2020 Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Natalya Din-Kariuki has written a piece for the London Review of Books on the #RhodesMustFall campaign at Oxford, COVID-19 and academic casualisation. While at IASH, her research project explores rhetorical invention in seventeenth‐century English travel writing.
Black people work at universities in a number of non-academic capacities: in administration; in libraries; in IT; in estates services, including as catering staff; as cleaners; and more. Many of these workers, in particular those on lower pay grades, are especially vulnerable to Covid-19, both its health risks and its economic effects. Our efforts need to include not only students and faculty, but other workers, too, without whose labour the university cannot function. When the statue of Rhodes is taken down, it seems likely that the strenuous and dangerous job of removing it will be undertaken by workers of colour.
You can read the full piece here.