Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism

Conference on challenges for research on racism, November 23-24, 2016

Conference Report

Between 1pm on November 23, and 1pm on November 24, Forum for Multidisciplinary Research on Racism arranged the conference Challenges for Research on Racism at Blåsenhus, Uppsala. The conference attracted more than a hundred participants, most of them scholars studying the various expressions of racism and who are active at a variety of Swedish universities, from Umeå University in the north to Malmö University in the south. Together, they covered a plethora of disciplines as well as methodological and theoretical perspectives. The conference was also attended by representatives from public authorities such as the Living History Forum and the Equality Ombudsman as well as other organizations with an interest in the issues discussed, such as the City of Stockholm Human Rights Council, Malmö mot Diskriminering (Eng. “Malmö against discrimination”), and the Multicultural Centre.

Introduction and the lecture “Where are we? Sweden, knowledge, and racism(s).”

Professor Professor Irene Molina and Senior lecture Anna-Sara Lind welcomed the conference attendees, emphasizing that this historic conference was part of Uppsala University’s initiative to establish a Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on Racism in 2017.

 Irene Molina, professor i kulturgeografi
Irene Molina, Professor
Anna-Sara Lind, docent i offentlig rätt
Anna-Sara Lind, senior lecture

Professor Mattias Gardell subsequently gave the lecture Where are we? Sweden knowledge, and racism(s), which accounted for the development of various theoretical understandings of racism and their basic importance for understanding society today and in history.

Mattias Gardell, professor Nathan Söderbloms professur i jämförande religionsvetenskap
Professor Mattias Gardell

Afterward, participants could choose between six parallel sessions, in which scholars presented ongoing, planned, or completed research projects pertaining to the theme of “Methods, theories, and research on the expressions of racism.” The sessions included Sámi researchers’ critical examination of colonial academic racism and its epistemology; research on anti-racism; whiteness in a globalized world; racism in the media; child perspectives on racism; and ethnic and religious registration as a research ethical dilemma. Abstracts for these sessions can be accessed below.

Lecture: “Militarizing race”

Wednesday’s schedule concluded with a lecture by Professor David Theo Goldberg from the University of California Humanities Research Institute, on the theme of “Militarizing race.” His lecture was based on a global survey of the increasingly militarized processes through which nation states construct themselves and police their boundaries through the racialized creation of difference between those who belong to the nation and those who do not.

professor David Theo Goldberg från University of California Humanities Research Institute
Professor David Theo Goldberg from University of California Humanities Research Institute

The first day of the conference ended with a reception, which gave attendees the opportunity to mingle and continue their discussions about the many important contributions of the day.

Day 2 – Race, racialization, racism – a discussion about theoretical concepts

The second day of the conference commenced with a panel discussion on the theme of “Race, racialization, racism – a discussion about theoretical concepts.” The panel consisted of Ylva Habel and Katarina Mattsson from Södertörn University, Patricia Lorenzoni from Linköping University, and Anders Neergaard from Linköping University, and was chaired by Edda Manga from the Multicultural Centre. The conference continued with an additional six parallel sessions in which participants discussed current research issues such as antisemitism; racism and racialization within health and medical care; hate crime research as a transdisciplinary and international project; racism and anti-racism in the school system; the genealogy of Swedish racism; and critical studies on racism and whiteness in Sweden. Abstracts for these sessions can be found below.

Concluding panel discussion and next year’s conference

After the sessions, all attendees gathered for the concluding panel discussion: “Research on racism and future challenges”. The panel comprised Stefan Jonsson from Linköping University, Gunilla Larsson and Irene Molina from Uppsala University, and Mekonnen Tesdahuney from Karlstad University, and was chaired by Adrian Groglopo, from the University of Gothenburg. Professors Irene Molina and Mattias Gardell made some concluding remarks, briefly discussing the most central themes addressed during the conference. Once again, they emphasised the historic nature of this event. In motivating the participants, the conference was the perfect starting point for more publically seeking to establish the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on Racism at Uppsala University. Before the attendees departed, they were welcomed to partake in next year’s conference in research on racism, which is scheduled for October 11-13, 2017, in Uppsala, and will revolve around the theme “Welfare and Racism.”

Sessions Day 1

Sessioner dag 2

Press release about the conference