Shirin Hirsch researches race, class and migration in post war British history. She is currently working on a public history project exploring Enoch Powell, race and resistance in the West Midlands. This focuses on the unstable relationship between Powell and his constituency and how Powell’s politics were negotiated in the area. 2018 will be the 50th anniversary of Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and to reflect on this moment, Shirin is working closely with the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the artists Anand Chhabra and Jagdish Patel to prepare an exhibition on the speech and its impact in Wolverhampton. A number of events are planned in April involving the local community to draw out the memories of resistance in response to Powell's speech and to document the experiences of ethnic minority communities in Wolverhampton. This project Shirin is coordinating has recently received Shared Heritage Lottery funding.
Before this, Shirin worked at the University of Glasgow on a project examining the neighborhood level processes in Scotland by which ethnicity is asserted, constructed and resisted. She has also worked at the University of Manchester on a project exploring the refugee ‘second generation’ and is publishing papers from both projects on race, nation and the immigration system. Shirin’s PhD focused on Chilean exiles, British solidarity and the labour movement.