On 14 July 1933, the Nazis implemented a compulsory sterilisation law. It was a step towards what they believed would be a more perfect human race, using the scientific theories of eugenics. But their use of eugenics to justify their actions, ended up undermining its credibility as a science. In a recent interview with BBC History, Dr Marius Turda (Reader in 20th Century Biomedicine) discussed the implications of the Nazi sterilisation law for the history of eugenics, past and present.
The students organised a challenging and fun day of activities for the able mathematicians, including a logic puzzle, a construction test and an orienteering challenge. The Enrichment Day gave the PGCE students an opportunity to develop their practical skills which they can take into the classroom and a chance for the local Year 7 students to visit Oxford Brookes.
‘These enrichment sessions allow young people who would not normally have access to a university to spend some time on campus and through this consider that they might want to study or work here. This year I was particularly delighted that most of the groups were accompanied by teachers who had trained here with me, reflecting the close links we have with schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and the continued impact of our PGCE course.’ Jude Stratton, Senior Lecturer in Education, Secondary Mathematics
The excellent feedback from teachers shows that the students enjoyed taking part in the day which is organised by Brookes PGCE students every year.
‘Thank you for having our Year 7 group with you for the Enrichment day – please could we attend again! Helen Leather, Subject Head, Mathematics, the John Colet School, Wendover
‘It was a great afternoon and I would recommend it to anyone. A five star day!’
Charlotte Brown, 7C, the John Colet School, Wendover
In 2012 Oxford Brookes Creative Writing Fellow, Patience Agbabi was poet-in-residence at Ilkley Literature Festival’s ‘Allegories of Power’ project. This was set up in conjunction with Cartwright Hall, an art gallery in Bradford and Harewood House, a stately home on the outskirts of Leeds.
At Harewood House, I was given an excellent, in-depth, 1-2-1 tour with the Exhibitions and Collections Officer. I learnt details about the house that were not in the official brochure and was informed that it was built from the profits of the transatlantic slave trade. The estate owners accumulated enormous wealth via a sugar plantation in Barbados.
Everything that Patience saw during that tour, she viewed through a sugar lens. It was difficult, being seduced by the visual beauty of an artefact simultaneously acknowledging its roots. The Chippendale furniture took on a whole new meaning. The opulence left a bitter taste in the mouth. She was also struck by the workmanship, and immediately wanted to redress that balance in her poem. A woman would be the creator.
At Cartwright Hall she had again been impressed by the work of Yinke Shinobare, who uses European materials to interrogate African concerns. She yearned to be a sculpture, to recreate Harewood House from sugar: but she’s a poet so her raw material was words.
Patience used the rime royale verse form, invented by Chaucer for Troilus and Criseyde. The iambic pentameter gives it a formal air, consistent with the surroundings; the persistent rhymes replicate the symmetry of the house, both in external architecture and internal design. The poem that resulted, The Doll’s House, was published in Poetry Review 103:1 Spring 2013 and has now been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.
In order to evaluate transnational development of multicultural education policy in a Canadian context, Melanie plans to travel to the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario to investigate the work done by Canada as a partner in international organizations devoted to education and human rights; and related national developments in the 1960s, focusing on identifying the Canadian concept of multicultural education.
To accomplish this work Melanie applied for and received a £750 research travel award from The Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. She is grateful for the generosity of the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK and for the confidence in the potential of the work that she is completing that the awarding of this grant has shown. The quality and calibre of PhD thesis and that of her overall conclusions regarding the development of multicultural education policy, and its use as a primary instigator in the creation of an eventual tolerant society, will no doubt be greatly aided by this archival research.