Let Our Legacy Continue: an exhibition for Black History Month, Oct 2-28

This week the Applied Sociology Research Group, the Drama, Theatre and Performance Research Group, University of Greenwich Galleries and the Caribbean Social Forum are launching a collaborative online and gallery exhibition running throughout October for Black History Month.

The exhibition is a truly unique experience combining technologies such as Zoom and the traditional gallery experience to tell a story, you will encounter a layered experience of video, audio and imagery. The live experience will be in the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Stockwell Street, is expected to take no more than 45 minutes to travel through, and each ticketed session will be restricted to six attendees in line with COVID-19 regulations. There will also be an online version of the gallery launching for those who are shielding or would prefer to join online. For more information and tickets visit the University of Greenwich Galleries website here and read on for a taster of what to expect from the teams:

From the Caribbean to the UK to Lockdown, we carry and re-remember stories of where we came from, journeys and first impressions. We do what we have always done to survive and thrive. We adapt and refresh skills. We innovate, create and re-create. This project uses visual art, sound, music and words to capture and celebrate the rich material of our unique Caribbeaness as reflected in our everyday lives.

Our journey ends with an exhibition which we invite you to travel through, marking the beginning of a new adventure. This exhibition appears both in a digital format* and at The Stephen Lawrence Gallery. Both formats of the exhibition are open to the public from 2 October, after an invited launch on 1 October.

*The URL for the online exhibition will be made available on the University of Greenwich Galleries website from 2 October.

PARTICIPANTS

Bernie Ferguson (Jamaica); Cynthia Gaynor-Bailey (Jamaica, Government Officer); Dolcie Gibbs (Jamaica, Nurse); Esther Precod (Barbados, Nurse); Fabian Best (Barbados, Nurse); Harry Franklyn (Barbados, Builder); Joycelyn Williams (Trinidad and Tobago, Entrepreneur); Denzil Winsburrow (St Vincent, Education); Neville McGregor (Jamaica, Builder); Sonia McIntosh, MBE (Jamaica, Civil Servant); Tony Durrant, MBE (St Vincent, Civil Servant); Velmar McGregor (Grenada, Education); Victor Turton (Barbados, Transport)

EXHIBITION TEAM

Adele Chambers (UoG Student Intern); Dave Hockham (Drama, Theatre and Performance Research Group, UoG); Ingrid Pollard, Dr. (Artist and Curator); Jean Campbell (Workshop Facilitator and Curator); Pamela Franklin (Caribbean Social Forum); Shamica Ruddock (Creative Digital Specialist); Tracey Reynolds, Prof. (Applied Sociology Research Group, UoG)

We all hope to see you there!

The Office of Undergraduate Research defies lockdown and launches its second publication

The Office of Undergraduate Research proudly presents its 2020 publication, in collaboration with Combined Sociology Students. The book, ‘When the Personal Gets Political: Linking Student’ Sociological Autobiographies to Broader Social and Political Contexts’  is the second edition of a series of collated Autobiographies  written by students and is available on request. Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng led the project.

Second edition

Simply put, we are in tricky times. Socially, political and economically, it has been like this for a while, 2020 has, however taken us to a whole new level. We’ve had COVID-19, the world wide global pandemic, which has had some serious ramifications for everyone. This has led to collective worries about our health, and that of others who are close to us. The lockdown meant we have not been able to see our families, in some cases for months. It has had a knock on effect for our students’ education, due to the switch to online teaching, which meant losing face to face contact with their tutors and peers.

For those who graduate this year, for many the lockdown means no physical graduation. There are concerns about opportunities for graduate employability, due to the downturn of the economy – also a result of the pandemic. Mental health is also a growing concern, especially since particularly since COVID. As noted in a Lancet case study, the mental health of the nation has deteriorated since the pandemic, largely because of the impacts of lockdown, fears of contracting the disease and loss of loved ones (www.lancet.com July 2020). Racism, though always prevalent in society, has reared its head in a virulent and violent way with the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and many others due to police violence. Islamophobic hate crimes also continue, and like racism it operates at a micro and macro level, and on a day to day basis…

Victorian Popular Fiction Conference Returns to Greenwich

Over three days 15-17 July, the annual conference of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) was held by the University of Greenwich. It was the second year in a row that we held the conference  – the Association’s President is Professor Andrew King (HSS) – but the first it was held virtually. 103 delegates from 5 continents came together on Teams to discuss topics such as Medical Encounters, Science and the Supernatural, Vampires, Travel, and Disaster.

Professor Alexis Easley from the University of St Thomas, Minnesota, gave a stunningly researched paper which (literally) mapped and quantified the contributions of hundreds of women writers to the famous Chambers’s Journal, the first periodical to aim at a truly mass market in a modern sense. She showed how women were absolutely central to the founding of mass-market reading, and that, contrary to expectation, they suffered from less than a 3% pay discrimination. Such repositioning of women as core producers in the cultural industries and our narrative imaginary is fundamental to the VPFA’s mission, and almost all of the papers confirmed this.

A handful of the best papers will be selected for publication in Victorian Popular Fictions, the organ of the VPFA, edited by Andrew King and by Prof Mariaconcetta Costantini (University of Chieti-Pescara).

Conference participants

Conference delegates were unanimous that the conference was a great success: they were especially grateful that we found a way to go ahead when so many others have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. Given the huge cuts in research budgets across the globe as well as the greener credentials of online conferences, what we have pioneered here may well be the way forward. In whatever form, planning for the 2021 conference at Greenwich is already underway. The successful conference was coordinated by Karen Ward from FLAS Research and Enterprise Support Office.

Congratulations to Professor Andrew King for stealing the online spotlight!

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng and Dr Louise Hewitt join the humanitarian Together Book Project

Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic is the fundraiser book compiled by authors Dev Aditya and Dr Pauldy Otermans, two former Brunel students. The publication collects the global human experiences, emotions and stories from the time of the pandemic. The 100 contributors, from 5 continents, 50% BAME authors, express themselves through poems, prose, letters and art.

The project was created to support and fund movements, frontline services and initiatives, while fighting the COVID-19 virus. The main beneficiary in the UK is the National Health Service (NHS) with 90% allocation of funds raised and 10% is donated monthly to selected non-UK organisations in need of resources to perform their duties. Visit the website for more information and here to donate.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon

Congratulations to both Scholars for making the University of Greenwich Community proud!

UOG student Noah Ergen wins 3-Minute Dissertation 2020 Competition

When the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) challenged students to present their best dissertation work, Noah Ergen, an Politics and International Relations student, raised to the occasion. Under the current circumstances the student produced a pre-recorded video of his dissertation on the topic Hypersonic Missiles and the Revolution in Military Affairs. The video is available on OUR YouTube page, where you can also view other student projects. Noah is the recipient of a prize awarded by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng, the project lead.

In addition to his academic achievements, Noah is also a virtual student federal service (VSFS) Intern with USAID producing research and analysis documents for distribution to multiple organisations throughout the U.S. Government.

Congratulations to Noah on the successful achievement!

Professor Tracey Reynolds and Creative Ground invite you to the Creatively Together online exhibition

The exhibition will take place May 15 at 12:00 pm via Zoom and consists in a guided tour showcasing the collective work of Professor Reynolds’ Creative Skills project and the University of Greenwich.

Creative Ground is a non-profit organisation that aims at promoting cross-cultural awareness, learning and sharing through arts and education that recently celebrated its 4th anniversary.

Guarantee your space through Eventbrite

New publication shows how ‘Studying in this England is wahala (trouble)’, by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng

The article by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng, recently featured in Studies in Higher Education Journal, analyses the challenges and benefits of being a West African – international student in the English Academic scenario.

The study, based on the experience of 12 West African (Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone) students illustrates why ‘studying in this England is trouble’. If on one hand there is an underlying promise of a more successful career future with academic achievement accredited abroad, on the other, the contrasts in education systems, adjustment to a different culture, environment, cost of living, lifestyle and contrasting study pace can be a hard hit for some students. Nothing prepares them to this reality, it must be lived and experienced. Pessimism aside, this narrative is a clear contrast with that portrayed in the comedy film Coming to America but equally enlightening.

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng cleverly achieves a Publication that draw us to reflect on the polarity of two very distinct education system – the Western world and Africa, while subtly creating awareness for this reality.

Enjoy the reading!

Dr Elena Vacchelli represents Greenwich in Research Migration meeting in Senegal

Dr Elena Vacchelli was recently invited to attend an ‘Expert meeting on the cooperation between Africa and Europe‘ in Dakar, Senegal. The event took place earlier this year and was the final meeting of the Horizon 2020 project CrossMigration. Dr Vacchelli delivered a well received talk highlighting methodological aspects of her research. The 2 day meeting focused on the cooperation between Africa and Europe for a strategic research agenda on migration and was attended by over 40 participants including international organisations and NGOs.

Amongst the organising committee was Papa Sakho, Geography Professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar and Riccardo Pozzo, History and Philosophy Professor at Tor Vergata University in Rome.

Expert Professor Riccardo Pozzo

Congratulations to Dr Vacchelli for putting Greenwich on the map and stealing the spotlight!