‘The Activism of Intersectionality’ ICSC Seminar Oct 16 2019

Presenter: Dr. Rachel Robbins, (UCLan Guild Senior Research Fellow).

Weds 16th Oct

4pm – 6pm

UCLan Harrington Building Rm HA320

(Victoria St, Preston PR1 7QS


The event is free, but please register beforehand on our eventbrite page:


Rachel Robbins is co-editor (with Suryia Nayak) of ‘Intersectionality in Social Work: Activism and Practice in Context’ (Routledge 2018).


Intersectionality has been a part of the Black Feminist lexicon since 1989 when it was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in her ground-breaking article Demarginalising the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of anti-discrimination doctrine, feminist theory and anti-racist politics. However, the concept of intersecting axis of oppression producing marginalised subjects has long been a part of Black Feminist Theory and Activism.

Intersectionality is enjoying its moment, being regularly evoked both within and without academia – but often it is reduced to a shorthand for “tickboxing” identity politics. This means that the activist impulse, which critiques marginalisation as a process of context and power, can be lost. Therefore, rather than looking at intersectionality as a call for increased categories and boundaries, this seminar aims to explore its potential to disrupt the process of categorisation.

Using examples from the edited book Intersectionality in Social Work: Activism and Practice in Context (eds. Nayak and Robbins), the seminar will look at context as the agent of production of marginalised positions. It hopes to show that through a critique of context, activism can take on the ‘inevitability of neo-liberalism’ and decentre privileged identities.


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