Green Unpleasant Land: Rural Racism in Contemporary Britain

Event details


Nov 18, 2017
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM


Attenborough Film Theatre, Attenborough Tower

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In his book Landscape and Englishness, David Matless argues that ‘a sense of Englishness’ is ‘essentially rural’. The countryside is central to perceptions of what Englishness is, has been, and ought to be. Rural England is often seen as a refuge from urban life, and as home to the nation’s soul.

Research at the University’s Centre for Hate Studies shows that rural racism assumes a particularly persistent and virulent form. Yet historical, literary and sociological research is increasingly challenging notions that the countryside is a space of whiteness to which black Britons have never belonged.

This panel assembles two researchers, Corinne Fowler and Nathan Kerrigan, the author Catherine Johnson, writer Tajinder Hayer, rural racism policy expert Mohammed Dhalech, and a local farmer, David Mwanaka, to discuss the experience and phenomenon of rural racism. They will talk about the cultural and literary experiences which underpin this racism and consider how to combat it with evidence, writing and action.

David Mwanaka 200px.jpg
David Mwanaka

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Authors who have visited Literary Leicester include: Lauren Child, Louis de Bernières, Colin Dexter, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Frayn, Amitav Ghosh, Germain Greer, Linton Kwesi Johnon, Penelope Lively, David Lodge, Roger McGough, Will Self, Colm Tóibín, Sue Townsend, Fay Weldon and Jaqueline Wilson

"A serious gathering, seriously run, with a seriously cosmopolitan audience... Even I enjoyed it..." Will Self

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