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Cultural Studies & Humanities Good News - Febraury 2020

The latest good news from the School of Cultural Studies & Humanities.

Cultural Studies Trip to Paris

Lecturers Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Dr Rachel Rich and Gaspard Pelurson took 28 students on a Cultural Studies three-day trip to Paris.

They visited the Palace of Versailles, Sacré-Cœur Basilica and Les Invalides, among other memorable cultural sites. A wonderful time was had by all – the weather was bright and cold, and the students were full of energy.

Leeds Beckett lecturers give talk at London exhibition

The 'Forged by Fire: Burns Injury and British Identity, 1800-2000' exhibition was held at the Museum of the Order of St John in Central London in January where it attracted a good number of visitors and some very useful feedback, including safety pledges and visual data on where visitors have received a burn or scald injury.

In addition to the exhibition, a series of public lectures were held on Wednesday lunchtimes and evenings. Lecturer Dr Shane Ewen gave a lunchtime talk on accidents in places of public entertainment (focusing on cinemas, sports stadia and public fireworks celebrations), while research fellow Aaron Andrews spoke on the silence of the state and the black cultural response following the New Cross Massacre in 1981.

In their evening lecture on the 29th, Shane and Aaron jointly spoke on 'Before Grenfell: Fatal Building Fires and Community Resilience in Post-war Britain'. Speaking about the Ronan Point tower block explosion (1968), the fire at Bradford City stadium (1975), and the New Cross Massacre (1981), they examined the reasons for establishing public inquiries for the first two disasters, as well as their outcomes, and the reasons for not establishing an inquiry in the latter case.

They had a very engaged audience for this important topic, including civil servants from the Home Office's Fire and Resilience Directorate (presumably having spent the day at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry).

17,000 views on Frozen 2 Article

Dr Emily Zobel Marshall has had an article published in December on the online academic journal, The Conversation about Disney’s Frozen 2 called, ‘Frozen 2’s postcolonial plotline: is it all a bit of a charade?’ The article, which examines Disney’s portrayal of indigenous people and she has received over 17,000 views so far, you can read it here.

Emily has also been invited to become a Creative Associate for the Geraldine Connor Foundation, which is a Leeds based charity established in 2012 to continue the work and vision of the theatre director, ethnomusicologist and carnival artist Geraldine Connor by bringing people together through arts and culture.

The GCF provide global perspectives across many artforms including music, theatre, dance, spoken word poetry and visual arts and reach around 800 young people every year through projects that include workshops, performances and mentoring programmes.


Lecturer wins prize for Best Poetry 

Steve Nash’s latest poetry collection, Myth Gatherers, was named as the winner of Burning Eye Books’ ‘Not the Forward Prize’ for Best Poetry Collection.

The book was described by Helen Mort as: ‘A beautiful collection – polished, inviting, and immersive, from one of the very best and most unique northern voices.

After a long and capable service by Fern Pullan, Zoë Moreton has now taken over as the Post Graduate Research representative for the school.  Zoë will be attending quarterly school committee meetings, raising concerns and offering feedback on behalf of the post graduate community within the school.  If you have anything you would like Zoë to action or voice for consideration, please email her at


Economist Article

Lecturer Dr Jessica van Horssen was featured in The Economist last month.The article focuses on the town of Asbestos, Canada, and the possibility of it changing its name to improve its economic prospects. As someone who's written a book on this community, I was interviewed about the likelihood of the name change, and whether or not it would actually change the prospects for the town. In sum: the town by any other name would still have a 2 km wide opencast asbestos mine at the centre of it, and this proposal is simply yet another attempt by the community to diversify its local economy now that its main industry has closed. 

More poetry success

Dr Nasser Hussain, has recently had two new poems accepted for publication in Scores – A journal of new writing based in St. Andrews. Nasser’s recent recording of an episode of BBC Radio 3’s The Verb was broadcast Friday, 24th January at 10pm.

Nasser has also accepted a position on the advisory board of a new journal! It’s called Inscription: The Journal of Material Text – History, Practice, and Theory.

The Journal of Material Text – History, Practice, and Theory is an innovative new journal which addresses the theme of the material text from a range of perspectives, bringing together the critical, historical, theoretical and creative.

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