Workshop: The Politics of Science and Race

Join Arts Catalyst for a workshop led by Dr William Lez Henry, exploring the persistence of scientific understandings of race within popular debate and politics.


The workshop will consider ‘evolutionary science’ (Eugenicism, craniometry and anthropometry), taking as a starting point the assumption that sociology begins with ‘the death of biological notions of ‘race’, whilst recognising that the notion of ‘race’ continues to maintain significant currency within contemporary society. Together we will explore the pseudoscientific process of racialisation, focusing on how an acceptance of social categories that align with what appear to be ‘natural’ categories is problematic. For, instance, Aryan supremacy and the subsequent classification of races that presents as contemporary forms of white privilege, will be interrogated through examples drawn from education, popular culture and sport.
This event forms part of the programme for Genetic Automata by Larry Achiampong and David Blandy and feeds into Arts Catalyst’s long-term project Radical Ancestry, a cultural collective inquiry exploring how artists can transform new knowledge from genetic science into a re-thinking of race, identity and migration.
During the workshop we encourage participants to present a case study, an on-going project or piece of research, although those who would like to attend in a non-participatory capacity are also welcome. We invite artists, curators and researchers, scientists and activists who are engaging with issues connected to the biopolitics of race and identity to attend.
If you are interested in presenting (slots are approximately 10 minutes) please send a short bio and a brief summary (500 words max) outlining the project that you would like to present to This event is free but booking is essential.
Dr Lez is a veteran social justice campaigner, internationally respected public speaker and author. His expertise spans across many disciplines from Cultural Studies, Black History, Community Development, Race and Education & Equality and Diversity. His speaking credits include The African American Studies Department at Yale University, Department of Humanities at Howard University, Washington DC, University Of The West Indies Centre for Cultural Studies, Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also frequent in numerous broadcast and film, if not directly for, then for productions that have been aired on BBC and Channel 4. Dr Lez currently lectures at the University of West London in Criminology.