Conversation with Dr Jason Arday about race in UK higher education

(40 mins)

Jason has been working on race matters in the UK context for some time. I was fortunate to have him respond to a plea I made when first coming to the UK in 2017 – and his continued scholarship and responsiveness to my perplexed requests, have been a source of strength and learning for me.

The recording above (40 mins) is a hastily grabbed moment in the midst of an intellectual gathering in Port Elizabeth, South Africa – as is this selfie near the sea during that time.

Jason has not yet curated his work into a space – but when he does I promise to update! Many of the publications are online, as are some YouTube recordings.

Access information on the Runnymede Trust here or follow them on Twitter (@RunnymedeTrust)


Audio conversation (10 minutes)

Emmanuel has his academic roots in literature, language and education, as he touches upon in this informal conversation with me, as we drove through East London (South Africa) this June when working on a inter-institutional, inter/national project he was leading.

Read more about Emmanuel’s publication’s and the SARIHE project

Conversation with Dr Cath Camps about inclusion and internal colonisation in UK higher education

Cath and I were fortunate to contribute to two roundtable discussions hosted by the Council of At Risk Academics (CARA) recently, in relation to their work with Syrian academics in exile.

While in Istanbul, we took the opportunity to talk about Cath’s interests in higher education, and what continues to inspire, concern and perturb her. Much of the conversation involved a teasing out of decolonisation in the UK context, and the affordances of campus-wide academic development programmes.

The playful image above was taken during at our hotel in Istanbul. Cath feels it is ripe for captioning!

Follow Cath on twitter @CathCamps or find out more about her areas of work on her institutional site

Conversation with Dr Tom Parkinson about academic development

tom picture Oct 2019

Tom has a background in the arts and arts education, as he discusses in our conversation, where aspects of that interest have been retained as traces in his academic development work in the UK and in his role for with displaced academics through the CARA Syrian Programme. He acted as the external advisor for a master’s level course in Higher Education Studies which I developed – in the pic above he was in Belfast for that purpose.

Tom is leading on a network with colleagues from Syria, Turkey, South Africa and other relevant contexts on academic development which is responsive to post/conflict needs. Our first workshop will be in June 2019.

The recorded discussion comes from a December meeting we had in London.

tom picture Dec 2018

For more on Tom’s work see

Reference the content: D Z Belluigi. 2018. Discussion with Tom Parkinson. Audio recording downloaded from the website Broken Vessels, courtesy of Dr Belluigi.

Conversation with Dr Nikki Kernaghan on internationalisation in research


Nikki has extensive experience working in international education, both in terms of student experience and research development. She has served as a manager, coordinator and evaluation of projects funded by various agencies within higher education institutions in the UK and USA.

Nikki and I have promising beginnings: our first meeting was a walk through the Botanical Gardens in Belfast, and the second series of interactions were during a 10 day research trip to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

This recording was an opportunity to consolidate some of these conversations.


Conversation with Dr Yannis-John Karamichas about environmental sustainability

John BW

In this interview, I speak with Yannis about environmental sustainability. John teaches in this area, as his research interests circumnavigate the environmental sociological imagination and focus on issues of environmental social contestation and prospects for environmental sustainability.

Video of this interview

For more to do with John’s research see his institutional portal at…29219c84c2c).html

Conversation with Prof Tony Gallagher about his interest in Higher Education Studies

tony 2

Tony’s extensive career has focused on researching and teaching about education’s role in divided societies, including concerns about the social good and social cohesion. His leadership roles have brought with them the addition of the insights of practice in the higher education sector, having been Head of School and Pro Vice Chancellor at a university in Northern Ireland.

I met Tony on my first day of work in the UK, and we have continued to interact habitually as we have a shared interest in Higher Education Studies. In this interview we discuss meet in his office (pictured above) to informally discuss his interest with ‘civic engagement’ in higher education.

The interview can also be viewed on

To learn more about Tony’s work, see his institutional profile…b1b9c3c45bd).html

Tony can be followed on Twitter at @tgeducation


Conversation with Dr Christopher Knaus about hope and oppression in higher education

Chris and I met very briefly at a conference on Diversity and Inclusion in higher education in Paisley (Scotland), presenting during the same slot. He challenged me at the time, and what followed were a number of email exchange between us, which has gradually opened into my being humbled and learning from his rich work in and about the borderlands of higher education. He describes the encounter and his work in his own words below:

I did interrupt you after hearing your lovely South African accent, and then as life would have it, we were actually on the same panel. I was also at that conference with two recently graduated doctoral students who are both higher education practitioners, and so my investment in them is what enabled us to connect in the first place, and your accent I might add was the second interlude.

As to my work, I am continually struggling with how to foster and support community resistance to the global onslaught against women of color, communities of color, and particularly how to do such from within higher education institutions designed to colonise. A decolonial approach seems necessary but insufficient to create and sustain new systems, and so I am increasingly focusing my work in collaboration with those who are not rooted within higher education systems.

The recording above was made during an online conversation in early April 2019. Chris shares insights into his personal motivations for engaging in issues of race, oppression and hope in higher education; and where he sees value for continuing engagement.

chris 2

For more about Chris’ work see his institutional profile.  Follow Chris on twitter at @cbkvoice

Conversation with Dr Nompilo Tshuma about criticality in academics’ digital learning


Nompilo has been working educational technology in both student and staff development since 2005. She currently manages a range of teaching and research technologies in terms of licencing and training. She is also a researcher in educational technology and academic staff development, and is passionate about challenging academics to be critically reflective about their use of educational technology.

I initially met her when we were both participants of a teaching and learning course at Rhodes University in the early 2000’s, and both lecturing in other departments. Years later, we landed up as colleagues at the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) – and certainly I benefited in my own development through our interactions!

In this interview, we discuss Nompilo’s interest in critical studies in educational technology in higher education. The pic below is taken in her office when she was at Rhodes, during a visit I made meeting with researchers and practitioners within the institution and in Makhanda in September 2018.

You can follow Nompilo at @nompilotshuma

Reference the recording: DZ Belluigi. 2018. Discussion with Dr Nompilo Tshuma. Audio recording. Courtesy of Dr Belluigi.


Conversation with Dr Fadia Dakka about rhythm analysis for exploring academic life


Fadia and I first met in Cambridge, during the third sitting of the then shaping Critical University Studies UK network. During the days there, and later during a conference, we discussed the various concerns we had with research that explores the gaps between experience and representation of academic experience.

In this interview, recorded in December 2018 during the Society for Research in Higher Education annual conference, she discusses her interest in rhythm analysis as a research method.

Follow Fadia on twitter @Fadiax