REACH Research Hub logo

REACH Research Hub

The REACH research hub at Wolfson is an interdisciplinary meeting place for the promotion and facilitation of culturally diverse research.

Reach Hub logo

About REACH

The Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage (REACH) research hub at Wolfson is a transformative space that hosts collaborative action between Wolfson fellows, students and staff. The aim is to ignite and support culturally diverse research that impacts on global communities. Our team draws upon and combines academic expertise across the College and wider University. We have seven expert academics alongside six advisory board members, as well as our core organising team.

 

Organising team

Dr Kenny Monrose FRSA - Lead Convener

Kenny Monrose is an urban ethnographer and affiliated researcher within the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and Tutor and Governing body Fellow at Wolfson College. 

Kenny is also a member of Film & Screen studies at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the Centre for the Studies in Global Human Movement.

Annoa Abekah-Mensah - Research Development Lead

Annoa is a Wolfson graduate in Human, Social and Political Sciences. Her dissertation was “Towards a Decolonial Politics of Receptive-Generosity: The International Gifting Order and the World-Making of the Climate Justice Movement”. This utilized textual ethnography to explore the international relations theories emerging at the intersection of decoloniality and climate justice. She co-launched the anti-racism podcast Shade in Cambridge, which won the Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Award (OSCEA) in 2021. Annoa has a career in political media and journalism and is completing an MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking at UCL. 

Raquel Scarpa-GebaraRaquel Scarpa-Gebara - Co-convenor 

Raquel’s PhD research on Amazonian coastal fisherwomen employs activity theory and network theory to analyse individual and organizational change. This is done under the gaze of Freirian critical pedagogy and epistemologies of the Global South, particularly its feminist theory. Issues of belonging, occupational identity, cultural identity and gender identity permeate Raquel’s current research. Raquel co-founded the Saturday School, hosted by Wolfson College Cambridge, for Black and Brown British youth of Cambridgeshire. She is co-founder of the podcast Shade in Cambridge and a member of Wolfson's Diversity and Inclusion steering committee. Raquel has renewed her contract with the University of Connecticut, US, to deliver the London module of the Master's in Education Programme. Raquel is responsible for the course 'History of Educational Thought' and collaborates in the course 'International Perspectives in Educational Issues: Developing a Cross-Cultural Understanding'; both courses will run in Michaelmas 2024. Raquel has been shortlisted from 645 nominations for the 2024 Student-led Undergraduate  Teaching Awards in the category of Small-Group Teaching (Arts, Humanities & Social Science) at the university of Cambridge.. This award is for outstanding supervisors and other academic staff who do small-group teaching for courses in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences, contributing to innovative and inclusive teaching. The winners will be announced in June 2024.

Jennifer Davis

Dr Jennifer Davis - Co-convenor 

Dr Jennifer Davis an historian and a lawyer.  She is a member of the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College and has a PhD in history from Boston College.  As a historian she has written extensively on law breaking, policing, Irish immigration and poverty in 19th century England as well as comparatively with 20th and 21st century racism and policing and she maintains an interest in this area.  She has also practised as a lawyer specialising in intellectual property law and has been a Faculty of Law lecturer on the subject.  She has written on the history of intellectual property in its social and political context as well as on contemporary intellectual property law.  Recent work has looked at the intersection of sweat shops, trademarks and immigration in late 19th century Britain.  She has an interest in intellectual property law and linguistics and, with Professor Alan Durant, is writing a monograph for CUP on Key Words in Intellectual Property.  She has edited two volumes for CUP on interdisciplinary approaches to copyright and trademarks, respectively.  With Professor Tanya Aplin, Jennifer published in 2022 the fourth volume of their textbook, Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials, for OUP.

Academic experts

Dita LoveDr Dita N Love

Dita is an Alumna of Wolfson College and  interdisciplinary social scientist and education researcher interested in intersections across youth education, creative arts and digital humanities, and abolitionist social justice, specialising in creative interventions with young people from underrepresented, marginalised, and minoritised backgrounds. She is currently a Junior Research Fellow at Homerton College, where her research focuses on widening participation in higher education through youth-led creative community-university partnerships. As Methods Fellow for the Cambridge Digital Humanities, she is teaching trauma-sensitive creative-critical methods. She also teaches Poetic Inquiry for masters’ students at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge where she worked as an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow and completed a doctorate on Spoken Word with imprisoned young men in the Balkans (Gates Cambridge Scholarship). After her doctorate, she also worked for the participatory Drug Policy Voices project at the Department of Sociology, MMU. Following the publication of award-winning poetry collection “Bewitching”, she was selected as emerging European poet for the Creative EU platform Versopolis. Her research interests are partly informed by her creative practice, and experiences as ethnically Aromanian (Vlach) first-generation student. Her work has been published by the Oxford Review of Education, Australian Art Education, Mantis (Stanford University's journal of Poetry, Criticism & Translation), Palgrave, and Routledge.  

Akeem SuleDr Akeem Sule

Akeem is the Co-founder of HIP HOP PSYCH and a consultant psychiatrist in General Adult Psychiatry for the Essex Partnership University NHS Trust. He is also an Honorary Visiting Research Associate at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge and is a Research Associate at Wolfson College, Cambridge University. Dr Sule has taught Psychiatry trainees/resident doctors in United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Egypt, Nigeria, Ireland and India. He is a member of the Association of University Teachers in Psychiatry. His medical degree was at the Ogun State University Teaching hospital, Nigeria. His Specialist Psychiatry training was with the Oxford Rotational Scheme. He also worked at the department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and Hammersmith PET centre as a Clinical research worker where he did Neuroimaging Research. Dr Sule is an International member of the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2009, he was the winner of the Consultant Teacher of the Year award for Bedfordshire and Luton Partnership Trust and joint winner of the Consultant Teacher for Exams award. Dr Sule is consistently rated as one of the best teachers on the Stage 2 Cambridge medical school Psychiatry course and is a pioneer of the “Old School Hip Hop Method of Teaching”. He is keen in using film for medical education and public mental health education. He is the facilitator of the Association of Black Psychiatrists Culture club.

Deidre BoodoosinghDeidre Boodoosingh

Deidre is a current MPhil Engineering for Sustainable Development student at Wolfson. Deidre is from Trinidad and Tobago, a small island in the Caribbean that is known for its diverse mix of races, ethnicities, and cultural heritages. Although she works in STEM, growing up in this environment has influenced her perspective and understanding of the importance of inclusivity and addressing racial and cultural issues. She believes that the research hub serves as an essential platform for scholars to explore and understand the complexities of these topics of increasing importance. Deidre hopes that the research hub will continue to grow and make a lasting impact, creating a space for future generations of scholars to explore and address the complexities of race, ethnicity, and cultural heritage in academia and society at large.

Tugba BasaranDr Tugba Basaran

Tugba is the Director of the Centre on the Study of Global Human Movement and a Fellow of Wolfson College. She holds a PhD in International Studies from the University of Cambridge, held visiting positions at Harvard Law, Princeton, Sciences-Po as well as the Institute for Advanced Studies, and tenure at the University of Kent. Her scholarship engages with global practices of governance focusing on the circulation of legal power, violence and the production of difference. Her works draw on political and social thought in relation to empirically rich socio-legal studies incorporating refugee law, human rights law, law of the sea, and more broadly, international law. In her research, she seeks to extrapolate past and present formations of governance, prompting queries on law’s subjectivities, space and time, in an effort to reimagine politics, the way we govern and are governed, and to question established political, legal and social theories.

Xin PengDr Xin Peng

Xin is an Assistant Professor in Film and Screen Studies and works at the intersection of American film history, media technologies, and racial formation. She received her PhD degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, MA from the University of Chicago, and BA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has written on talkies and early Asian American movie stars, Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa (published in Camera Obscura); early Technicolor and Hollywood Orientalism (appeared in Screen); and 1930s Busby Berkeley musical and racial capitalism.  She is currently writing a book-length media history on San Francisco’s Chinatown telephone exchange (c. 1901-1949) and its telephone operators. Other miscellaneous writings (reviews, encyclopaedic entries, short research essays) can be found in Technology and Culture, ASAP/J, Women Film Pioneers Project, and New Review of Film and Television Studies. Xin is the current book reviewers editor of Early Popular Visual Culture, having previously served as the managing editor for Feminist Media Histories and assistant editor for the Journal of Chinese Cinemas.

Sara CoronaSara Corona

An MPhil graduate in Heritage Studies at the Dept of Archaeology, Sara investigates the political uses and social significance of heritage. Her research deals with ethnic minorities within nation-states, particularly in the Global North, and the strategies of cultural homogenisation they are subjected to. Sara's focus is her home island of Sardinia and she is researching the historical practices of Italian nation-building through the uses of culture and their impact on local ethnic identity. 

Professor Roberta Sá Leitão BarbozaProfessor Roberta Sá Leitão Barboza

Roberta Sá Leitão Barboza is a Biologist and post-doctor in Sociology (Federal University of Pernambuco- UFPE, Brazil) and is currently a full professor at the Federal University of Pará.  Roberta has been working in the Amazon with artisanal fishermen and women since 2004 and has been teaching as a university professor for over ten years (UFPA). Since 2014, she has coordinated the interdisciplinary research group Coastal Socio-Environmental Studies and the Laboratory of Teaching, Research and Fisheries Extension with Amazonian Communities. Currently, she develops scientific studies (Popular education, Socio-anthropology of fishing, Fishermen's and women’s Social Organization; Local Ecological Knowledge and Participative Management of Natural Resources) and scientific dissemination products (memory games, puzzles, documentaries, podcasts, booklet) for traditional communities in the Amazon to be used in schools and non-formal education spaces.

Wayne WeaverWayne Weaver is a historian of the sonic and social cultures of late eighteenth-century Jamaica. His doctoral dissertation (in music) explores the contributions of Euro-colonial composers; principally, the organist Samuel Felsted, as well as the African-origin musicians who engaged in the European repertoires of the day. One of several aims of Wayne’s research is to repopulate histories of colonial-era music with details of the Afro descendant people whose lives played out in and around theatres, churches and other spaces where musical performances were heard and overheard. Formerly a secondary school music teacher, Wayne is also interested in the politics behind the accessibility of music education in the UK today. He is an alumnus of Wolfson College and enjoys being an organist and choral director alongside his work as a freelance researcher and music editor.

Dr Joseph Powell

Dr Joseph Powell is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Divinity and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College. His work primarily explores Rastafari spirituality as it is manifested in the Caribbean and the UK through ethnographic fieldwork which fuses anthropological and theological research methods. Joseph has written broadly on issues ranging from Rastafari responses to Covid-19 to the elemental apocalyptic language found within Rastafari inspired music. Joseph is a co-convenor of the Indigenous Studies Discussion Group at Cambridge and also Editor of the Methodist theology and praxis journal Holiness based at Wesley House'. 

Dr Garima Jaju

Dr. Garima Jaju is a Smuts Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the Centre of South Asian Studies and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson. She works at the intersection of anthropology and international development, with a regional focus on India. Her doctoral research focused on labour in the 'new economy' of service work, studying its intersection with politics, ethics, and love. As part of a different project, she is exploring gendered experiences of violence and kinship amidst broader urban transformations. She holds a DPhil and MPhil from Oxford University and a BA from Delhi University.

Steering Group

Susan RobertsonProfessor Susan Robertson

Susan Robertson is a Professor of Sociology of Education, and a Bye-Fellow of Wolfson College. Until 2022, Susan was Head of the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Currently she is also a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Aarhus University, Denmark. Susan holds a B.Applied Science (Curtin, W. Australia) (Distinction), a B.Ed (Honours 2.1) University of Western Australia, and PhD in Policy/Sociology, University of Calgary (1990). Susan has held academic appointments in Western Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. She has written extensively on education policy, transformations of the state, spatial projects like region-building and globalisation, and social justice. She has published 14 books, and well over 100 academic papers in international journals. Susan is also the founding editor and currently Co-Editor in Chief of Globalisation, Societies and Education. Susan convened the Compariative and International Education Society annual conference in Miami, Florida (held on March 6-7 virtually, and 10-14 onsite). The theme this year was The Power of Protest.

Jenni SkinnerJenni Skinner

Jenni Skinner is the Library Manager of the African Studies Library, and spent the formative years of her career in librarianship at the Social & Political Sciences Library (2002-2015), University of Cambridge.  The African Studies Library supports the research and teaching needs of the University’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate study of Africa, whilst being recognised as a modern Special Collection as part of the newly formed World Collections Department at Cambridge University Library. Jenni is a founding member of the Decolonising through Critical Librarianship group, a representative on the Cambridge University Libraries Decolonisation Working Group, an advisor on the Black Student Advisory Hub Steering Group, and a SCOLMA Committee member.

Tania DavisTania Davies

Tania Davies is the Deputy Senior Tutor for Welfare and Wellbeing at Wolfson College. A social research scientist specialising in wellbeing within policy contexts and psychopathological disorders, Tania is a senior fellow of the HEA and has worked in education for two decades. Tania worked as an addictions counsellor for young offenders within the criminal justice system. She went on to become the Health Portfolio Director and then Manager at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David for almost ten years. She held positions within the Military Education for Wales, the Research Centre of Expertise Cymru and the Higher Education for Future Generations Group.

Charlie Barty-KingDr Charlie Barty-King

Charlie works in community building, network management, engagement, communications, partnerships and events programming, with a strong technical background. He is the Sustainability Engagement Manager for the University of Cambridge and is co-founder and Director for the Resilience Web CIC. Previously, Charlie was the lead for the Interdisciplinary Research Hub in Sustainability & Conservation at Wolfson College, Cambridge, Green Officer Network Coordinator at Cambridge Zero, and completed his PhD in 2022 in Ultra Precision Engineering. Charlie's interests revolve around society and sustainability, regeneration of the natural world and a desire to be a net positive for those around him. He focuses on environmental, climate, and social goals with strong competencies in development, coordination and administration. "I believe in engaging communities at all scales, growing strong and resilient networks of people that have knowledge, action and care. I want to put my skills and experiences towards meaningful environmental and social outcomes.

Chris Burgess 

Chris is the Head of Public Engagement and Participation at Cambridge University Library. In 2023 Chris curated the exhibition Spitting Image: A Controversial History working with members of REACH. Before Cambridge, Chris worked at the People’s History Museum in Manchester where he was responsible for the Labour Party archive and object collection. His research interests are in 20th century British politics, museology and the translation of academic research into public engagement.

Dr Stephen Wilford

Stephen Wilford is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, and Sound Studies, and a Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge. He is a researcher on the European Research Council-funded project ‘Past and Present Musical Encounters across the Strait of Gibraltar’ and a member of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement. Stephen’s work focuses upon the musics and soundscapes of North Africa, and in particular those of Algeria. His interests span a range of traditional and contemporary musics, from the region’s various Andalusi traditions to the Franco-Algerian hip hop scene. His research interrogates the intersections of music and sound within public and private spaces throughout the colonial and postcolonial periods, and is concerned with ideas of collective identity, cultural memory, diaspora, and the circulation of music and sound.

Anna DempsterDr Anna Dempster

Anna is a Fellow at Wolfson College and sits on the Fine Arts Committee, informing the College’s programme of exhibitions, events and acquisitions. She has regularly curated exhibitions for the College, including both notable solo shows of leading contemporary artists and innovative group exhibitions. She is a member of the College Development Committee and was elected onto College Council in 2019. She is currently working on a book on the cultural history of Memento Mori and Vanitas and their re-interpretation by leading contemporary artists.  She was previously Head of Academic Programmes at the Royal Academy of Arts, London where she developed and led a new and innovative portfolio of educational programmes, including public, private, and professional, short as well as long Courses and Classes, symposia, conferences and workshops – in subjects ranging from art practice (traditional and digital media), cultural and art history, as well as art business and management - with a sustained focus on the role of artists.

Ambassadors

I-Cubed consultancy group

I-Cubed is a professional services company. Founded by two women with extensive corporate experience and business acumen, I-Cubed provides tailored solutions to enable companies to transform themselves. These include race equity transformational programmes, inclusion intelligence training, diversity & inclusion awareness training using our established frameworks, designing and delivering onboarding inclusive programmes for teams, providing and supporting agility and enterprise coaches as well as carrying out agile inclusion audits. In addition, I-Cubed also provides full change programmes that help organisations experiment and find ways of creating an inclusive agile workplace. 

CB Mentoring

CB Mentoring has worked closely with members of the community, including the University of Cambridge to provide life-changing experiences for children within Cambridgeshire. In 2021 we piloted our first Saturday School cohort with the support of Wolfson College, Cambridge. This provided tutors and a dedicated learning environment for school-aged children to focus on completing their homework and improving their core learning. 

Selena Scott

Selena Scott is a Cambridge-based artist who aims to redefine the portrayal of Black people using oil painting, a medium traditionally reserved to perpetuate western ideals. Extending beyond oil portraiture, Selena uses film, textiles and animation to navigate the Black identity through the lens of trauma, racism and colonialism. Her Caribbean heritage is what drives her creative process, using loaded imagery and colour to construct narrative. Her work builds upon extensive research, focused on investigating the legacy of colonialism through personal stories.

Empire by Selena Scott

Projects and Events

Black women in business talk 2022

Our aims

Building on recent work at Wolfson under Let’s talk about Race & Racism and In Conversation initiatives, the REACH hub will deliver 3 Ps - to provide, promote, and publish research across its members and partners.

Provide
  • Provide an innovative research hub that can be utilised for racially, ethnically and culturally diverse scholars in order to build capacity for researchers across all disciplines and sectors.
  • Provide members with support, insight and information for their professional development in research.
  • Provide resources for members regardless of their career stage to assist the dissemination of their research and praxis within their area of expertise.
  • Provide networking opportunities that can attract the emerging generation of researchers.
  • Provide the opportunity to collaborate with high profile stakeholders in order to diffuse research and secure funding.
Promote
  • Promote and support applications for studentships and research fellowships for members within the remit of REACH.
  • Promote events including reading groups, seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences in order to showcase research being conducted by members.
  • Promote new paths to connect black led and black focused research across disciplines, colleges and faculties in ways that benefit the University of Cambridge more generally, and encourage the development of new perspectives that contribute to knowledge by establishing intercollegiate collaborations with other research groups, both nationally and internationally.
Publish
  • Publish research activities of members of REACH through Wolfson College media and communications channels to spotlight the cutting edge work being carried out.
  • Publish research conducted within the hub in our own journal, with the goal of making this an open access resource within the next five years.

 

Join us

We are open to all people - public, professional and academic. We are looking for individuals and organisations to join our events and contribute to discussions; create and support projects or events; donate financial or other resources. To become a member or to get involved please email us at reach@wolfson.cam.ac.uk or subscribe to our mailing list.