School of Sociology and Social Policy Research Seminar: From 'diversity' to reparative justice - Dismantling racial inequalities in media

We are delighted to welcome Anamik Saha (University of Leeds) to deliver the School Research Seminar.

Abstract: While theorists of racial capitalism generally take as their subject the ongoing forms of racial violence enacted against those deemed of less value there has been an interest in well in how race is turned into commodity form.  

This is  most evident in critical accounts of the ascendency of ‘diversity’ in public discourse. In these accounts diversity is understood as the way that the dominant culture extracts economic value from racial capital, in order to produce sales, or accumulating brand value, most starkly illustrated in media culture. It is against this context that this paper presents a theoretical case for the need for replacing diversity with a language of reparative justice.  

Firstly, it makes a distinction between 'reparations' as compensation, and 'reparation' as repair. It is this latter, broader notion of reparation that underpins my notion of reparative justice.  

Secondly it focuses on the role of media in a reparative justice programme. It is argued that media play a key role in providing the platform for a range of different artistic, theoretical and political interventions that explore how legacies of empire shape the present and the experiences of ancestors of colonialism and slavery.  

Thirdly, the paper provides concrete examples of the types of radical policies that come with a reparative politics framing, including a case for affirmative action. 

About Anamik Saha

Anamik Saha is a Professor in Race and Media in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. He is interested broadly in race, culture and media, with a particular focus on creative and cultural industries and issues of ‘diversity’.  

He is the author of Race and the Cultural Industries (Polity, 2018), Race, Culture and Media (Sage, 2021) and the co-author AHRC-funded industry report Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing (with Dr Sandra van Lente, Goldsmiths Press, 2020). His research has featured across a range of media, including BBC Radio, The Guardian, TES and The New Statesman.   

He was included in the The Bookseller’s 2020 list of most influential people in the book trade. He is an editor of European Journal of Cultural Studies. 

How to join the seminar

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 832 3441 7878 

Passcode: 00Yzx+ 

No booking required.