Professor Shane O’Neill -  University Today and the Struggle against Race-based Inequalities

In this lecture, Shane will suggest that the university as an institution plays a key role as an instrument of social freedom in the reproduction of modern societies and that this, indeed, is it fundamental purpose. The university, as a privileged site of individual formation, has a special role in fostering freedom.


Students prepare themselves, through self-exploration, to give back to society in their personal relationships, in the exchange of services through the world of work and in democratic practices. Universities also engage in research and in fostering partnerships these too should be focused on contributing to the realisation of effective social freedom for all citizens. One major obstacle to social freedom in contemporary societies, and within universities, is the enduring legacy of racism that has followed from a systematic process of racialised colonialism that has marked global history in the modern era. In the later part of the lecture, Shane will underline the need for universities to embrace a holistic, anti-racist plan of action, if they are not to allow this particular legacy to undermine their potential as instruments of social freedom.

  • Wednesday 19th February 2020
  • Lecture 6pm
  • Wine Reception 7pm
  • Minerva Building - Jackson Lecture Theatre

Shane O'Neill is a critical social theorist. He is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Advancement and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Keele University. He has been the Co-Chair of the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team at Keele. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and the University of Glasgow and he has worked at the University of Manchester and Queen's University Belfast, where he became Professor of Political Theory in 2002, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Hong Kong, Macquarie University, and Queen's University in Ontario. His primary interest is in contemporary moral and political philosophy, specifically in clarifying the demands of justice in the global order and within modern pluralist societies. He is currently seeking to develop an account of global justice based on reconceiving the notion of decolonisation.

This lecture is free to attend, but booking is essential, book you tickets here

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