Professor Arathi Sriprakash speaks at annual Equity, Diversity and Belonging (EDB) Lecture

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Category: News

Professor Arathi Sriprakash gave her talk ‘Reparative futures: reckoning with educational injustices’ at the Department’s annual Equity, Diversity and Belonging Lecture last night in Oxford.

Professor Sriprakash said: “In my lecture I explored how the idea of reparation can help address the injustices of education systems. The idea of reparation requires us to understand the interconnections between past, present and future in both the formation of injustice and its repair.

“It implies that until injustices are actively addressed, they can endure in social institutions – such as education – which also shape lives-to-come. Injustice is not an inevitability in reparative futures of education: these are new, if challenging, horizons of educational theory and practice.

“It was a great pleasure to speak at the Department of Education and very interesting for the discussions that followed afterwards.”

Professor Arathi Sriprakash is a sociologist of education whose work focuses on the racial politics of knowledge particularly in the field of education and international development.

Dr Debbie Aitken, Departmental Lecturer and Course Director for the MSc in Medical Education, who co-organised the event said: “The event was a great success. As co-chairs of the EDB Committee, Heath and I were delighted that Arathi agreed to speak last night. The lecture explored how reparative frameworks might create different futures in education which led on to a great many discussions in the room following the event.”

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director for People, who also co-organised the event, Heath Rose said: “How we all engage with our understanding of equality, diversity and belonging weaves into all fields of education and Arathi gave a fascinating perspective on this. The timing of this public lecture dovetails with continued efforts of colleagues within this department to bring issues of race and coloniality to the foreground of education. Engaging in public discussions are important first steps to instigate social change, so we are all very grateful to Arathi for giving the annual lecture on this topic.”

Arathi is Professor of Education at the University of Bristol and is co-author of ‘Learning Whiteness: Education and the Settler Colonial State’ and co-Director of the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education. Arathi’s work on Reparative Futures fed into Unesco’s Futures of Education initiative and she is soon to commence a large empirical study on this theme.