It has been exactly one Gregorian-calendar-month since I left Granada, Spain, where I attended the Critical Muslim Studies two-week summer school. I had intended to write up some notes or musings as soon as I got back because there was so much to reflect on from what I enjoyed, to what frustrated me, and unresolved questions. But upon returning to the UK a certain heaviness … Continue reading What if Neo had taken both pills? | A Reflection on a Summer School and Feelings of Madness
This week marks the beginning of my year of studying (Postcolonial Studies) at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London. Though practically unheard of by many, SOAS has a reputation for being a very political space and an institution with appreciation for critical and sometimes radical analysis and thought. To my mind, entering this space would be jumping from one extreme experience of … Continue reading SOAS vs Cambridge
note: – the term BME used in this article is based on UK terminology to refer to members of non-white British communities (who this article is primarily aimed at): Black and minority ethnic. – the term Oxbridge is a blended word referring to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Do it. Don’t be a potential applicant, apply. Apply with gusto. Apply immediately. Apply with full faith … Continue reading To The Non-White Potential Oxbridge Applicants
This is going to be a post based on a talk I gave last week (I have always wanted to say that, please forgive the pretentiousness). It was loosely about ‘Liberating Academia’ and what that would entail. Two other amazing panellists talked about their experiences and ideas too and for my part, I talked about my experience studying history and my conception of what liberation … Continue reading Liberating Academia: Believe Nothing, Question Everything
Only one month into my final year, thoughts of What’s Next have begun to creep upon me. I have found myself in an increasingly confused and contradictory mind-set. A part of me wants to consider further-study – perhaps a year of Gender Studies or maybe even more History – but another part of me wants out of here; out of institutions and academia into real … Continue reading To Stay or Not To Stay, that is the question.
Seeing all the new faces around Cambridge this past week has made me rather sentimental. Memories of fresher’s week and the whole fear-ridden first term come flooding back. I search amongst those new faces especially for brown and black faces. I search for them because I wish somebody had searched for me. Everytime I see a woman in a hijab I feel overwhelmed with excitement, … Continue reading Cambridge: the benevolent aggressor
This week I got a brief and exhilarating taste of the legitimacy with which people can treat you with if you’re white. I was ringing around archives to find out about dissertation research and at one point I realised, everyone was treating me with a bizarre level of legitimacy that I had not before experienced in doing my research. In that moment, it hit me. … Continue reading On “Sounding White” and Being Brown
Cambridge’s Women’s Forum was hosted by FLY (the BME women’s group) last night. It was a fantastic event and a lively discussion where a lot of people probably were made to consider things they hadn’t before. One of the points I was keen to emphasise at the event was one which is especially relevant to Cambridge and other ‘intellectual’ spaces: that of invalidating people’s lived experiences. … Continue reading Academic invalidation of Lived Experience