Lena Sawyer

Senior Lecturer

Department of Social
Visiting address
Sprängkullsgatan 23
41123 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 720
40530 Göteborg

About Lena Sawyer

Hello and welcome to my page! I received my Ph.D in cultural anthropology (2000) from University of California Santa Cruz in 2000, and since then I have lived and worked in Sweden in the department of social work where I have focused on understanding power from different perspectives and methodologies grounded in intersectionality and coloniality. My areas of competence include: Coloniality, Black feminisms, public space and memory, Black archives, Education and institutional discrimination.

Current research: During the last few years I have been interested in understanding academia from decolonial perspectives and methodologies, which has meant for me creating approaches to knowledge making grounded in other epistemologies than I previously have worked with. Together with Nana-Osei Kofi (Women's Studies Oregon State Univ) I have collaborated in the project “Listening”: Engaging the imperial archive through Black feminist methodologies and arts-based research (2018-current). In this project we have studied public space in relation to archiving and and coloniality. We have approached current debates and ongoing collective memory work around public space, memory and representation as a form of social care. For example, we have explored the statue The Iron Well, as well as other places/monuments in the city of Gothenburg as fragments of coloniality, which through our approach are woven together and offer a reinvisioned purpose and public. We are inspired by critical archiving approaches and methodologies, for example Sadiya Harman's "critical fabulation" and Tina Campt's methodology of "listening".