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#reconstructionwork: a conversation with Catherine Hall and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse

6pm BST, Friday 4th September 2020

As part of our new #reconstructionwork programme, Stuart Hall Foundation is hosting a series of online one-to-one conversations. Bringing together writers, artists and activists, the conversations will consider how we can build a better society in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide. They will explore how the long histories of black cultural and political activism can help us construct just and equal futures, working across different generations and geographies.

For our third conversation in the series, you will meet SHF trustee Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre of the Study of British Slave-ownership at UCL, and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse, founder and co-convener of the Oxford Queer Studies Network and Stuart Hall scholar at Merton College, Oxford University.

The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has rejuvenated popular debate over the removal of statues of British slave owners from public spaces. The fall of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and calls to remove statues of Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and Cecil Rhodes has forced the British public to reconsider questions of history and colonial legacies.

Catherine and Ruth will explore the importance of new histories, Reparations, working to decolonise education and shifting collective memories in the effort to imagine new futures.

This event will be livestreamed online at 6pm BST, Friday 4th September 2020.


Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre of the Study of British Slave-ownership at UCL. She has written extensively on the history of Britain and its empire including Civilising Subjects (2002) Macaulay and Son (2012) and, with others, Legacies of British Slave-ownership (2014). From 2009-2016 she was principal investigator on the LBS project She is currently writing a book on Edward Long, Jamaica and racial capitalism. She is a trustee of the Stuart Hall Foundation.

Ruth Ramsden-Karelse is founder and co-convener of the Oxford Queer Studies Network and a DPhil candidate in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. The inaugural Stuart Hall Doctoral Studentship, in association with Merton College, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the Stuart Hall Foundation, supports her research on the world-making capacity of collaborative works by self-described gays and girls from communities formerly classified “Coloured” in Cape Town, South Africa, from 1950 to the present, with a specific focus on the Kewpie Photographic Collection. Ruth’s writing has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.


Please register via Zoom (link below) to watch the conversation and submit questions to Catherine and Ruth. Alternatively, you can view the livestream feed on our Facebook page or YouTube channel.

You can submit questions in advance by emailing

This is a free event. Instead of charging for tickets, we are encouraging people to donate to the Foundation to help towards costs associated with the #reconstructionwork programme activity.