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Sociology Research


In Michaelmas 2020, the Race Research Cluster will be re-launching within the Sociology Department.

Our aims for re-launching the cluster are to bring together faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in the university researching or taking interest in 'race', creating a space to discuss our academic endeavours and gain insight into new, intersectional and transnational approaches and understandings. We want our initiatives to be accessible to all, and we welcome involvement and engagement, so please do get in touch with suggestions or questions. 


Dates: 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th November & 3rd December at 1-2pm.

Throughout Michaelmas and Lent term we are running a new reading group, based on the syllabus created by the Centre for Critical Race and Digital Studies and edited by Lori Kido Lopez and Jackie Land.

We have a wonderful group of participants - students, research associates and staff members from across the University. We're looking forward to hearing from different members who will be convening sessions that connect to their areas of interest.

You can sign up for the reading group through this Google form.


Dates: 11th November, 11am. 

This is a monthly reading group which attempts to go beyond race theory rooted in a US-centric focus, and explore explanations of racialization and racial inequalities across different geographies and societies.

Each month, a different facilitator will introduce a text relevant to their researchinterest/specialization, which is collectively read and discussed. The group is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and staff across the university who have an interest in the sociology of race and ethnicity.

Please contact Jonathan at if you have any questions, or have an interest in facilitating a session.


Each month we send out a newsletter with details of upcoming events, as well as recommendations and other news.

You can sign up for the newsletter and for our reading groups through this Google form.

Who we are

There are six of us co-convening the Race Research Cluster this year, all postgraduate students in the Department of Sociology. See our bios (in alphabetical order) below: 

  • Dina Benderra (db838) is a first year PhD student in Sociology, whose research explores institutional cultural productions of race in France. She is interested in decolonial theory, power structures, and neoliberalism.
  • Aisling Gilgeours (alg77) is an MPhil Sociology (Marginality & Exclusion Pathway) student, whose research focuses on racial identity with a focus on class differences in identity formation and expression for Black mixed-race women.
  • Susan Jean (sej59) is a first year PhD student in Sociology, whose research focuses on race, racism and racialisation in the fashion industry, drawing on the cultural industries approach to understanding cultural production in conjunction with critical race theory.
  • Sophie Marie Niang (smn41) is a first year PhD student in Sociology whose research focuses on Blackness in France, drawing on queer theory and cultural studies to conceptualise Afropean worldmaking. 
  • Jonathan Yong Tienxhi (jy423) is a PhD Candidate in Sociology whose research interests lie at the intersection of race and ethnicity studies, Southeast Asian studies and decolonial theory.