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Visiting Academics

Dr Robert Beckford Visting Fellow

Robert Beckford is an educator, author and award-winning broadcaster. An educator for most of his life, he first taught adult literacy at Bournville College in Birmingham in the early 1990s and progressed to become the first ever tutor in Black Theology at Queens College, Birmingham (1992-8) where he taught trainee priests and ministers for the Anglican and Methodist churches. He began teaching at the University of Birmingham in 1999, working first as a Research Fellow with black offenders at Birmingham Prison and then moving to the faculty as the first Lecturer in Black Theology in 2001. He spent two years as the Reader in Black Theology and Popular Culture at Oxford Brookes University, before taking up a visiting fellowship at the University of Warwick. Robert is the author of five academic texts in the field of religion, culture and politics, including a study of Rastafari and Pentecostalism (Dread and Pentecostal 2002), Gang Culture in Birmingham (God and the Gangs 2004) and a Theology of Reggae-Dub (Jesus Dub 2006). His current research explores the role of documentary film as resistance to the bewitchment of black British Christianity by a-politicism and anti intellectualism (Documentary as Exorcism, Continuum 2010). A firm believer in teaching for social change, Robert has retained a commitment to teaching outside of traditional contexts. An extension of his organic approach to intellectual matters led him into broadcasting in 1999, and he has presented a plethora of documentaries on radio and television.