Keynote Speakers

Get to know the keynote speakers of the conference Music, Research, and Activism II: Solidarities and Urgencies
Patricia Hill Collins

Patricia Hill Collins is Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, a Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emerita of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and an activist-scholar. Her books include Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990, 2000, 2022); Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (1998); Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism (2004); From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (2005); Intersectionality (2016; 2020, co-authored with Sirma Bilge); On Intellectual Activism (2012), and Lethal Intersections: Race, Gender, and Violence (2024). In 2008, she became the 100th President of the American Sociological Association, the first African American woman elected to this position in the organization’s 104-year history. In 2023, she was awarded the prestigious Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture, an award given annually to an individual whose ideas have profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world. A pioneering scholar in Black feminist thought and the study of intersectionality, race, gender, sexuality, and class, her seminal analyses of power, knowledge, and injustice have influenced scholars across social sciences and humanities.

Petra Laiti

Petra Laiti is a Sámi activist from Anárjohka. She holds a Master's degree in Economics. She has previously worked as chairperson of the Finnish Sámi Youth Association (SNN) and as an activist in the Ellos Deatnu group. Laiti is currently working at the Sámi Council with green transition and human rights. 

Shzr Ee Tan

Shzr Ee Tan (she/her or they/them) is a Reader and ethnomusicologist/performance studies researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, specializing in Sinophone, Southeast Asian, and Indigenous geocultures. She is committed to decolonial work and EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) practices in sound studies and the performing arts. Tan has initiated EDI campaigns and workshops on topics such as inter-ethnic solidarity, mental health, and toxic masculinity. 

Motivated by impact-led research, Tan’s interests range from issues of music and decolonization to how race discourses intersect with recent debates on climate awareness, changemaking, and precarity. In association with her most recent AHRC-funded research project, "Sounds of Precarious Labour: Acoustic Regimes of Transient Workers in Southeast Asia," Tan has launched a number of collaborative, creative, and pedagogical hybrid-delivered lifelong learning and activist campaigns.

In the research project Tan has collaborated with citizen researcher and domestic worker consultant Bhing Navato, from the Philippines. Bhing Navato was until recently a domestic worker in Singapore for almost 29 years. She writes poems and stories, and is a volunteer at the NGO HOME, where she provides advice and advice to fellow domestic workers in the region. Bhing was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2023 and is now back in Manila for treatment. She continues to write and share stories on her health, labour and leisure journeys on various platforms and is active as a citizen researcher.