Charles W. Mills: legacies of thought in Bristol – Seminar Recording

This seminar was co-hosted by: Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE); Centre for Black Humanities; Education, Justice and Memory Network (EdJAM).

Date: 12th October 2021

Charles W. Mills was a Jamaican-American political philosopher whose work on liberalism’s entanglements with white supremacy stretches across disciplines. His writings on the racial contract, the management of memory and epistemologies of ignorance inspire the work of many colleagues across the University of Bristol.

This seminar brings together speakers who have been enriched by Mills’ thinking to share the ways that they are using his work in their own research and teaching. The seminar aims to be informal and reflective, sparking discussion and connections in appreciation of the generous and generative ways that Mills’ ideas continue to support new horizons of scholarship.


Julia Paulson, School of Education, University of Bristol; Education, Justice and Memory (EdJAM)


  1. Remembering Charles W. Mills: From Class to Race to Black Radical Liberalism – Zara Bain, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol
  2. Mills and Human Nature: persons, sub-persons and the significance of race – Sharon Walker, School of Education, University of Bristol
  3. Mills and Education: the cognitive economies of white ignorance – Arathi Sriprakash, School of Education, University of Bristol
  4. Mills and Law: Unsettling the legal ontology of ‘racism’ – Foluke Adebisi, School of Law, University of Bristol
  5. Race, power and the politics of unknowing: why we need Mills more than ever – Elspeth Van Veeren, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol

Recommended reading from the seminar.

You can find more readings by visiting the official Charles W Mills site:

Co-host page links:

Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE):

Centre for Black Humanities:



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