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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


 Tyra Amofah-Akardom,

 United States

 Faculty of Education, Fitzwilliam College

 PhD thesis: Black Women, State Violence and University Spaces: How Black Women navigate activism in British
 and American Universities.

 Research interests:
 1. Black feminism.
                                    2. State violence.
                                    3. Higher education as a site of crisis.
                                    4. Activism and resistance.

My PhD focuses on university-based activist work undertaken by Black Women studying at British and American universities. I examine state violence rooted in anti-Black racism, misogyny, and misogynoir and how this becomes entangled within universities as an institution and partner of the nation-state. Using a combination of qualitative research methods, I will investigate the various ways that Black Women resist this violence and navigate the activist project, uncovering how these women view themselves as political actors in the violent spaces they occupy. More specifically, how Black Women embody and perform politics as a form of counter-public resistance. I build off my MPhil research and continue to explore the concept of Black feminism as a subversive love story, interrogating the politics of care that lies at the heart of Black Women’s activism.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?
I was inspired to pursue my research interests for multiple reasons. First, to further investigate the critical social and political questions that have arisen for me as a result of my undergraduate and master’s study here at Cambridge. Second, I have been inspired by the amazing women I have met during my time in community spaces at university. These women have – and continue to – teach me the most important lessons. They very much embody the politics of care, and I am very lucky to call many of them good friends.