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Related collections Roving Reader

Stateless in Manchester – the strange case of the “D.P. Student”

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The Roving Reader Files

 

Have you ever whiled away an hour or two in the University of Manchester archive? You should try it sometime. You never know what you’ll find.

I was in there one day rooting around trying to uncover the origins of international students who’d come to study in our city over the decades. Imagine my surprise when I saw the following statistic in the 1954 Report of the Council to the Court of Governors: “Stateless …. 1”. What could that mean? Sixty people from India or twelve from France is understandable, but “Stateless …. 1”?

You’ve probably guessed already I was on another voyage of discovery, one which I’d like to share with you…

Don’t think the mass migration of desperate refugees we’ve witnessed in recent years is anything new to Europe. It isn’t. The “Stateless Student” I’d stumbled across turned out to be only one individual amongst the millions of unfortunate souls left displaced and destitute on mainland Europe at the end of World War II. The cataclysm of the war-torn early 1940s had wrecked economies and devastated huge swathes of the landmass, leaving governments and people with insurmountable difficulties.

Refugees in Germany moving westwards in 1945
Refugees in Germany moving westwards in 1945 (Image courtesy the German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons – Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1985-021-09 / Unknown / CC-BY-SA 3.0 de)
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Events and Activities Opening the Archive Research and Academic Insights

Manchester Movement Histories

A couple of weeks ago I (Hannah) wheeled a precariously-laden trolley of archive boxes over the road to the Friend’s Meeting House, to be the source material for a day-long research workshop for undergraduate History students. Reblogged from History@manchester, here are Dr Kerry Pimblott’s reflections on what was a hugely inspiring day for all of us.

History@Manchester

By Dr Kerry Pimblott

The key to a more just future lies in a real reckoning with our collective pasts.

At least that was the thinking of the eminent scholar-activist, W. E. B. Du Bois. Writing in February 1905 – at the height of what many consider ‘the nadir’, or lowest point, in American race relations – Du Bois stated,

We can only understand the present by continually referring to and studying the past: when any one of our intricate daily phenomena puzzles us; when there arises religious problems, political problems, race problems, we must always remember that while their solution lies here in the present, their cause and their explanation lie in the past.

Du Bois’s call to ‘look-back-to-move-forward’ rings no less true today than it did over a century ago. Last week it was this dictum – in a new nadir typified by the twin tragedies of Grenfell…

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Events and Activities

Sketching for Black History Month

By Hannah

This post is a bit overdue, but back in October we teamed up with the BAME Staff Network at the University of Manchester to run a speaker and discussion event titled ’30 Years of Black History Month: Where are we now?’ You can read a report of the event from Berrisford Edwards, of the BAME Staff Network, below.

We commissioned artist Paul Gent to document the discussion. Looking through his sketches this afternoon has reminded me of just how intense and wide-ranging the discussion was that day, intensified by the noise of protesters outside the window, picketing the Conservative Party conference that was happening just over the road at the time.

Click on the images for a closer look…

 

Event report by Berrisford Edwards (originally published on the University of Manchester Library’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion blog)

I had the pleasure of attending the (now) annual Black History Month Event hosted by the University of Manchester Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network.  This year saw a collaboration between the BAME Staff Network and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre (AIURRRC); and the event was held at the home of the AIURRRC – Manchester Central Library.

The event – titled “30 Years of Black History Month: Where are we now” started with registration, buffet lunch and networking from 12:30-13:00 and was very well attended notably by non-University affiliated individuals and organisations.  Georgina Lewis – Co-chair of the University BAME Staff network alongside Dr Claire Fox – Academic Director for the AIURRRC gave a brief introduction.  The welcome was then given by Prof James Thompson – Vice President for Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester.  Dr Kehinde Andrews – Associate Professor of Sociology at Birmingham City University was the keynote speaker.  He gave a thought-provoking view and analysis of Black History and Black History Month from the perspective of both the University and the “Mother State”.  This was followed by an engaging question and answer session.

After a short break, a panel discussion, chaired by Dr Hema Radhakrishnan – Associate Dean for Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester was had.  Panellists were:  Elizabeth Cameron – North West Region’s Black Members Committee Unison Chair, Atiha Chaudry – Greater Manchester BME Network Chair, Deej Malik-Johnson – University of Manchester Students’ Union, Patrick Johnson – Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Manchester and Wilf Sullivan – TUC Race Equality Officer.  A riveting and engaging session of question and answers ensued, which had to be abruptly terminated in the interest of time.  Prof. Claire Alexander – Director of Social Responsibility for the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester gave the closing remarks.

There were exhibitions from the AIURRRC, the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the LGBT foundation, as well as promotional material from other bodies; and representatives from across Higher Education Institutions, the public and private sector.  The event was live tweeted using the hashtag: #UoMBHM30, photographed and curated by well-known documentary artist – Paul Gent.

 

Lewis Toumazou kindly photographed the event for us, read his reflections and see the photos here .

Categories
Events and Activities Opening the Archive Thinking about collections

Finding my place at the Centre

We’re delighted to have Daniella Carrington, a postgraduate Museum Studies student, working with us over the next few months as Collections and Projects Assistant. She comes to us through the Institute for Cultural Practices placement scheme, University of Manchester, and we’re already making full use of her skills and knowledge. Here she reflects on her first month in post…

It has been (technically) one month since I began a work placement at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre. How time flies! Learning about this rather special place, how they were founded, and the kind of needful work they do, has been an enriching experience so far. I got to know the staff both personally and professionally, peruse the library, and even get an up close look at the archive to understand the scope of work at the Centre and its sister organisation the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust.

In the library. Photo taken by Hannah Niblett of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre
In the library. Photo taken by Hannah Niblett of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre
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Opening the Archive Roving Reader

Southern Voices at the symposium: A Silk Road of Knowledge?

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The Roving Reader Files

Did you know that once the historic centre of Salford boasted one end of the longest railway platform in the world? Were you aware that we could all have been sauntering along an elevated walkway stretching from the University of Manchester right down Oxford Road to the heart of the city? Or even that our universities are part of what might be called a ‘Silk Road of Knowledge’?

No, neither was I… Not until a few weeks ago, when I spent a day at the University of Manchester, riveted to every word uttered by several enthusiastic academics chewing over Mapping the Historical Geographies of Higher Education in Greater Manchester. Yes, I do sometimes break out from among the Centre’s bookshelves, and on this occasion I was listening to talk after talk, as well as enjoying numerous question and answer sessions. You’ve guessed it, I was attending a symposium!

Symposium flyer. Click for a larger view
Symposium flyer. Click for a larger view
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Related collections Student Protest

The Manchester Connection and Anti-Apartheid Activism

 In her third guest post based on her fascinating PhD research into British student activism, Sarah Webster looks at Manchester student involvement in anti-apartheid campaigning.

Anti-apartheid activism at UoM offers an insight into how student activism has changed across the twentieth century. Tactical choices by anti-apartheid activists demonstrate that protest becomes a more acceptable method for expressing student discontent and dissent, particularly after the sixties.

Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
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Opening the Archive Related collections Student Protest

“Blatantly Sexist and Racist”: Student Support for Anti-Deportation Campaigns

 In the second in her a series of guest posts based on her fascinating PhD research into British student activism, Sarah Webster looks at Manchester student involvement in anti-deportation campaigns.

In October 1982, the Manchester University Students Union affiliated to Workers Against Racism, an anti-racist campaign organisation run by the Revolutionary Community Party to fight deportations during the eighties. The affiliation is formal recognition of student anti-deportation activism across the decade. Under Thatcher, immigration rules were significantly tightened. Even those with long standing ties and who had not personally committed infractions faced deportation threats. Motivated by anti-racist sentiment, Manchester students supported many anti-deportation campaigns. They were particularly active in local campaigns, supporting many Manchester based families.

Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
Categories
Related collections Student Protest

“No-one engaged in the pursuit of knowledge is a foreigner”: Supporting International Students in Manchester

This is the first in a series of guest posts by Sarah Webster, based on her fascinating PhD research into British student activism since 1945.

Manchester has a reputation as the home of radical politics and ideas. That history includes protest and activism by the city’s university and college students. These blog posts will outline examples of race-related activism by University of Manchester (UoM) students in the twentieth century. Their activism has encompassed opposition to racist regimes in southern Africa, anti-fascist activism and campaigns on global poverty. This first post focuses on activism and support for international students in Manchester after 1945.

Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
Students protesting outside the University of Manchester. Source: University of Manchester archives
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Book Reviews Roving Reader

Guests from Overseas

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The Roving Reader Files

 

Thousands of students are flooding back into Manchester. Here at the Resource Centre we’ve been busy preparing for this enthusiastic new cohort of scholars. Thankfully the Roving Reader has had the time to take a more reflective view of proceedings.

Anyone who hasn’t noticed that Manchester recently exploded with students must have just come from Mars. So for any Martians out there – the academic year’s beginning, lectures are starting, and the buses are full to bursting. Take my advice. Add another half hour to your journey so you get to your destination on time…

But hang on a minute! Stand back and take a closer look. Have you ever thought how many in the fresh-faced crowd are from overseas?