Facts & figures

  • 50+ ADA Staff & Students
    participating in the project
  • 5 Thematic Project Teams
    are addressing a range of issues
  • 10+ Projects for 2022
    contact Innovation Hub to get involved

Project Overview 2021-2022

The Antiracism Collective was set up in late 2021 as a faculty-wide project within ADA, under the auspices of the ADA Innovation Hub. Established by Professor Ramaswami Harindranath and Professor Claire Annesley, this project presents an initial attempt to tackle the question: How do we understand racism, and what is the role of the university in tackling racism and racialisation both within the institution and more broadly?

This Collective is a genuinely multidisciplinary, collaborative initiative with active participation and support from academic and professional staff as well as Higher Degree Research (HDR) students from all the Schools across ADA. Buoyed by the astonishing turnout of about sixty ADA colleagues and HDR students at our first meeting in June 2021, and by the enthusiasm, commitment, and passion that was evident at that meeting, the Collective has identified five themes through which to address the issue of ‘race’, racism, and racialisation. 

Through a process of consultation and collaboration the following set of inter-related Themes were established:

  • Research and Scholarship
  • Curriculum
  • Institutional Issues
  • Outreach and Activism
  • Public Engagement

In late 2021 a leadership team and project structure were established, and project team members nominated. These teams have spent the initial months of this year defining and scoping project goals for 2022. The focus this year is on goals that are both achievable in 2022 and can potentially lay the foundation on which future initiatives that were deemed necessary for genuine and long-lasting changes can be built. The overall vision and ambitions for the collective are far reaching, and we hope that more ADA colleagues and students will join us on this enterprise. 

Theme Overviews, Leadership Team, and Project Goals for 2022 

Antiracism Collective Academic Lead: 
Ramaswami Harindranath – Professor, School of Arts & Media

Antiracism Collective Advisory Board:
Andrea Durbach – Emeritus Professor, UNSW Law, and past Director Human Rights Institute 
Stephen Loo – Professor, School of Art & Design
Anna Munster – Professor, School of Art & Design
BJ Newton – Associate Dean Indigenous, Arts, Design and Architecture

Research and Scholarship Theme:

This theme seeks to:

Map and interrogate conceptual/theoretical vocabularies and debates, including race and identity; race, class, and gender; philosophies of and approaches to race & racism; racial capitalism; epistemic violence; Global South; race & environmental issues; representation; asylum seekers & refugees; racial justice; modernity-decoloniality; other knowledges and epistemological practices.

Theme Leadership:
Andrew Brooks – Lecturer, School of Arts & Media 
Astrid Lorange – Senior Lecturer, School of Art & Design 

Project Leaders:
Awni Etaywe - ADA HDR Candidate
Shima Saniei - ADA HDR Candidate

Projects for 2022: 

a) Resources: develop a collection of curated resource lists around key topics in antiracist scholarship and compile research report around the state of race critical and anti-racist scholarship in higher education.
b) Seminars: run a seminar series that features talks from invited scholars from within and outside UNSW.
c) HDR workshop: develop a workshop on anti-racist methodologies and approaches to scholarship to run during the faculty wide HDR conference.

Curriculum Theme:

This theme seeks to:

Explore the possibility of a major or minor in Antiracism Studies (or Black Studies, or Race & Culture Studies – yet to be decided); introduce discussions on racism and racialisation in appropriate courses in ADA streams and specialisations – bring ‘race’ in; analyse colonialism and knowledge practices; decolonise/internationalise the curriculum (relevant concepts; reading lists); explore Black Atlantic/Pacific Studies, to sit alongside Indigenous Studies and Asian Studies.

Theme Leadership: 
Mengistu Amberber – Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Languages 
R. Harindranath – Professor, School of Arts & Media

Project Leaders:
Bonaventure Munganga - ADA HDR Candidate
Aves Parsemain - ADA Educational Developer
Maimuna Musarrat - ADA Educational Developer

Projects for 2022:

a) Courses: research students’ interest in and demand for courses on issues of racial difference and racism, multiculturalism, refugee experience and policy, national identity, extremist politics, non-White epistemologies, etc.
b) Internationalise curriculum: explore possibilities of including scholarship from outside Euro-America in appropriate ADA courses.
c) Minor/major: develop a proposal for establishing a minor and possibly a major in Race & Culture Studies, or Black Studies in the ADA curriculum.

Institutional Issues Theme:

This theme seeks to:

Tackle various forms of racism and the racialisation of academic and professional staff; promote diversity of knowledges and approaches; confront racialisation of international students and domestic students of colour; argue for more pastoral and academic support for international students; disrupt practices of normalising Whiteness; advocate for the appointment of persons of colour in leadership positions. 

Theme Leadership:
Srinjoy Bose – Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences 
R. Harindranath – Professor, School of Arts & Media

Project Leaders:
Helen Caple – Associate Professor, School of Arts & Media
Chi Chi Huang - Postdoctoral Fellow, Humanities and Languages
Diana Kreemers - ADA HDR Candidate

Projects for 2022:

a) Challenges faced by Persons of Colour: raise awareness of PoC-related issues and concerns in the UNSW community.
b) Policies: interrogate and address potential limitations and gaps in UNSW processes and policy documents, and advocate for more diversity in leadership roles in the university.
c) Student support: advocate for more support for international and domestic PoC students.

Outreach and Activism Theme:

This theme seeks to: 

Develop strategies to work with organisations and institutions in the broader community outside the university to promote racial equality, tackle racism/racialisation, and promote diversity, including school curriculum and pedagogy; political representation – develop partnerships with advocacy groups such as Politics in Colour, Women of Colour Australia, and with refugee support organisations such as Refugee Art Project and Refugee Welcome Centre; and develop ARC Linkage project applications. 

Theme Leadership: 
Rose Amazan – Senior Lecturer, School of Education
Katherine Thompson – Program Manager, School of Education

Project Leaders:
Shima Saniei – ADA HDR Candidate

Collaborators:
Dakota Smith: ADA Cultural Reflexivity initiative

Projects for 2022:

a) Children’s literature ‘discussion guides’ and workshops:​​​​​​​ working in collaboration with the ADA Cultural Reflexivity initiative, organise and document ‘book club’ sessions where staff come together to discuss First Nations literature for children, and develop reading and discussion guides to assist parents, carers, and teachers.
b) RAS advocacy: facilitate refugee-led peer support and advocacy groups for Refugee and Asylum seeker students and prospective students. 

Public Engagement Theme:

This theme seeks to:

Organise substantial public-facing events, including talks, panel discussions with artists, writers, political representatives, sportspersons, filmmakers; exhibit and promote minority artists and writers; and develop partnerships with national media organisations such as the ABC, SBS and the Guardian. 

Theme Leadership:
José da Silva – Director, Art & Design Galleries

Projects for 2022: 

Two Public facing events developed in collaboration with the above Themes. 

In addition, broader aims for each of these Themes include building collaborative relationships with partners both internal and external to the University to widen the scope and impact of the Collective. 

We encourage more participation from ADA staff and students in these projects. If you would like to find out more, please contact R. Harindranath or Carly Vickers (Academic Lead, ADA Innovation Hub).