What U Lookin @?

‘Don’t just stand there and look,’ says a piece of ancient advice, ‘DO something’.

The opposite is good advice too: ‘Don’t just do something, STAND THERE, and LOOK.’

‘What are you looking at?’ asks a poster. Human beings first started asking each other that question about 70,000 years ago. But the language in which it’s posed on the poster – ‘what u lookin @?’ – is the language of tweeting and text-messaging, less than 25 years old.

Homo sapiens has always been homo timens, an anxious creature. And has always needed to stand there, take stock, look, before acting. But nowadays looking has certain distinctive new features, evoked and symbolised by the international conventions of global youth culture, and global social media.

On the Insted website in autumn 2018 there are six new items concerned with standing there, looking, taking stock.

‘What U Lookin @?’ – a lecture to mark the 20th anniversary of the Runnymede Trust’s report on Islamophobia, with pictures and icons

Reflections and Resolutions – views and voices about equalities and change in British education systems

Equalities in Education – stories, endings and what next, autumn 2018

Defining and Describing Islamophobia – a few notes, and links to key documents

Religion and Conflict – modest notes and proposals

Tributes, Remembrance and Respect – former colleagues and comrades.

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