Oxford Debate: You Ask the Questions w/ Kenan Malik, Gary Younge & Deborah Meaden, Chaired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

29 Mar 2023 – 14:00 - 15:15 BST
FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival
Sheldonian Theatre
Broad Street

Join a panel of leading political and media figures for some lively debate on the hot topics of the hour under the watchful eye of journalist and commentator Yasmin Alibhai Brown. Oxford Literary Festival event ticketholders will be invited to email questions shortly before the event, and the festival team pick a representative range of the best for members of the audience to ask on the day.

Kenan Malik is an Indian-born British writer, lecturer and broadcaster and trained in neurobiology and the history of the sciences. His latest book is Not So Black and White: A History of Race from White Supremacy to Identity Politics.

Gary Younge is an award-winning author, broadcaster and professor of sociology at the University of Manchester. He is a former Guardian columnist and author of books including Another Day In the Death of America.

Deborah Meaden is a highly successful entrepreneur and BBC2 Dragons Den investor. She actively supports environmental charities and initiatives including the annual Observer Ethical Awards. Her books include Common Sense Rules: What you Really Need to Know about Business.

Alibhai-Brown is a British journalist and author who has written extensively on issues of diversity and social justice. Her books include In Defence of Political CorrectnessRefusing The Veil, and Exotic England: The Making of A Curious Nation.

About Kenan Malik’s Not So Black and White

Is white privilege real? How racist is the working class? Why has left-wing antisemitism grown? Who benefits most when anti-racists speak in racial terms?

The ‘culture wars’ have generated ferocious argument, but little clarity. This book takes the long view, explaining the real origins of ‘race’ in Western thought, and tracing its path from those beginnings in the Enlightenment all the way to our own fractious world. In doing so, leading thinker Kenan Malik upends many assumptions underpinning today’s heated debates around race, culture, whiteness and privilege.

Malik interweaves this history of ideas with a parallel narrative: the story of the modern West’s long, failed struggle to escape ideas of race, leaving us with a world riven by identity politics. Through these accounts, he challenges received wisdom, revealing the forgotten history of a racialised working class, and questioning fashionable concepts like cultural appropriation.

Not So Black and White is both a lucid history rewriting the story of race, and an elegant polemic making an anti-racist case against the politics of identity.

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