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18 August 2020

Geography graduate Naimah Quamie awarded 4th place in RACE dissertation competition

Kings Geography BA graduate, Naimah Quamie, wins joint fourth place in dissertation competition.

A banner hung by protesters which reads Warning! Deptford social cleansing in progress.
Image by Anita Strasser, 2018
Naimah Quamie, Geography BA graduate 2019
Naimah Quamie, Geography BA graduate 2019

This summer the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) announced that Kings Geography BA graduate, Naimah Quamie, had won joint fourth place in their dissertation competition.

The annual competition, run by the Race, Culture and Equality Working Group (RACE) is a national competition that recognises research conducted by undergraduate students on any issue related to the geographies of race, racism and equality.

Naimah’s dissertation is entitled “British Black Women and their relationship with gentrification: How do Black women’s relationships with Deptford/New Cross influence their experience of gentrification?”

James Esson, Chair of RACE, said, “the review panel were very impressed by the quality of Naimah’s dissertation”. He went on to tell Naimah that her “placing in the competition is a fantastic achievement, and provides an indication of [her] excellent research skills”.

When I received news that my dissertation had been awarded fourth place I was, at first, a little shocked and then I felt a great sense of pride and fulfilment. I thought back to the very early days, when I first formed the idea, the raw emotion that drove me to write my proposal and then my dissertation. I remembered feeling that my story and the story of women like me was missing from the urban literature I loved so much. How do British black women form attachments in urban areas like my home New Cross/Deptford? How do those attachments influence our sense of place identity? What does being a black, British woman mean in the face of large-scale gentrification? I felt these questions deserved to be discussed and I hoped to answer them through the project. I thoroughly enjoyed my dissertation experience. I'm so glad I was able to bring those stories into light and my finished project gained such recognition.

Naimah Quamie

Naimah’s supervisors, Dr Ruth Craggs and Dr James Porter, both praised her research. “Naimah was a pleasure to supervise and I learnt so much from her research” said Dr Craggs once she heard the news. Dr Porter echoed this sentiment, stating, “having the opportunity to read the final piece was a very special moment”.

Professor Cathy McIlwaine, the Department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, also commented on Naimah’s achievement:

It is such an honour that Naimah's dissertation has been recognised by the RGS-IBG Race, Culture & Equality Working Group. As a department, we are incredibly proud! We are keen to further showcase the wonderful research carried out by our students and Naimah's success will act as a role model for others.

Professor Cathy McIlwaine

Naimah’s work can be read online via the link below. She “hopes [her] dissertation encourages other geographers to explore their personal relationships with their field of study and further enrich geographical literature”.

British Black Women and their relationship with gentrification: How do Black women’s relationships with Deptford/New Cross influence their experience of gentrification?

Deptford/New Cross has been gentrifying over the past 10 years. The structure and demographic of the area is changing, disrupting the place attachments and place identities of the inhabitants. This study analyses Black British women's experience of place in a historical and social context.

Image credit: Anita Strasser, 2018, Deptford is Changing blog

In this story

Ruth Craggs

Reader in Political and Historical Geography

James  Porter

Senior Lecturer in Environment, Science and Policy Education