The Positioning of Local ‘Africans’ in Northern Ireland academic research: insights from a critical systematic review

Dina Zoe Belluigi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Concerned with the politics of representation in academic knowledge production, this presentation raises questions about the positioning of 'local' Africans and people of African descent in the research output of universities in Northern Ireland.

Searches of the repositories of Northern Ireland’s research-intensive institutions returned 209 collated items (including reports, journal articles, books, blogs et cetera) published between 1994-2022. These were systematically reviewed and mapped by author, methodology, subject matter, terminology, funding, recommendations and so on. Drawing from a Critical Discourse Analysis of this mapping, insights will be shared about the ways in which they/we are constructed and positioned therein. This will include consideration of the constructed relations to various minoritised and racialised groups, identities, discourses and subject matter; and those of the dominant ‘communities’. It will also include the relations to knowledge production processes themselves – including the nature of participation and what that reveals about authoring, authorship and authority.

This is a work-in-progress from one component of a current Leverhume-funding research project titled 'Academic Research Responsiveness to Ethnic Minorities and Migrants in Northern Ireland' led by Dr Belluigi, assisted by Yvonne Moynihan, and in partnership with the MME Council ThinkTank. Collected data about outputs will by triangulated with primary data generated from questionnaire responses and semi-structured interviews with academics; institutional research developers; and the named governmental and non-governmental partners of such research. The project explores the ways in which localised research enquiry about underserved populations is constructed, perceived and impacted by the various stakeholders and structures which influence the contexts’ higher education ecology. In doing so, it seeks to comprehend the complexities of the internal and external factors which shape research structures and cultures, and their relation to enabling or constraining the agency and practice of academic actors’ knowledge production with, about, or as members, of under-represented populations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 16 Feb 2023
EventAfricans in Ireland: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives - Queens University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Apr 202329 Apr 2023


ConferenceAfricans in Ireland: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The Positioning of Local ‘Africans’ in Northern Ireland academic research: insights from a critical systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this