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Dr Toyin Agbetu
Room 235
14 Taviton Street
Dr Toyin Agbetu profile picture
  • Lecturer in Social Anthropology
  • Dept of Anthropology
  • Faculty of S&HS

Dr Toyin Agbetu is an organic intellectual who has been a community-educator at Ligali, a UK based, Pan African, human-rights based organisation for over twenty years. As an activist collective and ICOM member, the Ligali organisation adopts a scholar-activist approach to challenging Afriphobia and the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history in the media and public spaces. He studied social and cultural anthropology at University College London (UCL) and his research interests include education and community development, counterpublics and urban social movements, cultures of protest, museum activism, gentrification and governmental/institutional forms of activism.

On the completion of his doctoral research, Toyin discovered how governmental forms of cultural practices could deliver radical social justice aims when operating in museological forms that extend outside traditional institutional walls. In September 2021, Dr Toyin Agbetu became a lecturer in Social and Political Anthropology at UCL and teaches the UG and PG module on the Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race. He remains committed to working as a scholar-activist through his independent writing, filmmaking and neo-museologist practice dedicated to reparatory and social justice, critical pedagogy, decoloniality and actively reframing Britain’s cultural institutions as powerful engines of political and social transformation through Exhibitionary Praxis. 

Research Summary
Dr Toyin Agbetu’s doctoral research looked at how institutional and governmental forms of cultural activism attempt to deliver radical social action on a neighbourhood level. His study revealed that the reverse coöptation of institutions by cultural activists and/or the long-term commitment to informal processes of coöptation between organisational insiders and outsiders enabled them to secure grassroot, social-justice focused counterpublic aims.
Teaching Summary
Dr Toyin Agbetu has been involved in formal and informal education for most of his adult life. As a community educator, his teaching has utilised a creative, liberatory/critical pedagogical style. He continues to places empathy, ethical practice, and human rights at the centre of his practice while nurturing academic rigour and intellectual creativity. In contemporary terms, this means adopting a 'decolonising' approach rooted in values of social justice dedicated to ensuring academia works to free all people from inequality, violence and dehumanisation. 
Academic Background
2021 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Anthropology University College London
2015 MSc (Hons) Master of Science University College London
2012 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of East London
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