Wednesday 20th October 2021, 5:30 to 7pm. Online.
Dr Nadine El-Enany (Birkbeck College, University of London)
(B)ordering Britain: Law, race and empire
In this seminar Dr Nadine El-Elany will be discussing her book (B)ordering Britain: law, race and empire (2020) which argues that Britain is the spoils of empire, its immigration law is colonial violence and irregular immigration is anti-colonial resistance. In announcing itself as postcolonial through immigration and nationality laws passed in the 60s, 70s and 80s, Britain cut itself off symbolically and physically from its colonies and the Commonwealth, taking with it what it had plundered. This imperial vanishing act cast Britain’s colonial history into the shadows. The British Empire, about which Britons know little, can be remembered fondly as a moment of past glory, as a gift once given to the world. Meanwhile immigration laws are justified on the basis that they keep the undeserving hordes out. In fact, immigration laws are acts of colonial seizure and violence. They obstruct the vast majority of racialised people from accessing colonial wealth amassed in the course of colonial conquest. Regardless of what the law, media and political discourse dictate, people with personal, ancestral or geographical links to colonialism, or those existing under the weight of its legacy of race and racism, have every right to come to Britain and take back what is theirs.
Nadine El-Enany is Reader in Law at Birkbeck School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law (@CentreRaceLaw). Nadine teaches and researches in the fields of migration and refugee law, European Union law, protest and criminal justice. Her current research projects, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, focus on questions of race and justice in death in custody cases, and the role of law in addressing health inequalities arising from environmental harm. Nadine has written for the Guardian, the LRB Blog, Pluto Blog, Verso Blog, Open Democracy, Media Diversified, Left Foot Forward and Critical Legal Thinking. Her book, (B)ordering Britain: law, race and empire (2020) is published by Manchester University Press.
HONOURS AND AWARDS
Leverhulme Fellowship , Leverhulme Trust , October 2017
Philip Leverhulme Prize , Leverhulme Trust , October 2020