July update on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism at The Courtauld

21 Jul 2021

As part of The Courtauld’s ongoing work on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism, we continue to share regular updates on the progress we have made in these areas. Recent events – not least the aftermath of the final of the European football championships –  have shown that racism is still very much an issue in the UK today, and there continues to be no place for racism or discrimination of any sort at The Courtauld. We recognise that our work in this area is still in its early stages, and there is much still to do and we will continue to report progress on a termly basis.

 

During the 2022 Summer Term, the following activities have taken place:

  • The Courtauld’s Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Working Group has met two further times, to review progress in embedding diversity, inclusion and anti-racism at The Courtauld, and work further on our ongoing strategy and plans
  • We have appointed Professor Dorothy Price and Indie A. Choudhury to roles in Modern and Contemporary Art, with a specialism in Black studies and critical race art history
  • A new BA structure has been agreed from 2022/23 onwards, which incorporates a broader range of content and voices and works to address issues of decolonising the curriculum
  • Staff and students have worked together to mark Autism Awareness Week, Mental Health Awareness Week and World Refugee Day
  • Our Decolonisation Reading Groups have continued, including a session for incoming students – these are now being reviewed for next year
  • An additional staff Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism session with PILAA has been held, in the form of a follow up staff discussion to reflect on learnings and consider how to take this engagement forward
  • The Library continues to acquire material on a diverse range of artists in response to student requests, alongside texts examining the role of galleries and museums in addressing structural racism. The Library team continues to supporting staff and students looking to explore the history of art from a more inclusive perspective by sourcing and providing access to required readings online; and has extended their specialist study skills provision through the Summer Vacation
  • Our small-scale mentoring programme, aimed specifically at students from underrepresented backgrounds, has continued. Mentors are hand-selected from The Courtauld’s alumni network and students are carefully matched according to their specific needs and career aspirations. Feedback has been exceptionally positive and the programme will be expanded and developed in 2022
  • Work continues to ensure that The Courtauld has fair pay, working with independent consultants, and including a staff survey and a range of focus groups

 

We have continued to use our convening power to broaden art history knowledge and address diversity through our Research Forum events. Highlights of the last term included:

  • Post-conflict: Art History and Cultural Heritage in Dialogue
  • Open Courtauld Hour: Hair Moments
  • An artist talk with Seecum Cheung
  • Black Masculinities and Contemporary Art in Britain

 

From a widening participation perspective:

  • Our Learning Team has engaged with over 2,000 students from 33 non-selective state schools and colleges across the UK and worked closely with almost 180 teachers, through online workshops, projects, resources, and events
  • Our week-long online Summer University welcomed 44 Year 12 students from non-selective state schools and colleges across the UK, with a further 32 students given access to our lecture content and resources
  • The James Hughes-Hallett undergraduate scholarship saw its first applications, with awards expected ahead of the new BA students starting in Autumn 2021

 

In addition, The Courtauld is grateful for the work of the Students’ Union. Their work in the Summer Term included:

  • Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Training run by PILAA via HR for all students
  • Supporting the Courtauld’s BAME Society in hosting a panel event with the Research Forum to discuss the experiences of non-white art historians both personally and professionally in ‘De-centering Whiteness: A Platform for Intersectional Conversation’
  • Continuing to map out plans to continue equality, inclusion and anti-racist work for the next academic year

 

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