Towards a Humanist Politics w/ Kenan Malik

16 Nov 2022 – 19:00 - 20:30 GMT
The Holyoake Lecture
Friends Meeting House
6 Mount Street
Manchester M2 5WG

Is white privilege real? Was the British Empire a good? Has leftwing antisemitism grown, and if so why? How should we respond both to Islamist terror and to hostility towards Muslims? What explains a movement such as Black Lives Matter? Why do we talk so much now about the ‘white working class’? Join leading thinker and the Guardian columnist, Kenan Malik for a talk about his forthcoming book Not So Black and White in which he upends many assumptions underpinning today’s heated debates around race, culture, whiteness and privilege.

The ‘culture wars’ have generated ferocious argument, but little clarity. In this lecture, based on the themes of his upcoming book, Not So Black and White, Kenan Malik seeks that clarity by taking the long view, explaining the real origins of ‘race’ in Western thought, and tracing its path from those beginnings to today’s fractious world. In doing so, this lecture will upend many accepted views about ‘race’, identity, whiteness, and privilege.

Kenan Malik interweaves three narratives: the history of the idea of race, from the Enlightenment to the present; the historical and current relationship between race and class; and his account of how we created a world riven by identity politics. Through these histories, he challenges long-standing assumptions, revealing forgotten stories of a racialised working class, and questioning fashionable concepts like cultural appropriation. And he explains how the struggles to transcend the politics of race have both proved so difficult and are central to any attempt to build a humanist society.

Please note that registration closes on 15 November at 18:59.
About Kenan Malik

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster and Observer columnist. A former Moral Maze panellist, he has presented BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves and Radio 4’s Analysis. His previous books include The Quest for a Moral Compass, and From Fatwa to Jihad, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.

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