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Rae-Anne Cohen joined King’s in 2021 and is a full-time ‘Education, Communication and Society’ (ECS) Postgraduate Researcher (PGR), funded by Harold Moody Scholarship at King’s.

Rae-Anne’s PhD research focuses on the relationship between Blackness and emotions. Situated within a socio-historical contextual setting of Black identities globally and informed by sociological theories of affect and emotion, this study aims to address the harrowing problems that continue to affect Black students entering and studying in UK universities, especially within ‘elite’ institutions.

Whilst adding to our understanding of the structural inequalities lived by Black university students in the UK and how they are institutionally framed, much of the literature neglects the affective and emotional dimensions of Black students’ lives, and how this impacts institutional enactments of Black identities and voices. This study will explore how Black students (re)create their own sense of belonging in order to survive and flourish, and emotionally respond to conditions of racisms and exclusion in an elite university setting.

This study additionally aims to make a novel contribution to this area by ethnographically conducting the research. Through the long-term immersion into different social settings, Rae-Anne will be able to witness, engage and understand how culture is produced and reproduced in action amongst Black students in an elite university space.

Supervisors: Dr. Ayo Mansaray and Dr. Antonia Dawes.

Current thesis title: Understanding rationalised emotions amongst Black students in an elite university.