on Young British Muslim women. Drawing on her ethnographic data, she is currently developing a theory of besieged life. To do so, she draws on the works of Abdul JanMohamed, Alexander Weheliye, and Judith Butler to engage the theoretical writings of Giorgio Agamben on Bare life and the State of Exception. She is theorizing besieged life as a death-bound subjectivity that is raced through the emergency discourses of the War on Terror and whose racialization marks it as assailable, as the less-than-human targets of racial violence. Amina is a grassroots community-organizer, working with the non-profit advocacy organization, Muslim Engagement and Development, to tackle Islamophobia in Britain. Amina is passionate about creating alternative educational spaces for young Muslim women to learn and flourish. She currently runs an online, national, youth program that aims to nurture critical consciousness and leadership capacity within Muslim females between the ages of 12 and 18.

Dami Ladipo holds a BSc in Sociology and Education Studies and an MSc in International Social Change and Policy. Her primary research interests are decolonising higher education (HE), desecularising HE, the sociology of education and racialisation and identity. Dami’s research investigates and theorises decolonising being in a colonised space. Drawing on Ruth Nicole Brown’s SOLHOT model, and accounts of black girlhood, Dami seeks to explore how Black-British Women enact Black-British Womanhood Making (BBWM) as tool for reckoning with coloniality in elite UK higher education institutions and the coloniality of being. Dami’s research is premised on the notion that coloniality is rampant within UK HE institutions. Dami highlights that HE must be reconstructed before it can become a space in which black women can thrive and enjoy progressive carers. Dami is passionate about decolonising through the form and content of her research and employs multiple registers of argument in her work, utilising poetry, and critical arts-based research methods. Dami adopts anti-respectability methodologies as a tool for breaking away from the colonised confides of standard social science research practices.

Debbie Yeboah’s research focuses on utilizing contemporary African artwork as a pathway towards decolonial art education. The aim of her research is to support Africans in rethinking the dominant Western epistemological framing of education and aesthetics, while refusing engrained colonial sensibilities which privilege Euro-American art. A Cambridge Trust Scholar from Ghana, her conceptual work draws from Walter Mignolo, Sylvia Wynter and Frantz Fanon, exploring themes of epistemic violence, repair, affect, and coloniality. To draw out these themes, her research design interweaves visual analysis, art-making, and auto-ethnography, in an attempt to explore what African contemporary art can teach us about how to decolonize. This work endeavors to contribute towards future foundations of art pedagogy/curriculum in Ghana. Debbie is also an artist and former art teacher herself, and currently serves as the President of the Ghanaian Society of Cambridge University, and the Executive Committee of the African Society of Cambridge University, chairing a dialogue series called Africa Over Coffee.

Ranjini’s research examines how ideas of identity, citizenship and nation encapsulated within Indian classical dance essentialize and reinstate socio-religious hierarchies. In locating the aesthetics of Indian classical dance as a politico-cultural choice, her research investigates who makes this choice and to what end. A Kuchipudi practitioner, Ranjini is supported by the Cambridge International scholarship, which is awarded by Cambridge Trust, and, a Newnham College studentship, awarded by her affiliate college. She writes regularly on developments in dance in India, and her articles have appeared in Firstpost and The Hindu. As a dancer, she has received scholarships from both the Ministry of Culture, India, as well as the cultural wing of the government of Delhi, and is an accredited artist of the national broadcasting agency.

Shuling Wang, a former English teacher in China, studies how whiteness shapes the English language teaching (ELT) industry in China and impacts the experiences of women teachers. Her project brings the intersections of race, gender and language into one conversation to explore how Chinese teachers interpret and respond to their experiences and feelings of racism and sexism in the industry. Her aim is to make a contribution to building a theory for a critical understanding of race in China. Prior to Cambridge, Wang obtained her MA in Sociology of Education with Distinction from the Institute of Education, University College London.