Change the world


Professor of Ocean Cultures and Heritage Rose Boswell has been invited to participate in a special edition of the “Master Class against Racism and Discriminations: Philosophical perspectives” presented by UNESCO on World Philosophy Day, 19 November 2020.

The class from 1.15 pm to 3.45 pm CEST (UTC +2) forms part of a collaboration between UNESCO, the Musée de l'Homme in Paris, France, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

UNESCO launched a series of Master Classes for secondary-school students in November 2019.  Conceived as spaces for dialogue, they aim to empower young people by strengthening their understanding and capacity to combat discrimination, intolerance, and growing inequalities, as well as promote sustainable impact by engaging the youth to become proactive agents of change and trainers within their own schools and communities.

This time, the Master Class will underline the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought for each individual and culture.  It will tackle global issues through collectively exercising reasoned and informed thinking to build a more respectful and tolerant society.

Prof Boswell will be sharing her thoughts on combatting racism and the intersections with other forms of discrimination; and then will engage in a dynamic exchange with about 200 high school students in English and French.

Prof Boswell has researched issues of race, ethnicity and the complexities of identity construction under slavery and colonial rule, since she started her PhD field research in 1999.

“Witnessing the continuation of racial oppression in Mauritius and then in Madagascar and Zanzibar over a period of some 20 years, compelled me to continue to write on the many facets of racism and its legacies. I soon realised that positive narratives are important in countering the silencing of Africa and Africans,” she says.

“In this regard I went in search of beautiful stories of human resilience, of alternative knowledge paradigms, heritages and ways of experiencing the world.  I used the data gathered and analysed to teach undergraduate and graduate classes on diaspora identities, religions, the management of diversity and nationalism”.

Contact information
Prof Rose Boswell
Research Chair in Ocean Cultures and Heritage