Portrait of Dr Suhraiya Jivraj

Dr Suhraiya Jivraj

Reader in Law and Social Justice

About

PhD (University of Kent), PGCHE (Oxford Brookes University), LLM (University of London), Postgraduate Diploma in Law (CPE) and Legal Practice (LPC) (BPP Law School), MA Arabic & Persian (University of Edinburgh).

Suhraiya is a Reader in Law and Social Justice and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Her previous experience includes working for international NGOs and grassroots organisations in the human rights and anti-discrimination fields.  She teaches and researches in the areas of Public Law including Human Rights, Race, Religion & Law, Intersectional and Decolonial Approaches to Equalities Law & Policy and social justice. Her work draws on critical race/religion theories and de-colonial studies, exploring contemporary socio-legal problematics including intersecting inequalities, foregrounding feminist/queer of colour perspectives.

Her work brings together an ethical commitment to critical and inclusive pedagogy and decolonising work. She was awarded a UoK Teaching Enhancement Small Support Award (TESSA) in 2018/19 to collaborate with her students for a Decolonising the Curriculum Project. The project soon extended across the university and resulted in the DecoloniseUKC Manifesto which has featured in the NUS/UUK #ClosingtheGap report (2018). The research has also fed into the DecoloniseUoK Collective book (2020) co-produced with the project students and a Social and Legal Studies Association (SLSA) funded empirical study resulting in: Towards Anti-racist Legal Pedagogy: A Resource for law school teachers, particularly in foundation subjects. 

Research interests

Race, Religion & Law; Intersectionality & Decolonial Studies; Public Law; Human Rights & Equalities Law & Policy; Muslim feminisms.

Suhraiya is former Co-Director of the Centre for Sexuality, Race & Gender Justice. She is also the Co-ordinator and Principle Investigator of the previously (2012-2014) AHRC funded Decolonising Sexualities Network (DSN) which brings together a transnational network of scholars and civil society activists working across issues of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Suhraiya co-edited a collection of academic and creative pieces including fiction and visual art entitled: ‘Decolonising Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions’ (2016). The book is available via open access on a ‘pay what you can’ basis. DSN’s current work is building an archive of (intangible) cultural heritage through decolonial cafés and a new series of life-sense-ing work. Her contribution to decolonial studies also includes work on knowledge co-production with students of colour on decolonising and anti-racist pedagogy (see above and publications).

Her earlier work includes a monograph ‘The Religion of Law: Race, Citizenship and Children’s belonging' (Social and Legal Studies Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) which examines juridical conceptualisations of religion and its relationship with 'race', firstly, in child welfare law involving parents of minority faith; and secondly, education law and policy. Her subsequent journal publications explore these issues in relation to British/universal values and their regulatory impact on racially minoritised people.

Suhraiya has also been Principal Investigator of a British Academy and Leverhulme funded project exploring gross national happiness and sustainable development in Bhutan and wellbeing policy making in the UK. Her work interrogates the co-imbrications of terms such as ‘religion’ and ‘secularity’ and their regulatory impact through government law and policy (see publications below). Her current work in this area is primarily focused on collaborating with Muslim women-led initiatives on gender and race/religion inequalities from an intersectional and decolonial approach that goes ‘beyond the promise of secularism’.  

Teaching

Suhraiya is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and was awarded the prize for faculty teacher of the year (2019). Her teaching responsibilities span across Public Law, Race, Religion & Law and Gender, Sexuality & Law. She is former Deputy Director of Education for ‘decolonising the curriculum’ and academic lead for the Decolonise the Curriculum Project (2018-2020). She is author of ‘Towards Anti-Racist Legal Pedagogy: A Resource’ for law school teachers. 

Supervision

Suhraiya has supervised students to completion working in the areas of critical and intersectional approaches to issues of race/religion, gender and sexuality. She particularly welcomes students of colour wanting to draw on decolonial perspectives and methodologies.

Professional

  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Constitutional Law Association 
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