“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot. ”
― Audre Lorde
I’ve decided to document my learning experience as I re-enter the world of academia. Learning is not a solitary process, it cannot and should not be done in isolation and to make my website some what useful, I thought it would be the perfect place to discuss and engage with you on a weekly basis what I’m learning on this (umm bank-breaking) course at the London School of Economics. After all, knowledge, learning and academia is a public good, a collective one.
As I start my Msc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies, my head is spinning with questions that I hope by the end of it, I will somehow reach some or many conclusions:
Is it worth it? Has my thinking grown, developed, critically and radically expanded? Or will I end up giving into pedantic thinking that often accompanies intellectualism and its abstraction? Will I remain here on earth? Will I find a way to translate concrete concerns into concrete visions? What tools will I gain? And most importantly, is there anything really valuable about higher education? Is it worth fighting for?
It’s strange to be doing such a radical course with radical, critically thinking academics in environment that is not only corporate, but ultimately Blairite. There is nothing comfortable about the LSE, having graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies just down the road, I feel at odds in this space where neoliberalism is both promoted and seemingly unchecked. My classes are mostly filled with international students which may make it difficult to maneuver through the urgent and necessary honesty required to break ground on many of the issues Britain is experiencing. Going from an albeit left wing one Political studies department to a Sociological one, I surprisingly feel at home despite the shaky ground on which I begin a course that our current government would find no real value in.
Unlike some of my classmates, I have no qualms in confessing that my postgraduate study is deeply personal, a personal that is unashamedly political. As a self-defined, politically black, pakistani, muslim, middle class, british, bisexual, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist feminist, I am desperate to locate, navigate and understand the space in which I exist historically and occupy socio-politically contemporaneously. I pick all my classes this term with this context in mind:
- Topics in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies (compulsory and taught by Professor Paul Gilroy, Dr Suki Ali and Dr Koushik Banerjea)
- Race, Ethnicity and Migration in Britain Post-1945 (taught by Dr Koushik Banerjea)
- Gender and Societies (taught by Dr Suki Ali)