Critical Race Theory: Transforming Knowledge in the Australian Social Sciences and Humanities

You are welcome to join is for an event as part of Social Sciences Week on September 10 at 10 am organised by the Institute for Culture and Society Borders and Diversity Research Group

Registration link

A 2021 Social Sciences Week event from the Borders and Diversity Research Program of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, this virtual panel discussion on Critical Race Theory in the social sciences and humanities features leading Australian critical race scholars Alana Lentin, Aileen-Moreton Robinson, Debbie Bargallie, Sherene Idriss and Andrew Brooks.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has had high profile media attention in both the US and Australia this year, with Sky News, the Daily Telegraph and the Australian echoing calls from the US to ‘ban’ CRT. The Senate passed a motion to ‘reject’ CRT in the national curriculum.  Beyond this moral panic, Australian social science and humanities scholars are yet to fully grapple with how critical race perspectives potentially challenge and transform disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledges in a settler colonial context. This panel, scheduled to align with the national 2021 Social Sciences Week programming, will engage in these debates in a vibrant panel discussion with leading Australia researchers from across the humanities and social sciences. 

 Date and Time: Friday September 10th 10am-11.30am AEST

Location: Online


The event will be facilitated by Dr Nilmini Fernando.


Andrew Brooks is an artist, writer, and teacher who lives on unceded Wangal land. He is a Lecturer in Media Cultures in the School of Arts and Media at UNSW. His research examines race, racism, and anti-racism; collective resistance movements; the politics of listening; infrastructural inequalities; and abolition. He is a co-convenor of the Infrastructural Inequalities research network, one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate, a member of the Rosa Press publishing collective, and the co-author of Homework (with Astrid Lorange, Discipline 2021). Current research projects include: Fugitive Listening and the Politics of Noise, which takes noise to be an generative force of interruption in relation to contemporary anti-racist resistance movements; and Mediating the Settler State (with Astrid Lorange), which interrogates the way that infrastructures of discipline and control – such as laws, fines, contracts, paperwork, prisons, and predictive systems – contribute to the naturalisation of settler colonialism.

Alana Lentin is an Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University. She is a Jewish woman who is a settler on Gadigal land. She works on the critical theorization of race, racism and antiracism. Her latest book is Why Race Still Matters (Polity 2020) and she previously published The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a neoliberal age with Gavan Titley (Zed, 2011). She co-edits the Rowman & Littlefield ‘Challenging Migration Studies’ books series, the ‘Decolonization and Social Worlds’ series at Bristol University Press, and co-presents the Race in Society web series on YouTube with Dr Zuleyka Zevallos. She is an editorial board member of Ethnic and Racial Studies and Identities among other journals. Her academic and media articles as well as videos, podcasts, and teaching materials can be found at

Dr Debbie Bargallie is a Kamilaroi and Wonnarua woman from New South Wales. Debbie has a Doctor of Philosophy from Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Her doctoral thesis was awarded a QUT Dean’s Commendation and the 2019 prestigious Stanner Award administered by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). The thesis was published as a book by Aboriginal Studies Press in 2020 titled Unmasking the racial contract: Indigenous voices on racism in the Australian Public Service.  Debbie holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Policy and Planning. She is a postdoctoral senior research fellow with the Griffith Institute for Educational Research and the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research at Griffith University.  Debbie held a lengthy career in executive level management in Indigenous policy and program areas across various departments in the Australian Public Service. Her postdoctoral research focuses on fostering critical racial literacy in Australian institutions for educating about race and racism.

Dr Aileen Moreton-Robinson is a Goenpul woman of the Quandamooka people (Moreton Bay). She is Australia’s first Indigenous Distinguished Professor, and in September takes up a new appointment as Professor of Indigenous Research, School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Distinguished Professor Moreton-Robinson is the founding President of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association. Professor Moreton-Robinson’s publications have international standing and global reach. The twentieth anniversary edition of her first monograph Talkin Up to the White Woman: Indigenous women and Feminism released in July 2020 sold 2000 copies in a matter of days. Her second monograph The White Possessive: Property, Power and Indigenous Sovereignty (2015) won the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s (NAISA) subsequent book prize in 2016. Her edited collections include Whitening Race: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism 2004 (AIATSIS), Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters 2007, Allen & Unwin, Transnational Whiteness Matters 2008, Lexington Press, Critical Indigenous Studies: First World Locations and Engagement published by Minnesota Press in 2016 and the Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, published in December 2020. 

Dr Sherene Idriss is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute of Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University and has a Doctor of Philosophy from the Institute of Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Her work sociologically examines minoritised young people’s vocational pathways and career aspirations, youthful consumption, and identity-making practices using a Critical Race and intersectional feminist approach. She is the author of ‘Young Migrant Identities: Creativity and Masculinity’ (Routledge, 2018), and has published in the Journal of Youth Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies and the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

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