Meet the staff: Cathy Bergin
Dr Cathy Bergin is principal lecturer and leader of the History, Literature and Culture degree on the Humanities Programme.
Cathy’s teaches across the Programme with a particular focus on ‘race’ and racism in the context of the US, UK and Europe. Her teaching is informed by research into marginalized histories of black radicalism with a particular interest in representations of blackness, whiteness and anti-racist resistance. She has recently published work on Anti-American anti-fascism and Black Bolshevism. She is currently co-editing a book on Transnational Solidarity in the 1960s with colleagues Dr Zeina Maasri and Dr Francesca Burke.
“To understand the politics of racism and anti-racism in the present we need to understand how concepts of ‘race’ have worked to both police black lives and to mobilize concepts of whiteness in the past” says Cathy. “I have learnt much from my students over the years about how their understandings of ‘race’ are informed by their experience of living in a racialized world and how this impacts on their studies. Because racism rarely advertises itself as racism our work is to investigate the ways our world is structured by hidden racializations. This is work that calls upon history, philosophy, cultural studies and politics. It is urgent work.”
Cathy also teaches on anti-colonialism and legacies of empire in relation to Ireland, Vietnam, Congo, Kenya and Algeria. “The project of colonialism was a racist project, it depended upon white supremacy and the work of maintaining this myth was the business of culture as well as the business of military occupation”. With her colleague Dr Anita Rupprecht she has published work on how the traces of enslavement and colonialism are all around us and specifically in the city of Brighton itself.