Academics organise Black History Month events

Emily Zobel Marshall and Rachel Rich organised a Black History Month programme of events which included talks by Rob Burroughs on ‘The Racialisation of Gratitude in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond’ and Jess Van Horssen on ‘Tupac Shakur and the Embodiment of Black History.’ 
You can watch the events through these links: 

Interview with Gary Younge -

The Racialisation of Gratitude in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond -

Tupac Shakur and the Embodiment of Black History -

Emily Zobel Marshall also presented on ‘UK Black Lives Matter, Stately Homes and Statues’ for the University of the West Indies ‘Humanities in Action’ seminar series. 

If you are interested in watching the discussion, which also discussed ethical policing, you can do so by following the link below.

The rest of the UWI seminar series, focused on ‘The Historical Quest to Respect Black Bodies and Lives’, is excellent and also available on You Tube:


Charity bike ride

Jayne Raisborough completed the Cycle 300 miles challenge for Cancer Research UK and raised £590 pounds.


How to develop career cartographies

Andrew Cooper and Ben Robertson presented a paper on Career Cartographies on 15 September 2020 at the Advance HE Virtual Employability Symposium: Breaking the Mould. The paper was called ‘How to develop career cartographies’ and focused on embedding innovative online careers and employability learning through collaborative co-creative design with students and employers. The presentation slides from the event have now been uploaded to the Advance HE Knowledge Hub, and can be accessed via the link below:

The presentation was extremely well-received, and Andrew, Ben and Sarah Grund have been invited to submit an article with details of this module development as an example of good practice for the HE sector.


Digital incorporation into modules

Dr Jessica van Horssen is running training sessions on how to incorporate digital assessment into your modules in her role as CLT Associate. 

The first session, on 7 October, focussed on YouTube presentations as a form of academic communication. The next session, on 14 October, is on assigning podcasts as a form of assessment that can help students develop different styles of research communication and digital literacy. 

The final session is on the ‘unessay,’ exploring a variety of different ideas and options for revitalising module assessments for today’s digital age. Through these sessions, she has assisted several academics from different schools change their module assessment profiles to create renewed enthusiasm for coursework.

Jess has been going through a personal identity crisis, when the town of Asbestos, Canada—the subject of her first monograph—voted to change its name to Val-des-sources. Doing interviews for outlets across the western world, from the New York Times to Times Radio with Andrew Neil, Jess was able to use her research expertise to help the public understand the name change and the history it engages with. She has written a piece for the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), which you can access here.  

Lecturer's talk on the legacy of Lord Woodbine

James McGrath gave a talk organised by the Windrush Foundation on the legacy of calypso singer-songwriter Lord Woodbine (1929-2000) in September. Born Harold Phillips in Laventille, Trinidad, Lord Woodbine arrived in England on the Windrush in 1948 and lived in Liverpool where, amongst many other musical distinctions, he became a mentor to the young Beatles.  

James’s online lecture was reviewed in The Camden New Journal and The Islington Tribune on 1st October, and his PhD research at Leeds Beckett (completed 2010) is mentioned in the articles:


Lecturer's new research success

Rob Burroughs presented a paper titled ‘Inside Congo House: Britain and Central Africa in History and Memory’ at 'Central Africa and Belgium: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance' [University of Warwick, School of Modern Languages & Cultures – supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies] – 17-18 September 2020 

Rob 's new research on race and the history of emotions, recently published in an article for Journal of Victorian Culture, is cited and quoted from following an interview with Erin Anderson in The Daily Globe and Mail, Canada's most widely read daily newspaper. The article is titled 'This Thanksgiving, more than any other, gratitude is precious – but warm feelings are only the first step to living well' and is available here:


Show Racism the Red Card

Dr Daniel Kilvington gave a guest lecture for the Football Association Wales (FAW), entitled: Football’s Biggest Challenge: Exploring Online Racism and Offering Solutions. The virtual presentation was attended by over 50 members of the FAW team. The paper was given in part to celebrate the work of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), hence the sea of red. Dan has worked closely with SRtRC over the last few years and has collaborated on several recent projects. 


Ilkley Literature Festival

Emily Zobel Marshall has taken part in the digital Ilkley Literature Festival this year. She hosted and contributed to a short film which responded to archive BBC Arena documentaries – Calypso, Carnival and Steel Pan and Three Kings of Calypso, part of a special series of Arena films entitled Caribbean Nights. 

You can watch the documentaries and the short film here:

Emily also interviewed academic and author Deirdre Mask on her new book The Address Book for the Ilkley Literature festival. From the chronological numbers of Tokyo to the naming of Bobby Sands Street in Iran, in The Address Book Mask explores how postcodes, avenues and alleyways have always been connected to class, race, wealth and power. You can watch the interview here:

Emily discussed her research on oral storytelling, her interview with Gary Younge and Black British history with presenter Rima Ahmed on BBC Radio Leeds on Oct 5th.


PhD success

Tola Dabiri has passed her viva on Oct 16th with minor amendments! 

Tola’s PhD is entitled ‘Decoding Twenty-first Century Carnival: Orality and British Caribbean Carnival’. Tola received a scholarship from LBU to conduct the research. Her Director of Studies is Emily Zobel Marshall and her Supervisor is Caroline Herbert. She was also supported by Susan Watkins and Ruth Robbins. Tola gave an excellent defence and her examiners thought her research was ‘brilliant’.


Publishing success

Nasser Hussain published a short review in the TLS (

Nasser also co-wrote a feature essay on decolonizing the role of the contemporary critic in TANK magazine with fellow Ledbury Critic, Stephanie Sy-Quia (

Nasser was also part of a panel on ‘Diversifying Translation’ for English PEN’s International Translation Day on September 30th, with Valerie Brandes, Roxane Edouard, So Mayer, and Gitanjali Patel. Feedback from the organizer called the panel ‘…a huge success’ and included some excellent audience feedback: ‘wholly insightful, passionate and honest’; ‘an oasis in these hard times’.’


Lecturer involved in the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower

The following report ‘Before Grenfell: An academic enquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster’ is from Dr Shane Ewen, Co-Investigator on the Forged by Fire project, on his recent participation in a series of academic workshops to aid the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June, 2017. A video stream of the proceedings is available to watch here.

Also,  Dr Shane Ewen’s book What is Urban History?, has just been published in China by Peking University Press.


Cosmia Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction

Professor Susan Watkins gave the lead academic talk at the Cosmia Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction in conjunction with the University of Huddersfield on 29 October, 2020. 

Prof Watkins’s talk, ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It, But Does That Really Matter? Contemporary Women’s Post-Apocalyptic Fiction’, argued that contemporary women’s post-apocalyptic fiction shows us ways to revise and transform our society, culture and literature after an apocalyptic event.





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By School of Cultural Studies and Humanities
02 Aug 2021
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