Header image: Kellogg College Senior Tutor, Dr Yasmin Khan on the left, with Kellogg alumna, actor and artist, Joy Richardson. Photograph from an "In conversation" event after the screening of the BBC's adaptation of Andrea Levy's "The Long Song", in which Joy played Miss Rose. The conversation covered Joy's experiences as an actor, working on "The Long Song", slavery in Jamaica, childbirth and midwifery on a slave plantation, and the legacy of slavery: invisibility, stereotyping and current ways of addressing this in television and film dramas. Full event available: https://youtu.be/ptY5MULNXY0.
Established in 1990, Kellogg has modern and progressive roots. Its mission is to promote life-long learning and to enable greater access in higher education. It welcomes a wide diversity of graduate students, ranging from ages 20s to 90s, and about 100 different nationalities with an eclectic mix of backgrounds from full-time work to full-time care. Kellogg is the most international of Oxford’s colleges, committed to nurturing its rich community with the ethos of egalitarianism and inclusivity. These are also reflected in the College grace which is distinctive for being the only one in Oxford to be in Welsh. There is also no raised dais or high table at Kellogg, and Fellows and students eat their meals together and without any segregation or hierarchy.
These values are reflected in the work of Fellows and students at Kellogg, especially in their emphasis on decolonisation of research, teaching and learning. The study of colonisation is first and foremost in this respect. Dr Yasmin Khan, Fellow at Kellogg, leading British historian and writer, studies both the history of British Empire and the processes of decolonisation. She frequently appears as a host on BBC for series such as the A Passage to Britain, which traced the changing story of migration from the Indian subcontinent to Britain. Prof Robin Cohen, Senior Research Fellow at Kellogg, studies race, colonialism and migration with a specific focus on Africa. He has written extensively in these areas over five decades, from his field-defining article (with Roy May) ‘The interaction between race and colonialism: a case study of the Liverpool race riots of 1919’ (Race & Class 1974) which documented the first race riots in the UK and concluded that ‘racism in Britain is deeply rooted in the mode of domination cemented by the imperial heritage’, to his more recent blogs such as ‘Cecil Rhodes can’t be rescued by history’ which argues against a generous reading of Cecil Rhodes’ legacy, which, even by his contemporaries, was considered ruthless and immoral. Similarly, Dr Ben Grant, Fellow at Kellogg, has examined how the iconic Victorian explorer and translator, Richard Francis Burton, engaged with the non-European world in his many writings.
On the other hand, Fellows like Dr David Howard, Dr Idalina Baptista, Dr Dace Dzenovska and Dr Shreya Atrey work with contemporary anti-racist, anti-colonial and anti-imperial discourses. Dr Howard studies the contemporary societies of the Caribbean and Latin America, with a focus on urban geography and social sustainability, and has published widely on race and ethnicity in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Dr Baptista’s current research interests focus on the colonial and post-colonial geographies of urban energy infrastructure and urbanisation in African cities, using Maputo, Mozambique as a case study. Dr Dzenovska’s anthropological research interests include postsocialist democratisation, postcolonialism, nationalism, state-building, migration, contemporary forms of capitalism and political action. Dr Atrey studies racism including race discrimination, xenophobia and intersectional discrimination in law. Dr Atrey’s monograph Intersectional Discrimination (Oxford University Press 2019), which traces the similarities in Black feminism in the US and Dalit feminism in India, was declared runners-up for the prestigious Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship in 2020.
Similarly, many of Kellogg’s postgraduate students are working on themes relating to anti-racism and decolonisation. Urvi Khaitan, a DPhil student at Kellogg, studies intersectional histories of the empire, race, caste, gender and labour in late colonial India and explores how they defined working women’s experiences in the South Asian economy during World War II. She recently contributed with a lecture podcast on the history of British Empire to the ‘Uncomfortable Oxford’ project. Brenda McCullum, also a DPhil student at Kellogg, studies the Islamic community in Uganda in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on how Islam was shaped by the community to meet their localised needs throughout the colonial period. In their DPhil research, Yousef Khalifa Aleghfeli study the educational resilience of young asylum seekers from a decolonial perspective. Rosemary O’Neill examined the role of racism in Australian and British propaganda in the First World War in her Master’s thesis.
Kellogg has instated an honorary Bynum Tudor Fellowship to engage beyond the academic community and with other areas of life in business, policy making, and culture. Previous Bynum Tudor Fellows include Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu who delivered the 2010 Bynum Tudor Lecture on the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa; and Lord Karan Bilimoria, Crossbench Peer, Chair & Founder Cobra Beer and CBI President, who is also the chair of the Memorial Gates Trust promoting the histories and remembrance of soldiers from the British Empire who fought in the two world wars. In 2020, the College appointed La June Montgomery Tabron as the Bynum Tudor Fellow. She is the first African American president and CEO to lead the WK Kellogg Foundation, and has worked tirelessly to support vulnerable children and disadvantaged communities to promote racial equality and justice.
Likewise, Kellogg alumni are actively involved in anti-racist and decolonising efforts. Victor Élan Vázquez has started a casting company in New York City with an explicit anti-racism mission, called X Casting. Cassi Perry is a District Councillor in Cherwell working on policy affecting Roma, Gypsy and Traveller Communities. Ivonne Marais has worked extensively with the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford.
In 2020, the College appointed Dr Shreya Atrey as the BAME Fellow on the Governing Body and Nteranya Sanginga as the first Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator on the College MCR. Nteranya has also served as the Content Developer for the Congolese organisation #CongoExcellence.