Inspirational Women

Margaret Byron

Margaret has held full-time teaching posts in Higher Education for almost 30 years, teaching Geography at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has provided leadership in changing the content and delivery of our curriculum at Leicester to reflect changing global relations, and embedding questions of race and ethnicity across the curriculum. 

Margaret's leadership ranges from raising student and staff consciousness of the colonial origins of the discipline of Geography, to examining the dimensions of race and ethnicity in socio-cultural outcomes across space when leading on the design of fieldwork projects. She has encouraged students to tell their own stories, if they wish, through some modules and, importantly, through their dissertations. Examples of dissertation topics have included: online and off-line geographies of Black Hair; being a first-generation student at Leicester; trajectories of ethnic minority students from school and through the Geography degree. 

Margaret acts to create a more equitable and inclusive School and University, ensuring that students are able to take up roles and inhabit spaces, which, in other circumstances, they would not feel 'entitled' to do so. She has supported the Students’ Union in their race equality initiatives. She has published primarily on Caribbean migration research themes and has also produced teaching texts and contributions to the de-coloniality agenda. She also established and chairs the Royal Geographical Society Race working group.

Margaret challenged my own behaviours and actions, inspiring me to reflect on and change how I viewed race and ethnicity in an academic setting and consider how best to provide inclusive support.

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