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Say Burgin

Dr Say Burgin completed her PhD in the School of History, University of Leeds in 2013, and has since served as this School’s American History Teaching Fellow. Her research interests lie at the intersections of knowledge production, gender, race and twentieth-century social movements.

She is interested in uncovering the ways in which activists in the US and the UK have historically mobilised gendered and racialised identities in the development of collective, oppositional consciousness, particularly in relation to the advancement of racial justice and anti-imperialist efforts. Her work is interdisciplinary, encompassing feminist, sociological and philosophical theories alongside historical methodologies. By exploring three significant post-war, US social movements – women’s liberation and gay liberation movements alongside Black Power – her doctoral research accounts for the rise of anti-racism trainings within both leftist social movements and the wider US public.

In other research projects, she traces the shifting relationship between feminism, gender and anti-war efforts; recovers anti-racist feminisms obscured in contemporary historiography; and raises questions about the relationships amongst various sources of knowledge on race. Her on-going and future research projects are characterised by the historical study of gendered and racial knowledges and the impact of this thought on social, political and cultural life both within and outside of the US.

Her research has implications for a number of important contemporary debates: the efficacy of particular anti-racist and feminist methods, the shifting importance of social movements on political and social life in the US, and the extent to which dominant racial and gendered thinking in the US evolved throughout the twentieth century. She is currently completing a monograph based on her doctoral thesis that explores the anti-racist pedagogical practices of three post-war US social movements – tentatively titled The Workshop as the Work: Black Power, White Activists and Epistemic Resistance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Recent Publications

Forthcoming (2016). Evoking “the whole”: Re-thinking Racial Epistemologies through Vanley Burke’s Archive, e-book, Leora Farber (ed)

Forthcoming (2016). White Women, Anti-Imperialist Feminism and the Story of Race within the US Women’s Liberation Movement, Women’s History Review, Special Issue on Women’s Liberation Movements

Burgin, S. 2015. “The most progressive and forward looking race relations experiment in existence”: Race Militancy, Whiteness, and DRRI in the Early 1970s, Journal of American Studies 49(3): 557-574

Burgin, S. 2013. Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association E-journal 9(1), Special issue on New Territories in Critical Whiteness Studies. Co-edited with Maddy Abbas, Júlio Decker and Shona Hunter.

Burgin, S. 2013. “Locating Douglass Fitch: The Roots of Colour and Activist Traditions of United States Whiteness Studies, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies E-journal 9(1).

Burgin, S. 2012. “Understanding Antiwar Activism as a Gendering Activity: A Look at the U.S.s Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Journal of International Women’s Studies 13(6): 18-31.

Burgin, S. 2011. “Coarse Offerings: Lessons from the Cambridge Womens School for Todays Radical Education Alternatives, Graduate Journal of Social Sciences 8(2): 21-40.

Monograph in preparation. The Workshop as the Work: Black Power, White Activists and Epistemic Resistance

Conference papers and participations

Burgin, S. 2015. Epistemic resistance: the oppositional archives of Vanley Burke and Vron Ware. Paper presented at the Archival Addresses: Photographies, Practices, Positionalities platform, VIADUCT 2015, VIAD Research Centre, FADA, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 18-20 March.

Burgin, S. 2015. What’s the use of women’s suffrage? The debate in the women’s liberation movement. Paper presented as part of the ‘Women, Gender & Archives in US History’ panel, British Association of American Studies Annual Conference, Northumbria University, Newcastle England, 9-12 April.

Burgin, S. 2015. Black and white men together’s racial justice efforts in the early 1980s. Keynote paper presented at the National Association of Black and White Men Together, Newark, New Jersey, 16 July.

Burgin, S. 2015. Presenter: Re-thinking Black Freedom Studies from the Jim Crow North to the Jim Crow West National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar, New York, NY, 15-26 June.

Burgin, S. 2015. Invited panelist: Why is my curriculum white? launch, Leeds University, Leeds, 26 Octobe

Burgin, S. 2015. Invited panelist: Black lives matter in the fight against climate change panel, Leeds Tidal’s Building a Different Story gathering, Leeds, 31 October.

Burgin, S. 2015. Opening speaker: Gender, inequalities and academic careers in US history and American Studies workshop, University of Leeds, 11 November.