The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities - Taking on global issues event
The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities held an online event to discuss the global issues they are tackling, how this feeds into their teaching, and the opportunities this provides students to explore challenges for culture and society in the Leeds city region. Henry Irving from History, Emily Zobel Marshall from English and Creative Writing and Dan Kilvington from Media have each written a summary of their topics of discussion from the event.
The History courses at Leeds Beckett contain multiple opportunities to apply your learning. You will be supported from the start by tutors who take a real interest in sharing historical research, with modules and assessment that allow you to create work you can be proud of.
The Public History Project module is a good example of how this works in practice. It’s an optional third-year module that involves working with external organisations to create pieces of history for the public. So instead of writing an essay, you might create a website or a walking trail.
This year’s project marked the 80th anniversary of the Leeds worst Second World War air raid. To commemorate these events, the students created an amazing website and helped to update a digital map pinpointing where the bombs fell. The response from the public was incredible. Thousands of people visited the site, the map was featured by the BBC, and students from the module appeared on TV and radio to talk about what they had found.
All of this helped the students to develop their historical and transferable skills. Just as importantly, the students found the journey an incredibly rewarding one. You can take this from Megan Guest, who explored what happened to the original Leeds Museum. She said afterwards: ‘Creating the website was a fantastic experience and the response from the public has been wonderful to see.’
You can see what the group came up with here.
English Literature and Creative Writing
On the English and English and Creative Writing Degrees at our school, you will be taught directly by leading literary researchers to develop your own creative and critical voice.
Our students graduate with a wide range of transferable skills in writing, research and critical thinking which are highly valued by employers. While we foster a global outlook in our students, we also cultivate opportunities for our students within our local cultural and literary communities.
My main area of research and teaching expertise is literature from the African Diaspora, Caribbean carnival cultures and folklore. I also consult institutions across the city on race and diversity issues. I am Vice-chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association, an anti-racism organisation that aims to tackle social injustice through the arts.
In this presentation, I demonstrate how our research, partnerships and our teaching on the degree come together to provide an eye-opening education for our students, engaging them in real-world contemporary concerns and debates. We provide our students with unique opportunities to engage with the literary cultures of the city and beyond and encourage them to take an active interest in the cultures and politics of their contemporary world.
In Media, we aim to create global graduates with a global outlook. However, we don't overlook the impact and opportunities that exist at the local level. My area of expertise revolves around 'race' and racism in sport and online. This, of course, is a global problem but through my work I have created and designed inclusion events and strategies to combat racism in sport within West Yorkshire. For example, in 2016 I founded Creating and Developing Coaches (CDC), an initiative that aims to highlight opportunities for under-represented and disadvantaged groups in football. CDC has been supported by key stakeholders both nationally and regionally, such as Leeds United, Bradford City and Huddersfield Town.
On our degree programme, BA (Hons) Media, Communication, Cultures, we critically examine key ideas, debates and theories central to the discipline. This includes contemporary music consumption, how we access and interpret news, and how modern technology is potentially eroding our privacy. The curriculum offers a global outlook, but we always attempt to situate such debates and theories within the present, and how it connects with us personally and regionally. Where possible, we use our links and networks to help profile students' work and generate industry opportunities. The degree programme and its ethos is akin to what I do as an academic; I investigate global phenomena and attempt to generate impact and positive change both locally, nationally, and globally.
You can watch the event recording for all three subjects here.
Emily’s research is informed by postcolonial theory and includes examinations of constructions of identity, race and racial politics and Caribbean carnival cultures. She is particularly interested in forms of cultural resistance and cross-cultural fertilisation in the face of colonialism. Emily is an expert in the role of trickster figures in the literatures and cultures of Africa and its Diaspora and has published widely in this area.
Dan's research interests include anti-racism, social media and sport. His book 'Sport and Discrimination' draws on examples from football, rugby, cricket, tennis, climbing, the Olympics and the Paralympics to explore racism, sexism, homophobia, disability and the role of the media in both perpetuating and tackling discrimination in sport.