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Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins

Contact details

Email: l dot sealey-huggins at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel.: +44 (0)24765 24970
Room: R3.29, Ramphal Building

Advice and Feedback Hours (Term 1) - via MS Teams:

Wednesdays 12.30 - 13.30

Please book a time slot using this link.

In case of clashes, meetings at other times available by appointment.

Please note that I work part-time, typically on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Twitter: @Leon_Ayo (personal account)

Assistant Professor

Biography

I joined the Global Sustainable Development (GSD) programme in September 2016 from the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Prior to that appointment I worked in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.

My work centres on the social and political relations of climate breakdown, with a particular focus on the Caribbean region. In my research I consider the sociology and politics of the climate crisis in the Caribbean, investigating what climate justice means in the context of global historical, and present, inequalities. I am particularly keen to bring a sociological lens to bear upon what are often very unsociological, and depoliticised, discussions of climate breakdown.


Teaching and supervision

I am delighted to have been a part of the launch of the GSD programme at Warwick. The programme has offered me the opportunity to bring together the different disciplinary approaches I have worked with (mainly geography, sociology, political sciences) into my teaching. The programme is attracting a very engaged body of students who are a pleasure to work with.

On the GSD programme I am responsible for three modules:

Beyond the School, I have a broad range of teaching experience in sociology including having taught on introductory social theory and research methods courses, and more specialist environmental sociology modules.

I have supervised a number of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations to completion.

I am particularly keen to explore the role of education in pursuit of more equal and sustainable societies, and am trying to adopt pedagogical approaches that will help to achieve this end.

I am a committee member of the Warwick branch of the Universities and College Union (UCU) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Association.


Research

I completed my PhD in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds in 2014. The thesis constituted a sociological investigation into the politics of climate breakdown in the Caribbean. It involved conducting ethnographic fieldwork with actors involved in activism, public engagement and policy-making across the region. The thesis found that while there are indeed trends towards depoliticised, and unsociological, responses to the climate crisis in and around the Caribbean, it is impossible to understand these tendencies without reference to the history of the region as a formerly colonised area. Moreover, the current trajectories of development and climate breakdown in the Caribbean need to be understood in relation to more recent shifts towards forms of neoliberal governance.

My general research interests centre on and around: the sociology of climate breakdown in the Caribbean; the conditions of contemporary higher education; explorations in activist-scholarship; and the impacts of neoliberalism on contemporary societies.

I am a Committee member of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies.

Recent projects

  • Along with Black Conscious Coventry, Dr Meleisa Ono-George, Dr Lara Choksey and Dr Nathaniel Tobias C———, I am coordinating a European Culture Foundation-funded community research intervention, Windrush Strikes Back! Grounded in the conviction that “We are here, because you were there”, the project aims to recruit local descendants of the Windrush Generation to act as “Decolonial Detectives”, digging deeper into inter-related hidden histories.
  • Antipode International Workshop Grant “Frontiers of environmental justice: Building transoceanic solidarity between the Pacific, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom”, University of Warwick, Institute for Global Sustainable Development/Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies. In collaboration with Dr Anja Kanngieser.

Publications, media and community engagement

Peer-reviewed publications

Community engagement

I have worked with a number of activist networks, community organisations and civil society groups to broaden the conversations on the climate crisis and social justice beyond the academy. In conjunction with Black Conscious Coventry I participated in an Ideas Cafe: Caribbean Studies Workshop.

Media

In addition to contributing non-academic publications, I am keen to share my research with as wide an audience as possible. I have appeared as an invited commentator on broadcast media including Al Jazeera (What's behind world's recent extreme weather events? - Inside Story), the BBC, France24, and Talk Radio.

Selected non-academic publications

Selected conference papers and invited presentations

  • August 2020, Labour for a Green New Deal, 'What a real Global Green New Deal looks like' [watch online]
  • July 2020, Arms Trade 101 & Intersecting Issues: Panel Event [watch online]
  • April 2020, Stream Plenary, Race and Climate Change, British Sociological Association [cancelled due to CV-19 crisis]
  • March 2020, Race + Climate Justice: Collective Conversation, Racial Justice Network, Leeds
  • November 2019, Keynote Speaker, Political Ecologies of the Far Right, Lund University [watch online]
  • November 2019, Final Plenary, Historical Materialism, SOAS/Birkbeck, 'Disaster Communism, Extinction Capitalism and How to Survive Tomorrow'.
  • October 2019, David Nicholls Trust 20th Memorial Lecture, Oxford University
  • April 2018, 'Climate Justice: An Inequitable Burden', Commonwealth People's Forum, Commonwealth Foundation
  • August 2017, 'One point five to stay alive: climate change and the Black British community', Inaugural Deyika Nzeribe Memorial Lecture.
  • July 2016, ‘Rethinking Climate Change in the Caribbean: Locating the Politics of Climate Debt’, Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Plenary Panel: Politics and Philosophies of Reparation, 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies, Newcastle University Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • June 2016, Conference presentation, ‘Rethinking Caribbean Futures: Climate change in the Caribbean’, Caribbean Studies Association Annual Conference, Haiti