The media coverage of the Brexit Referendum in 2016 focused disproportionately upon the notion that Britain close its borders and reduce immigration if the country left European Union.  Media discourse on the issues of immigration, race and ethnicity are best described as negative, whilst Government policies on immigration, appear to promote a hostile environment in order to deter potential immigrants. This discourse is not new, sixty years ago when the Windrush generation arrived in Britain they faced discrimination, prejudice and last year, a number of them who had arrived legally, most likely as children, were  been removed from the UK because they were unable to prove they had a right to remain.

So what if anything has changed in the intervening years since Empire Windrush docked in 1948 bringing to the UK hundreds of Caribbean migrants? What parallels are there between the media discourse of Windrush and newer migrants from Eastern Europe or further afield?  Does post-Brexit Britain mean incidents like Windrush will be legitimised as the UK takes control of who is welcome in the country?

Although post Brexit immigration policies still remain worryingly unclear there is the possibility that people already in the UK under the Freedom of Movement Act will be required to prove their status. Therefore this conference examines media discourse on Brexit, and asks has it enabled racism and anti-immigration attitudes to flourish in British society? How does this discourse de-legitimise people’s histories and their political claim to British citizenship?

To mark Windrush Day, the MeCCSA Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Network, in collaboration with The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, at De Montfort University examine if and how the media discourse on immigration has changed and evolved or have people’s personal narratives and right to live freely regardless of their background been taken away? To tackle these issues requires the consideration of political policies, histories and the media narrative.

Key note Speaker TBC


Academic papers are invited to explore (but not limited to) the following topics:

Please email a 200 word abstract and a short bio to by Friday 3rd May 2019.

Following a review of abstract notifications will be made by Friday 18th May.

  • What legacies should be commemorated on Windrush Day?
  • What are the different legacies of Windrush? And what lessons can be learnt from it?
  • Is there a relationship between Windrush and Brexit? Ie commonalities and similarities.
  • How do people’s attitudes to immigration help us to understand society and media?
  • Has reporting on Windrush, immigration, citizenship and race enabled racism and prejudice to be normalized?
  • What does the discourse on immigration suggest for power relations in terms of gender and race?
  • What frameworks are required to address issues around race and discrimination following Windrush and post Brexit?
  • How do the media use immigration as a tool for racism in their discourse?
  • Immigration/citizenship what are challenges and issues facing newer and other minority communities.

Please email abstracts to  Any questions or queries please direct to This is a free event.