SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Islamism through a London Lens

Dr Sarah Glynn

Date: 22 March 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 22 March 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

My talk examines the rise of Islamist politics, both reformist and revolutionary, and relates it to the decline of a socialist alternative. Using historical and sociological research into immigrant politics, and especially the politics of the Bengalis in London’s East End, I demonstrate how this realignment is a product of developments in progressive left politics as well as of the apparent triumph of neoliberal capitalism and its constant attack on all forms of socialism. Focusing on the last three decades of the 20th Century – before the historical jolt of 9/11 - I examine the effects of Communist inspired Popular Frontism, the growth of identity politics, and the impact of political multiculturalism. And I look at how Islamists – like earlier left movements - have combined ideological discussion with practical grassroots action so that they have become an integral part of community life.

About the speaker

Dr Sarah Glynn is author of Class Ethnicity and Religion in the Bengali East End (Manchester University Press, hardback 2014, paperback 2017). She has published on the political mobilisation of British Bengalis and of earlier Jewish immigrants to the same part of London, and also on housing policy and most recently on the impacts of 'welfare reform'. Her work is informed by her own political activism as well as by academic research. She has been a university lecturer in Edinburgh University (Human Geography) and in the University of the West of Scotland (Sociology), and is currently working as a freelance architect in Dundee, from where she also organises the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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