Dr Nadena Doharty


Dr Nadena Doharty is a sociologist of education working in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. Nadena read her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Politics and postgraduate degree in International Relations at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. After a PGCE specialising in sociology and Politics, Nadena earned her PhD at the University of Keele.

You can find Nadena on twitter @PhD_NDoharty.

Research Interests

Nadena’s areas of specialisation include: the sociology of education (racialised, gendered and classed inequalities in compulsory schooling); the teaching and learning of Black History/Black History Month in schools; identities and racialised cultural differences through the curriculum; critical (race) methodologies and, critical/anti-racist pedagogy.

Key questions Nadena is interested in researching are: what is the purpose (for students and teachers) of teaching and learning black history? Why is Black History approached in particular ways? How do Black students experience this type of instructio and what is the impact on their personhood? How can Black History be made anti-racist and culturally relevant? A keen critical race ethnographer and counter-narrative advocate, Nadena privileges the racialised students’ perspective and experience as valuable knowledge that should be centred and listened to if educators are to reach more equitable outcomes.

The sociology of education (with a focus on ‘raced’ subjects) allows for a broader understanding of inequalities to include what happens outside the classroom walls: the institutional, the political and the ideological. The books that influence Nadena’s work include: Derrick Bell’s Faces at the bottom of the well: The permanence of racism (1992); George Yancy’s Black Bodies, White Gazes (2017); Zeus Leonard’s Race, Whiteness and Education (2009); and Edward Taylor, David Gillborn and Gloria Ladson-Billing’s Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education (2009).

Key Publications

Journal articles

Doharty, N (January, 2018) ‘I FELT DEAD’: Applying a racial microaggressions framework to black students’ experiences of Black History Month and Black History, Race, Ethnicity and Education DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2017.1417253

Doharty, N., (March, 2018) ‘Is it because I’m Black?’: Personal reflections on Stuart Hall’s memoir Familiar Stranger, A Life Between Two Islands, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2017.1412154

Doharty, N., (submitted, June 2018), ‘I felt your anger through the strength of your writing’: being an unintentional angry and strong black woman in critical race research. British Journal of Sociology of Education

Book chapters

Doharty, N., (forthcoming, Autumn 2018), ‘Black history and national policy in England: legitimising anti-Blackness, 1960s- present day’, In: Perspectives on the Teaching of Black History in Schools by LaGarett King, Information Age Publishers: US (Book chapter accepted and under review)


Doharty, N., (2015), ‘Hard Time Pressure inna Babylon’: Why Black History in Schools is Failing to Meet the Needs of BME Students, at Key Stage 3. The Runnymede School Report: Race, Education and Inequality in Contemporary Britain, edited by Claire Alexander, Debbie-Weekes-Bernard and Jason Arday. Runnymede: London

Doharty, N., (2018) Book review: Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of women of colour surviving and thriving in British academia. UCL Institute of Education Press: London (forthcoming, December 2018)