Theorising medicine, race and knowledges

Over the Michaelmas term of this past academic Dr. Harshad Keval was on sabbatical. While he was missed by staff and students, he has certainly put the time to good use. He’s currently seeing the fruits of his academic labours which, unlike Sisyphus’, are paying off! Harshadhas spent his time writing a manuscript for publication with Palgrave on South Asians, health and constructions of risk amongst diabetes patients and he has also explored these themes his recent peer-reviewed papers.

He has a paper on discursive construction of risk amongst diabetes patients published in New Genetics & Society, arguing that contemporary medical perceptions and patterns of diagnosis demonstrate a radicalised understanding ‘genes’ and racial phenotypes, making South Asians victims of a discourse of belonging to medically ‘risky cultures’. And Harshad has continued to explore this radicalised understanding of health in contemporary medicine in another paper, co-authored with Asesha Morjaria-Keval in Religions, on Sikh spirituality and its alternative knowledges on alcohol recovery.

Alongside these empirically informed and theoretically situated articles on race, medicine and the handling of radicalised experience health services, Harshad has extended his work into the world of policy debate and public polemic, writing a guest editorial on the ‘magical disappearance’  of race from contemporary clinical psychology, published in Diversity and Equality in Health and Care as well as a paper charting the debates around multi-culturalism and inter-culturalism and the absence of race and class, published in New Diversities.

Devon Country Noir: Broadchurch, mourning and ‘disrupted’ Englishness

By Daniel Smith

I have to admit, with some possible embarrassment, that ITV’s Broadchurch (currently in its second series) is incredibly watchable. First and foremost it evokes nostalgic feelings in me towards the West Country and in fact features my alma mater, the University of Exeter, as Wessex Crown Court; second that it has two of the best British actors in it (David Tennant and Olivia Coleman) and three, well, it’s beautiful to look at. As comedian Diane Morgan put it during her satirical take on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, “despite the fact it has all death and grieving in it, its bright and lovely and sort of Instagram looking, like an advert for Flora or Cadbury’s Flake, so it’s dark but also colourful …” Continue reading

Gardening Arcadia: racial and national identity at Sting’s The Lake House

Daniel R. Smith

I remember reading somewhere that the political economists of the nineteenth century, on whose reading we owe Marx’s labour theory of value, considered England as one big farm. While I forget who said this, the significance of the statement couldn’t be more telling of how we conceptualise ‘labour’ or human creative practices in general. When we are creating we are bringing something into being, but we are doing so from the raw materials we have been granted: on the one side is person, on the other the materials they builds their life out of, human species being as Marx liked to say. Going on this fashion, Marx writes:

“The taste of porridge does not tell us who grew the oats, and the process we have presented does not reveal the conditions under which it takes place, whether it is happening under the slave-owner’s brutal lash or the anxious eye of the capitalist.” (Marx, 1994:280)

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Citizen Khan, Citizen Can’t and Maybe Citizen really shouldn’t

By Harshad Keval

So the BBC has finally done it. They have transcended the conventional commercial pressures of drama and comedy production, and have decided to commit to not only an idea, but an ideology. The BBC have commissioned and are currently broadcasting a second series of what will NOT become a knowing, self-referential, cutting edge comedy about what Bikhu Parekh has discussed as lived multiculturality. I was going to title this blog post simply “Citizen Khan or Citizen Can’t?”, but I can’t because a paper has just been published in the journal ‘South Asian Popular Culture’
(, so I have been forced to dilute what I thought was quite a creative play on words.

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