Dr Reza Gholami FRSA

Dr Reza Gholami

School of Education
Reader in Sociology of Education
Deputy Director of CRRE

Contact details

Address
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Reza joined the University of Birmingham in 2017 from Keele University. He is currently a Reader in Sociology of Education. He is also Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Education. He earned his PhD in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, where he also conducted post-doctoral research funded by the AHRC.

His research interests are:

  1. Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy;
  2. Inequalities/inequities in education access and outcomes (especially related to Islamophobia and secularism)
  3. Educational responses to extremism;
  4. Innovative models of (citizenship) education for the future. 

Currently, Reza is leading an ESRC-funded research project (the ‘NICE-B’ project) that works with non-formal educators in Birmingham, as well as the City’s diverse communities, to produce innovative inter-communal education. 

Reza has also worked in consultancy/advisory roles with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations including British Council, the Foreign Office and numerous community organisations.

He contributed to and featured in a three-part  BBC Radio 4 documentary (‘The Corrections’) about the Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse’ affair.

Qualifications

  • BA, MA, PhD (London)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching

Reza leads the  Education Policy & Social Justice module.

Postgraduate supervision

Current students

  • Abdulrahman Alghaith
  • Ingrid Abrahams
  • John Keech
  • Michelle McLardy
  • Megan Whitehouse 

Previous students  

  • Kelly Rogers

Please contact Dr Gholami directly if you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in an area related to his specialisms.

Research

Reza conducts qualitative and quantitative research; his work is broadly informed by a critical theory. His work focuses on four inter-related areas:

  1. Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy;
  2. Inequalities/inequities in education access and outcomes (especially related to Islamophobia and secularism)
  3. Educational responses to extremism;
  4. Innovative models of (citizenship) education for the future.

Currently, Reza is leading an ESRC-funded research project (the ‘NICE-B’ project) that works with non-formal educators in Birmingham, as well as the City’s diverse communities, to produce innovative inter-communal education. 

Other activities

Recent keynote lectures and invited talks

The Value of a Critical Ethnography of the Secular Today: Muslim Minorities and Secular Power, plenary lecture given at the Institute for Social Anthropology and Empirical Cultural Studies, University of Zurich, 14 December 2020 

‘City-zenship’: What does a ‘Brummie’ Education Look Like? Talk at a virtual event I organised and led for the Festival of Social Sciences, 10 November 2020

Islamophobia and Racism: The Institutional ‘work’ of Education, Secularism and Policy, Keynote Lecture given at the “Inclusivity in Education” conference at Middlesex University, London, 3 July 2019 

Racialized Humanity. Invited talk at the “Humanity under Duress” conference, University of Sheffield, 19-21 June 2019 

Diasporic Education: Challenges and Possibilities. Plenary lecture at “Diaspora and Internationalization in Higher Education” organised by BAICE at the UCL Institute of Education, 10 May 2019 

Religion, Prevent and Free Speech. Invited talk at “The Far Right and the Politics of Free Speech” SOAS, University of London, 1 March 2019 

Secularism, Policy and Education in an Age of Extremisms, invited talk by the Department of Education, Practice and Society, UCL Institute of Education, 29 November 2018 

Diasporic Living and the Secular – Lessons for Identity, Citizenship and Education, Keynote Lecture delivered at the Non-religion and Secularity Research Network conference, King’s College, London,6 July 2018

Indicators of peer esteem

  • 2020: Nominated to become Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • 2019-2020: Grant application reviewer for the British Academy (the “Education and Learning in Crises” Programme)
  • 2019: Grant application reviewer for Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
  • Since 2018: Member of the Editorial Board: Educational Review (impact factor 2.041)
  • Since 2017: Member of the Editorial Board:International Studies in Sociology of Education
  • Member of the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner’s Academic Advisory Board

Publications

Recent publications

Book

Panjwani, F, Revell, L, Gholami, R & Diboll, M (eds) 2018, Education and Extremisms: Rethinking Liberal Pedagogies in the Contemporary World. Routledge. <https://www.routledge.com/Education-and-Extremisms-Rethinking-Liberal-Pedagogies-in-the-Contemporary/Panjwani-Revell-Gholami-Diboll/p/book/9781138236110>

Article

Gholami, R 2021, 'Critical Race Theory and Islamophobia: challenging inequity in higher education', Race Ethnicity and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2021.1879770

Gholami, R & Sreberny, A 2018, 'Integration, class and secularism: the marginalization of Shia identities in the Uk Iranian diaspora', Contemporary Islam. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11562-018-0429-7

Cannizzaro, S & Gholami, R 2018, 'The devil is not in the detail: representational absence and stereotyping in the ‘Trojan Horse’ news story', Race Ethnicity and Education, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 15–29. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2016.1195350

Gholami, R 2017, 'Beyond Myths of ‘Muslim Education’: A Case Study of Two Iranian Schools in London', Oxford Review of Education, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 566-579. https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2017.1352352

Gholami, R 2017, 'The art of self-making: identity and citizenship education in late-modernity', British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 798-811. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2016.1182006

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Dr Nadena Doharty & Gholami, R 2020, Racialized Humanity. in Humanity under Duress. <http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/155940/>

Gholami, R 2019, The Politics of Diasporic Integration: The Case of Iranians in Britain. in The Wiley Handbook of Diasporas, Media and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell.

Gholami, R 2018, Citizenship and education in an age of extremisms. in A Peterson, G Stahl & H Soong (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67905-1_24-1

Spellman-Poots, K & Gholami, R 2018, Iranians in Great Britain: Integration, Cultural Production and Challenges of Identity. in MM Mobasher (ed.), Iranians in Diaspora: Challenges, Negotiations, and Transformations. University of Texas Press. <https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/mobasher-the-iranian-diaspora>

Gholami, R 2017, Cosmopolitanism as Transformative Experience: Towards a New Social Ethic. in F Panjwani, L Revell, R Gholami & M Diboll (eds), Education and Extremisms: Re-Thinking Liberal Pedagogies in the Contemporary World. Routledge, pp. 230-245.

Gholami, R 2017, The Sweet Spot between Submission and Subversion: Diaspora, Education and the Cosmopolitan Project. in D Carment & A Sadjed (eds), Diaspora as Cultures of Cooperation: Global and Local Perspectives. Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 49-69.

Commissioned report

Gholami, R & Sreberny, A 2016, Iranian Communities in Britain: A Research Report. London Middle East Institute. <https://www.soas.ac.uk/lmei-cis/events/file113142.pdf >

Other contribution

Gholami, R 2020, Coronavirus: Social distancing is cutting asylum seekers off from education and support. The Conversation . <https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-social-distancing-is-cutting-asylum-seekers-off-from-education-and-support-134951>

Working paper

Gillborn, D, Bhopal, K, Crawford, CE, Demack, S, Gholami, R, Kitching, K, Kiwan, D & Warmington, P 2021 'Evidence for the commission on race and ethnic disparities' University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00003389

View all publications in research portal

Media experience

Recent media information

Some of his research on the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair was cited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in mainstream news outlet “International Business Times”: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/islamists-wont-give-trying-take-over-british-schools-because-nobody-willing-stop-them-1607790

Times Higher Education published an article about a conference he co-organised: Education, Extremism and Criticality: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/universities-turned-into-major-arena-for-counter-extremism-warns-academic/2020249.article

Interview in ‘Eldiario.es’ on the issue of associating terrorism/violent extremism with Islam: http://www.eldiario.es/internacional/Nadie-dilucidar-Woolwich-problemas-psiquiatricos_0_138236811.html

Short film made by Faculti Media about his research into citizenship education. https://faculti.net/tag/reza-gholami/