Dr Camila Bassi BA (Hons) PGCE DPhil
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
Camila is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography. She commenced at Sheffield Hallam University in 2003. Camila was awarded a Faculty Inspirational Teaching Award in 2014 and a University Inspirational Teaching Award in 2015. She also won the Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union Academic Staff of the Year Award in 2016.
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield: DPhil (ESRC award R00429934028)
University of Sheffield: Certificate in Social Science Research Training
Open University: Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Post-Compulsory)
University of Newcastle upon Tyne: BA (Hons) Geography, First Class
Ford Prize in Geography for Best Performance
WW Anson Memorial Prize for Best Dissertation
Camila leads and teaches on a range of modules on the Geography degree, including Approaches to Human Geography, Geographies of Everyday Life, and Globalisation, Democracy and Change.
Camila’s principal research interests are: the geographies of ‘race’, ethnicity and sexuality, critical geographies, and Marxist geographies.
Camila’s doctoral research in Birmingham (UK) and later research in Shanghai concern the intersection of ‘race’ and sexuality within and through urban political economy. Her ongoing project within critical geography is to indicate the benefits of a return to, and reinvigoration of, Marx and Marxism. Accordingly, her work has offered an original exploration of key ideas from Marx and Gramsci to think through more subtle accounts of capitalism - specifically, instances from within that escape its oppressive conditions (see: Bassi, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c). Camila makes a case for a return to Marxism as an alternative to the seeming necessity to reconfigure Marxianisms via queer theory (and, more generally, post-structuralism). Her ACME paper (Bassi, 2010) builds on this ‘return to Marxism’ by critiquing the revolutionary left vanguard of England's anti-war movement through what she argues to be the spirit of Marxism, that is, the task of building a third camp of independent, internationalist, working class politics. An excavation of early Marxist work on the Jewish question guides her writing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and issue of left-wing antisemitism (Bassi, 2011). Camila also explores the present-day political deadlock between a current of radical feminists and transgender activists, which has played out on social media and across university campuses (Bassi, 2017).
Camila’s book, Outcast: How Jews Were Banished from the Anti-Racist Imagination (publication date, 15th June 2023), is an explanation of how Jewish people’s experiences of racism have been cast out of the anti-racist imagination, as the very possibility of recognising anti-Jewish racism has been displaced by the commonplace leftist belief that when Jewish people cry ‘antisemitism!’, their surreptitious intent is to cover up the real racism propagated by Israel against the Palestinians. How this has happened lies both in an academic framework for the study of racism that confines racism to a colonial phenomenon of ‘white over black’ domination, and in the antisemitic idea of ‘the Jewish question’: that something must be done about the harm which Jews pose to humanity. Outcast shows that when both are translated into an understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Zionism and all associated Jews become the representation of racism incarnate demanding the unprecedented wipe out of Israel. As a route forward, this book demonstrates that when the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is analysed through the wider historical context of European antisemitism, colonialism and nationalism, and free from ‘the Jewish question’, the racist and colonial dimensions of Israel are comprehended but not as an exceptional aberration and an outstanding stain on humanity. Escaping the confines of identity politics, including ‘racial’ identity politics, based on the idea that there are intrinsic differences dividing and excluding humanity, Outcast makes the case for a genuinely universal politics of human liberation.
Camila’s personal blog, Anaemic On A Bike, contains a range of posts and podcasts which synthesise her academic ideas with wider political currents, and reflects her commitment to open access and public engagement. See: https://anaemiconabike.com
Bassi, C. (2019). On the Death Throes of Education: Erich Fromm’s Marxist Rallying Cry for a Healthy University. In Juergensmeyer, E., Nocella II, A.J., & Seis, M. (Eds.) Neoliberalism and Academic Repression : the fall of academic freedom in the era of Trump. Brill: https://brill.com/view/title/36055?lang=en
Bassi, C. (2017). On identity politics, ressentiment, and the evacuation of human emancipation. In Nocella, A.J., & Juergensmeyer, E. (Eds.) Fighting academic repression and neoliberal education : resistance, reclaiming, organizing, and black lives matter in education. (pp. 64-75). New York: Peter Lang: http://doi.org/10.3726/978-1-4331-3894-2
Bassi, C. (2016). Tunnels of social growth within the Leviathan: A story of China’s Super Girl. In Brown, G., & Browne, K. (Eds.) The Routledge research companion to geographies of sex and sexualities. (pp. 89-96). London: Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315613000
Bassi, C. (2016). What’s radical about reality TV? An unexpected tale from Shanghai of a Chinese lesbian antihero. Gender, Place & Culture, 23 (11), 1619-1630. http://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136809
Bassi, C. (2012). ‘Shanghai Goes West’: reflections on the city’s gay political economy. In Hines, S., & Taylor, Y. (Eds.) Sexualities: past reflections, future directions. London: Palgrave MacMillan: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=483092
Bassi, C. (2011). The inane politics of Tony Cliff. Journal for the study of anti-semitism, 3 (2), 729-738.
Bassi, C. (2010). It’s new but not that new: on the continued useof old Marx. Feminist Legal Studies, 18 (1), 69-76. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-010-9146-1
Bassi, C. (2009). ‘The anti-imperialism of fools’: a cautionary story on the revolutionary socialist vanguard of England’s post-9/11 anti-war movement. ACME: an international e-journal for critical geographies, 9 (2), 113-138. http://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/863
Bassi, C. (2009). The precarious and contradictory moments of existence for an emergent British Asian gay culture. In New Geographies of Race and Racism. (pp. 209-222).
Bassi, C. (2008). The precarious and contradictory moments of existence for an emergent British Asian gay culture. In Dwyer., C., & Bressey, C. (Eds.) New geographies of race and racism. (pp. 209-222). Aldershot: Ashgate: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&title_id=9068&edition_id=10457
Bassi, C. (2006). Riding the dialectical waves of gay political economy: a story from Birmingham's commercial gay scene. Antipode: a radical journal of geography, 38 (2), 213-235. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2006.00577.x