DRF Session – Monday, 10th February

Monday, 10th February

Time: 2-4pm

Place: Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus. Charles Street Building, Room 12.5.07 (This is on the fifth floor), Howard Street, S1 1WB.

Speaker 1: Manny Madriaga 

Title: Deconstructing with DisCRT: Marking whiteness and ableism in the English higher education outreach gospel


Employing a DisCRT theoretical framework (Annamma 2017), this paper highlights the intermingling of whiteness and ableism in marginalizing students of color in accessing English higher education. It has already been evidenced that students of color who aspire to pursue higher education in England have constrained choices (Reay et al. 2001; Ball et al. 2002). Literature has shown that student applicants of color are not as likely as white applicants to gain entrance into prestigious higher education institutions, like the universities of Oxford and Cambridge (Boliver 2013). As of yet, there has been no meaningful sector engagement or Government response to this issue. This paper sketches this out, drawing out evidence and themes from a deconstructed reading (Slee and Allan 2001) of a sample of statutory university policy documents required by each higher education institution in England.

This paper will shed light on how notions of social justice and equity have been deracialized and neutralized (Solórzano and Yosso 2002), reproducing ableism and normalcy (Davis 1995; Erevelles and Minear 2010; Annamma et al. 2013), in English higher education outreach policy and practice. Questions that have informed this work are: (1) How race and disability are considered and recognised in English university access policy texts? (2) What has been the extent of universities pushing for race-specific initiatives within these texts? (3) How much of an attempt, if any, were universities attempting to reach out to students of color and their communities in these texts? With race at the forefront of discussion, this paper confirms that English higher education conspires (Gillborn 2006) to sustain white supremacy.


Annamma, S. (2017) Cartographies of Inequity. In Morrison, D., Annamma, S., & Jackson, D. (Eds). Critical Race Spatial Analysis: Mapping to Understand and Address Educational Inequity. Virginia: Stylus, 32-50.

Annamma, S. A., D. Connor and B. Ferri (2013) Dis/ability critical race studies (DisCrit): theorizing at the intersections of race and dis/ability, Race Ethnicity and Education, 16(1): 1-31.

Ball, Stephen J., D. Reay and M. David (2002) ‘Ethnic Choosing’: Minority ethnic students, social class and higher education choice. Race Ethnicity and Education 5 (4): 333-357.

Boliver, V. (2013) How fair is access to more prestigious UK universities. British Journal of Sociology 64 (2): 344-364.

Davis, L. 1995. Enforcing normalcy: Disability, deafness and the body, London: Verso.

Erevelles, N. and A. Minear. (2010) Unspeakable Offenses: Untangling Race and Disability in Discourses of Intersectionality. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4 (2): 127–146.

Reay, D., J. Davies, M. David, and S.J. Ball (2001) Choices of Degree or Degrees of Choice? Class, ‘Race’ and the Higher Education Choice Process. Sociology 35 (4): 855-874.

Slee, R., and J. Allan. 2001. Excluding the included: A reconsideration of inclusive education. International Studies in Sociology of Education 11 (2) (07/01): 173-92.

Solórzano, D. G., and T. J. Yosso. 2002. Critical race methodology: Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for education research. Qualitative Inquiry 8 (1) (02/01; 2017/04): 23-44

Speaker 2: Stephen Connolly

Title: Should we drop the label of ‘vulnerable’ in ethics applications?

Abstract: TBC