Cultural Studies & Humanities Good News - September 2020
The latest good news from the School of Cultural Studies & Humanities in September 2020.
Lecturer delivered webinar paper
On 10 July Simon Morgan delivered a webinar paper on ‘Disability, Authorship and Political Radicalism in the Life and Poetry of James Vernon of South Molton’ as part of the ‘Art and Action’ series of Webinars on literary authorship, politics, and celebrity culture organised by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). The paper explored the intersection between disability and literary political radicalism in early Victorian Britain through the work of James Vernon, wheelchair user, author of the Afflicted Muse and regular contributor to the poetry column of the Chartist Northern Star newspaper. Vernon is an excellent case study for exploring the potentials and limitations of literary activism as a strategy for self-actualisation and empowerment.
Lecturer named runner up for Innovation in Teaching award 2020
Jessica van Horssen has been named ‘runner up’ for the Royal Historical Society’s Innovation in Teaching Award 2020 for her Digital History and Civil Rights in North America modules: http://blog.royalhistsoc.org/2020/07/22/2020-rhs-award-winners/
She also spoke at DEAP Digital on the ‘unessay’ and bringing creativity to assessments, which was tied to her Digital History module. The recording of this session can be found here: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/5d53c543-7f20-4145-9c65-7c11e841db81
Dr Kelly Hignett featured as an expert commentator on Mariella Frostrup's show on Time Radio on 27th July, discussing the life and legacy of Miloš Jakeš (Czechoslovakian leader 1987-89, who recently died).
You can hear the relevant segment, called ‘Life and Times’, which starts 1h47mins in to the recording below:
Katherine Harrison, Jayne Raisborough and Lisa Taylor have had their paper on spatial representations published in Sociological Research Online. This paper comes from the BA fund and is the first of 2 from this project .
What makes this paper unique is that it expands Wacquant’s ‘spatial taint’ to television and adds spatiality to contemporary theorisations of benefit stigma. In this paper we put Tom Slater’s concept of agnotology to work to ask just what do these images of space distract us from.
Lecturer’s book published
Melanie Chan’s monograph 'Digital Realities' will be out on the 17th September. This makes a great addition to our REF case and also provides a strong research underpinning for our new course and for Mel's modules. Apart from that, the book makes a distinct contribution by focusing on movement, and what Mel calls our 'sense of aliveness' .
Out with Bloomsbury.
As contemporary scholars, journalists, and commentators have indicated, mobile digital devices promote a constant shift of attention between the world around us and the stimulations afforded by screen-based interfaces. Investigating these uniquely contemporary hybrid interactions, this book posits that while digital technologies are part of a long and historic trajectory, they nonetheless may instigate new forms of corporeal practices and experiences. Digital Reality asks how might continuous engagement with mobile devices and associated software impact our perception of sensory embodied experience?
Drawing upon existing scholarship around mobile media and new media, Digital Reality explores digital technologies as phenomena (observable items such as such as smart-phones, handsets, consoles, head-mounted displays and goggles) in the light of theories of reality and corporeality. In so doing, the book highlights the qualitative dimensions of our sense of aliveness, movement, and interaction within a range of environments (virtual, real, or hybrid). Ultimately, the book illuminates how our sense of shared, objective reality changes due to hybrid forms of reality.
Talking Race Podcast Series
During the summer, Dr Dan Kilvington co-created and launched the Talking Race podcast with Vini Lander, Professor of Race and Education and Director of the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality (CRED) in the Carnegie School of Education. The first series, which can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, among other digital platforms, was released 14 July with the final episode airing 24 August. The series covered a range of topics including ‘race’, Critical Race Theory, and explored racism in children’s literature, education, sport and cyberspace. The show featured an array of guests including Kehinde Andrews, Jessie Daniels and David Gillborn. And, in episode 3, Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, of CSH, stepped in as guest host to discuss ‘race’ and children’s literature with Darren Chetty and Lisa Stephenson. The podcast, funded by CRED, is a valuable resource for students, academics, researchers, industry professionals and activists with an interest in ‘race’ and how racism operates across institutions and systems. The podcast was highlighted by the Yorkshire Post in July, and the article can be read here: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/people/we-cant-be-not-racist-we-have-be-anti-racist-new-podcast-exploring-racism-hopes-inspire-positive-change-2923734
You can listen to the podcasts via the following links:
Series 2 will be released in February 2021.
Dan was also an invited speaker at the BBC Sport organised event, Avoiding Racial Bias: Football Broadcast Industry Training Webinar. The webinar, which saw over 250 industry professionals including commentators and journalists working at Sky Sports, BBC and BT Sports, aims to highlight how players of colour are represented in sports commentary in contrast to white players. Drawing on his 2012 book, ‘Race’, Racism and Sports Journalism, Dan explained the evolution of ‘race’, challenged the myth of scientific ‘race’ thinking, explained the impact of racialised stereotypes and offered solutions regarding industry change.
On Wednesday 9 September, Dan also featured on Sanchez Payne’s BBC Radio Leeds evening show and spoke about on racism in sport, racism in cyberspace, how to challenge online racism, racial bias in sports commentary, and the Talking Race podcast.
To listen, click the link and scroll along to 21.15.40: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08ph5yl
Lecturers research article published
Andrew Lawson’s research article, “Smith vs. Wingfield: Remaking the Social Order in the Chesapeake,” has been published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. In what is turning out to be a series of articles about early capitalism and anxious patriarchs, Andrew re-examines the famous clash, in the early period of the Virginia colony, between John Smith and Edward Maria Wingfield. Drawing on records in the Calendar of State Papers, Andrew reconstructs Wingfield’s disastrous military career and declining family fortunes, contrasting these with Smith’s rise to prominence as the eldest son of an enterprising yeoman farmer. This background gave Smith the ability to bargain for food with Native Americans in the Chesapeake, undermining the gentry class privilege that was only tenuously held by Wingfield. Class conflicts generated in early modern England played a decisive role in shaping the development of England’s American colonies.
Lecturer’s script created into a short animation for TED-Ed on Caribbean Folklore
Emily Zobel Marshall has had a script accepted by TED-Ed on Caribbean Folklore. TED-Ed will be creating a short animation of her script on Anansi as an educational tool to introduce audiences to the Anansi figure and the history of Anansi as an African-rooted resistance figure in the Caribbean. TED-ed is TED's youth and education initiative — it ‘aims to spark and celebrate the ideas and knowledge-sharing of teachers and students around the world’. You can find out more here: https://ed.ted.com.
On June 22nd Emily also interviewed British Caribbean author Colin Grant as part of ‘Generations Dreaming’, which she hosted with Leeds based poet Khadijah Ibrahim. It was online event organised with the Geraldine Connor Foundation to mark and celebrate Windrush day. The interview with Colin is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIal1HdJL0U
Emily has had three poems published in the journal Caribbean Quarterly in an issue on ‘Activist Women’ (Sep, 2020, Vol. 66 Issue 3). The poems, which examine her Caribbean heritage, her grandfather and our relationship with nature, are available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcbq20/current she also took part in an interview on August 28th with BBC Radio Leeds presenter Sanshez Payne on the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I Have a Dream Speech’. They discussed the importance of the speech during the Civil Rights Movement and how it ties into the current Black Lives Matter movement. It is available on BBC sounds.
Lecturer’s article published in History Workshop Journal
Aaron Andrews has had an article accepted for publication in History Workshop Journal. ‘Truth, Justice and Expertise in 1980s Britain: The Cultural Politics of the New Cross Massacre’ is based on research conducted as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Forged by Fire: Burns Injury and Identity in Britain, 1800-2000’.
The article draws on an archive established by activists connected to the British Black Power Movement to examine how they responded to the tragic deaths of 14 young black people in a London housefire in 1981. Locals suspected that their deaths were caused by a racist arson attack. However, the government were largely silent over the deaths while the media blamed the victims. The New Cross Massacre campaign mobilised support from across Britain, held the largest black political protest march in British history, and deployed alternative forms of expertise to challenge the state’s monopoly on ‘truth’. In spite of this, the true cause of the tragedy has never been established.
A version of this paper was given as part of Leeds Beckett’s History seminar series. Aaron would like to thanks colleagues for their thoughtful feedback and the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities and Centre for Culture and the Arts for their generous support which has allowed this article to be published Open Access.
Hidden air raid shelters in Leeds
Henry Irving is running a digital event on hidden air raid shelters in Leeds as part of the national Heritage Open Day programme.
The event, in collaboration with a local heritage artist, will give visitors the opportunity to explore a 3D model of a Leeds ‘trench’ shelter. The council built 31 of these structures at the beginning of the war, including in Beckett Park and on Woodhouse Moor. The shelters were bricked up at the end of the war and most remain to this day.
Henry’s event was recently featured by the Yorkshire Post and is the subject of a blog for the Institute of Historical Research.
The event forms part of a wider research project on civil defence and provides the foundations for the module ‘Public History Project’, which will give students the opportunity to create their own digital resources commemorating the 1941 Leeds Blitz.
Lecturer starts funded project ‘Landscapes of Loss’
Lisa Taylor will start her ISRF funded project 'Landscapes of Loss' in January 2021. Working with artist Catherine Bertola (herself an ex-Bailliff Bridge resident) Lisa aims to bring together ex-Firths Carpets workers and village newcomers to work on a public photography project as a mean to commemorate the skilled labour once vital to the village.
News about the project has already hit the LBU website, radio airwaves and the local press. Features have already appeared in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Brighouse Echo, Huddersfield Examiner and on 15th September an interview for the #OhAye series was broadcast on Richard Stead's breakfast show. To listen to the feature, download the BBC Sound App and search the #OhAye series.'