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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Dr. Roxana Willis

Dr. Roxana Willis

University of Oxford
Legal anthropology

External Junior Fellow
(Marie S. Curie FCFP)
September 2021 - July 2022

Room 02 020
Phone +49 (0)761 - 203 97602

CV

Dr Roxana Willis is the Principal Investigator of the Cameroon Conflict Research Group and a Lecturer in Criminal Law at the University of Oxford. She holds an LLB in Law with European Legal Studies, an LLM in International Economic Law, and a DPhil in Law. Before joining FRIAS, Roxana completed a British Academy Postdoctoral fellowship in Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship in Law at University College, Oxford. Roxana’s research investigates the legal system through the prism of structural inequality. For the doctorate, she conducted an ‘ethnography at home’ and examined how one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in England informally handled conflict before escalating it to the police. Following the outbreak of conflict in the anglophone region of Cameroon in 2016/17, in partnership with Barrister Mbinkar Caroline, Roxana established a research group to document ongoing human rights abuses and to critically examine the violence and its causes. Roxana will use the opportunity afforded by the FRIAS fellowship to work with Prof. Dr. Andreas Mehler and develop the Cameroon conflict research further.

Selected Publications

  • Willis, R., A Precarious Life: Understanding class, race, and conflict in a deindustrialised town. (forthcoming, OUP)
  • Willis, R., & Hoyle, C., “The Good, The Bad, and The Street: Does ‘street culture’ affect offender communication and reception in restorative justice?” (2019),European Journal of Criminology.
  • Willis, R., “‘Let’s Talk About It.’ Why social class matters to restorative justice.” (2018), Criminology & Criminal Justice.
  • Willis, R., “A comparative analysis of widow dispossession in anglophone and francophone Cameroon.” (2018), 62 Journal of African Law 147.
  • Willis, R., “Three Approaches to Community in Restorative Justice.” (2016), Restorative Justice: An International Journal 4(2), 1-27.

FRIAS Research Project

Rethinking Freedom: Insights from Black Protest and Demands for Decolonisation

Black protests have rippled across the globe. While the Black Lives Matter movement is of modern origin, black resistance to systemic racism and violence is centuries old, ongoing since the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (Green, 2019; James, 2001). Emerging research is beginning to reveal the significance of subaltern resistance in the development of European Enlightenment thinking; black thought has consistently challenged foundational liberal conceptions of freedom, justice, and equality through action as well as scholarship (Du Bois, 1999; Fanon, 1968; Gilroy, 1993; Gopal, 2019; Lowe, 2015; Said, 2003). The proposed project contributes to this emerging area by revisiting conceptions of freedom through the lens of postcolonial thinking and contemporary struggles for decolonisation in anglophone Cameroon (Mbembe, 2016, 2017; Willis et al., 2020). Knowledge exchange with Cameroonian scholars is core to the proposal. Moreover, innovative methods of public engagement will facilitate race dialogue within the local community, as well as the academic institution. By the end of the project, race literacy among participants will be enhanced and our understanding of freedom – a foundational concept in liberal society – enriched.