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Cultural Studies & Humanities May Good News


A round-up of the latest news from the School of Cultural Studies & Humanities


A conference dedicated to Caribbean Carnival Cultures attracted attendees from all over the world. The three-day International Caribbean Carnival Conference was hosted by the Centre for Culture and the Arts in partnership with Leeds West Indian Carnival. The conference, supported by Arts Council funding, was organised by Course Director Dr Emily Zobel Marshall and Professor Emeritus Max Farrar and saw Emily present her research on traditional carnival masquerade characters. The event attracted 160 participants drawn from across Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and the US. It featured more than 45 speakers and included dance, design, poetry and traditional masquerade workshops.

Course Director Dr Rachel Rich and the School’s Artist-in-Residence, Catherine Bertola, were invited to talk about their collaborative work at the launch of the publication Setting the Table – the Home Studies Collection, held at Manchester Metropolitan University Library. The book, commissioned by online journal FEAST, documents a series of responses to the Home Studies Collection and features contributions from Rachel and Catherine. It can be downloaded here.

Professor Jayne Raisborough has been invited to join the selection committee for the Independent Social Research Foundation’s Early Career Fellowship award..

The inaugural Matthew Caygill Lecture took place last month at the Rose Bowl. Matthew, a popular and respected lecturer in the School, passed away suddenly in 2016. More than 80 people, including members of Matthew’s family, former students and fellow political activists, heard Dr Madeleine Davis (Queen Mary University of London) talk about her research into the British New Left in the 1950s and 1960s. Madeleine gave much thought to connecting her research with Matthew’s PhD, which is a mark of Matthew’s influence within the field. Published political author Barry Winter also spoke warmly about Matthew, his work and his passion for culture. The lecture was organised by Senior Lecturer Dr Shane Ewen.



Madeleine Davis and Barry Winter speaking at the inaugural Matthew Caygill Lecture.
(Image credit: Rafaela Dimou)

In May, the second Researching Urban History Day workshop took place at Leeds City Museum. This year, Dr Shane Ewen co-organised the event with Patrick Bourne, Assistant Community Curator at the museum, around the theme of Leeds: City of Civic Culture. The day featured talks and workshops on civic processional culture and focused on events such as Queen Victoria’s visit to open Leeds Town Hall in September 1858 and the city’s tercentenary celebrations of 1926. Patrick also led a tour of relevant parts of The Leeds Story exhibition in the museum. Participants included a great mix of current and former Leeds Beckett students, heritage professionals and local historians..

Reader Dr Heather Shore and Dr Shane Ewen organised a workshop on the environmental humanities. Held earlier this month at the University, the workshop was supported by the School and the Centre for Culture and the Arts and was a public event, aimed at inspiring conversation and discussion on the challenges facing the environment from the perspective of the arts and humanities.

In April, the School held its first summer ball. More than 140 students and several members of staff attended, and everyone had a great time. A highlight was dancing with the Dean, Professor Andrew Cooper, as students from across the School’s courses and programmes celebrated their hard work. It is hoped the ball will become an annual celebration, and staff are looking forward to supporting the students who will take on the organisation of next year’s event.

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