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Dr Azeezat Johnson

Azeezat

Lecturer in Human Geography

Email: azeezat.johnson@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 882 2751
Room Number: Geography Building, Room 219

Profile

I am a social geographer, interested in developing conversations about Black (and) Muslim geographies which pushes against the racialisation of our bodies as Other to a neutralised White Self. My PhD research (completed at University of Sheffield in 2017) grew from this vein of thinking: it used the clothing practices of Black Muslim women in Britain to explore how the performance of one’s identity changes as we move through and interact with different objects, bodies, gazes and spaces. This pushed against a static reading of Black Muslim women (that are too often constructed as either Black or Muslim). It also moved beyond the hypervisibility of the headscarf within academic and popular debates by pointing to the multitude of different presentations that are used.

Key publication:

  • Johnson, A. (2017) ‘Getting Comfortable to feel at home: Clothing Practices of Black Muslim Women in Britain’ Gender, Place and Culture, 24(2), 274-287.

 Academic Background:

  • BA Modern History and Politics, The University of Southampton
  • MSc Ethnicity and Multiculturalism, The University of Bristol
  • PhD Geography, The University of Sheffield

Teaching

I am currently teaching on the following modules:

GEG4106 Reinventing Britain (lecturer)
This is a first year module that examines geographical implications of changes across the economic, social, cultural and political landscapes of Britain over the last three decades, focused on a field trip North West England.

GEG5127 Society and Space (module convener)
This module introduces 2nd year students to the field of social geography: its theoretical perspectives and substantive concerns. It centres upon an understanding of societies as products of uneven and always negotiated relationships of power. Rather than viewing social categories of race, gender, disability, sexuality and class as simply varying across space, we unpack how geography itself is central to the construction of social difference.

GEG6139 Race and Social Justice (module convener)
This is a 3rd year module that addresses how race takes place within our surroundings and through different forms of political mobilizations. In other words, we will be exploring how different bodies are racialised across space and time. This includes examining specific social justice movements (e.g. Rhodes Must Fall, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter), as well as broader concepts that pertain to social justice (including feminisms, anti-racist organising and right-wing populism).

GEG6008 Readings in Geography: Race and Social Justice (module convener)
This module is used to deepen students’ understandings of concepts studied within the co-requisite module GEG6139 Race and Social Justice. Students will complete an extended piece of writing (6000 words) based on independent reading and research which will be supported by e-learning resources, small-group seminars and one-to-one tutorials. The module is designed to further develop students’ understandings of theoretical discussions around race and to be able to independently apply these concepts to contemporary social justice issues.

Research

Publications

  • Johnson, A. (2017) ‘Getting Comfortable to feel at home: Clothing Practices of Black Muslim Women in Britain’ Gender, Place and Culture, 24(2), 274-287.
  • Johnson, A. & Joseph-Salisbury, R. (forthcoming 2017) '‘Are you supposed to be in here?’ Racial microaggressions and knowledge production in Higher Education.' in: Jason Arday (ed.) Dismantling Racial Inequality within the Academy: Race and Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Joseph-Salisbury, R., Johnson, A. & Kamunge, E. (eds.) (forthcoming in 2018) The Fire Now: anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. Zed Books

Public Engagement

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to be invited to speak with a variety of different audiences about critical race and feminist research:

  • Inclusive Mosque Initiative “Raise Your Gaze: Islamic feminism(s) in focus” event, September 2017
    Title: Centring Black Muslims and Black feminism: On Anti-Blackness (again!)
  • Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures, November 2016
    Title: The meanings of Black history in Britain and beyond
    YouTube video available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIqsxtxNJNE
  • Sheffield Black History Month, October 2016
    Title: Sip some Lemonade - Beyoncé and Black feminism
  • Living Islam Festival, July 2016
    Title 1: Black Lives Matter
    Title 2: Is feminism a white movement?
  • The Marc Steiner Show (WEAA 88.9 FM), July 2016
    Title: “Dispatches from Africa and the Diaspora: #BlackLivesMatter Everywhere” post-Brexit
    Podcast available: http://www.steinershow.org/podcasts/dispatches-from-african-and-the-diaspora-blacklivesmatter-everywhere/
  • University of Birmingham Ethnic Minority Association, February 2016
    Title: Islamophobia and Women
  • The changing face of racism, Islamic Human Right Commission, December 2015
    Title: Islamophobia and feminism
    YouTube video available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GczWsC8CFSI
  • University of Sheffield Student Union Black History Month, October 2015
    Title: Black Lives Matter and anti-Islamophobia activism
    Presented with Elizabeth Kamunge
  • British Muslim TV (SKY channel 845), July 2015
    Title: Black Lives Matter and anti-Islamophobia activism
  • LaDIYFest Sheffield Festival, November 2014
    Title: Intersections of race, gender and activist work
    Presented with Elizabeth Kamunge
  • LaDIYfest presents… Audre Lorde - the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992, October 2014
    Title: Introducing Audre Lorde and Black feminism
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