Paul Gilroy

Prof. Paul Gilroy (1956) is the holder of the Anthony Giddens Fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London. He is well-known for his critical explorations into the legacy of colonialism, the rich promises of culturally and ethnically diverse societies and the ideal of “cosmopolitanism from below”. Gilroy taught at Yale University in the USA for some years and has been active in the artistic and cultural life in London, where he has also cooperated with the city council. Paul Gilroy is also a specialist in the field of musical culture. Music is very important for Gilroy, not only because of its popular status, but also because it unseats language and textuality as “preeminent expressions of human consciousness”. His most recent books include Kuroi Taiseiyo to Chishikijin no Genzai (The Black Atlantic and Intellectuals Today), Shoraisha (2009, co-author), Black Britain – A Photographic History (with an intro by Stuart Hall), Saqi (2007), After Empire: Multiculture or Postcolonial Melancholia, Routledge (2004), “Without Guarantees: Essays In Honour of Stuart Hall”, Verso (co-edited with Angela McRobbie and Lawrence Grossberg) (2000), Between Camps: Nations, Culture and the Allure of Race, Allen Lane (2000), Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2000). More information

Abstract for the Colonial Legacy Conference

From hydrarchy to multi culture: peace, war and working through the double standard

This presentation will address the difficult question of what European polities might gain by being prepared to revisit and work through the horrors of the colonial past. In particular, I will suggest that the issue of racism, specified as the assumption of racial hierarchy as well as radicalised inequality, can enrich and augment the narrow understanding of human rights and humanity that circulates today. 


In September 2010 the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University welcomed back Prof. Paul Gilroy. In a public lecture on 15 September, Gilroy revisited his previous work on the Black Atlantic and put it into the context of recent developments within postcolonial studies, specifically on the issue of European postcolonialism.

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