Monthly Archives: June 2013

Brookes law students win national pro bono award

imageTwo of our students, Samantha Warner and Edward Keeling, were shortlisted for the National Pro Bono Centre Award 2013. At the annual LawWorks dinner in London last night it was announced that they were the winners. The project they work on is the Oxford County Court Family Duty Clinic.

The LawWorks awards celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by LawWorks members and the positive impact they have had on those helped.  The National Pro Bono Centre Award is a new and additional award for 2013 and celebrates legal pro bono work undertaken by non-LawWorks partnerships or organisations. The work in Oxford is carried out under the supervision of local solicitors.

The dinner was not only an opportunity for Sam and Ed to celebrate their contribution to this excellent and worthwhile scheme but also to highlight Oxford Brookes School of Law before an audience of representatives of law firms and the wider legal profession. Their award was presented to them by the Lord Chief Justice.

Full details of all the award winners are available here:

And some information about the award can also be found on the National Pro Bono Centre website:

Dr Sabine Chaouche elected as Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

4459267-6698624The council of the Royal Historical Society elected Dr Sabine Chaouche, Reader in the Department of English and Modern Languages as one of its new Fellows.

Fellowships are awarded to those who have made ‘an original contribution to historical scholarship in the form of significant published work’. The society was created in 1868 and remains the foremost society in Great Britain.

Kate Clanchy and Oxford Spires Academy students launch poetry anthology

DSC_0084-1024x680Kate Clanchy, Oxford City Poet and Brookes Fellow, has been working with First Story at Oxford Spires Academy, and the remarkable anthology produced with students from the school was launched on the 7 June 2013.

One of the students featured in the anthology, Room, is Azfa Ali, who recently won the £3,000 Tower Poetry Prize. Azfa’s poem, Origins, was chosen ahead of 613 others.

In an article for First Story, Azfa wrote that:

Coming from a culturally rich background, I have many stories to tell. As a refugee, my mind is packed with memories of Africa, and being raised in Glasgow means I have a strong Scottish identity. However, the power that stories can have came to me through my father’s mesmerising ways of storytelling. I was captivated by his dramatic performances and almost poetical narrations that swayed my mind from the poverty I was witnessing outside my bedroom window, to a strange, more comfortable land that seemed oddly familiar. But this is where my stories, memories, pains, joys and laughter stayed. Locked in a box entitled the past, buried underneath the sand on a far-away land where my parents felt was a much safer place, and encouraged me to move forward, and pursue an academic, scientific career.

But when I joined First Story in 2011, our writer-in-residence Kate Clanchy had found the key to my past, and was willing to travel with me all the way to an unknown land to unlock my box of memories.

You can watch her read her winning poem here, and read more about Azfa and her work on the Oxford Mail website here.

Kate, who becomes Senior Research Fellow in Creative Writing in September, also brought Azfa and two of her fellow students, Esme Partridge and Asiya Mahdi, together for an event entitled Poets of the City at the Oxford Literary Festival in March, where she read from her new novel, Meeting the English, and then introduced the three poets.

The International Relations, Politics and Sociology Programme hold eighth annual postgraduate day

pgday2013_01On on 11 June 2013 staff on the International Studies Programme were joined by some of their research students and the cohort from the MA programme in International Studies and the MA in International Law and International Relations. Prospective MA students were also present and they had the chance to meet and discuss our courses with staff and current students.

Guest lecture

Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power by Professor Peter Newell.

We were delighted to welcome Professor Peter Newell from the University of Sussex. His lecture covered the themes of his most recent book published by Polity Press in 2012. Focusing on the four decades that have passed since the first UN conference was held on the global environment in Stockholm in 1972, his lecture considered the three key pillars of the global economy (trade, production and finance) and whether progress has been made on sustainability. Whilst highlighting the barriers to progress in each area he also sought to put agency back into the story to show how the direction of globalization can be changed.

The Programme is very grateful to Professor Newell for his contribution to the day.

Postgraduate panels


After lunch various postgraduate panels took place, beginning with presentations by three of our doctoral students: Can Cinar presented a paper summarising the first year of his doctoral project entitled The Exercise of Political Authority of Credit Rating Agencies. Samentha Goethals provided some thoughts on her initial experiences of conducting fieldwork in Asking the ‘Rights’ Question: Early Reflections on Interviewing Hotel Managers and Migrant Workers. Finally, Matthew Hurley (pictured) gave a paper considering his experiences of conducting qualitative interviews within NATO, in a paper entitled Men Like You: Reflecting on ‘talking gender’ at NATO.

This was followed by a number of panels at which MA students gave short presentations on their summer dissertation projects. These covered a range of issues including:

  • Changing Hearts and Minds: The role of the media in shaping US foreign policy and public opinion during Vietnam and Iraq
  • Failed States in International Law and IR
  • The discursive practices of environmental movements’ opposition to tar sands

Senior Lecturer, Dr Dinah Roe, talks literature and reading on Resonance FM

Roe_D_p0076446On June 11 at 9pm, Senior Lecturer in English Literature Dr Dinah Roe was a guest on Lit Bits, a weekly radio show on Resonance FM that examines literature from surprising angles.

Resonance FM 104.4 is an arts radio project broadcast that seeks to act as ‘a platform for sound and radio art, experimental art practice, specialist music, free speech and deep thought’. The topic was Literature and Reading. The programme posed the following questions: ‘Where do we read? How do we read? Why do we read? Is reading still relevant in the 21st century? How did Samuel Pepys read naughty French literature? And what does any of this have to do with a town in Berkshire?’ Dinah discussed authors including Milan Kundera, Louisa May Alcott and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and incorporated responses from her followers on twitter about their own reading habits and preferences.

Oxford Brookes’ Associate Lecturer to have radio play broadcast on BBC Radio 4

b0214801Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing, Sam Thompson will have his radio play, The Fox Wife, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 12 June at 11:15pm as part of Dreaming the City – a series of four journeys into the dark, recurring dreams of the city. Four writers have collaborated with documentary-makers Russell Finch and Francesca Panetta to uncover the unsaid obsessions of city life.

Sam is a Man Booker-longlisted novelist (for his first novel Communion Town) and Oxford academic, who taught a Creative Writing Specialist Option to final-year English students this past semester, some of the fruits of which are now online here:

The Fox Wife, is the second episode of the series, and is set in Oxford.



In Oxford, we follow a man whose wife has turned into a fox.

These experimental radio features blend archive, fiction and documentary footage. What’s real and what’s fiction becomes unclear, just like in the city.

A city isn’t just a location on the map, it’s a place we imagine, dream about, invent. A place to love, to endure or to resent. A place where you can find anything – but it always has a price.

You don’t need to live in a city – it’s part of the universal imagination. But the way we think of it has common dark undertones, recurring dreams that come round again and again. These late night woozy dreamscapes uncover those unsaid obsessions, each taking a different theme, and question why these ideas seem to keep coming back in the way we imagine urban living.

Joanne Bailey talks about the National Railway Museum and the history of ordinary people

Bailey_J_p0074586Dr Joanne Bailey, Reader in History, was interviewed on BBC Radio York by Jonathan Cowap, about the potential closure of one of the three northern museums in the Science Museum Group due to budget cuts.

She talked about the enormous value of the National Railway Museum for the history of ordinary people and the importance of the railways for the industrial revolution and the transformations of British society.