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Academics awarded prize for paper on history of Docklands regeneration

Docklands-planning-imageTwo Oxford Brookes academics have been awarded a prize for a research paper which explores the history of the regeneration of the East London docklands and the setting up of the London Docklands Development Corporation.

Dr Sue Brownill from the School of the Built Environment and Professor Glen O’Hara from the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University, have been awarded the 2016 Biennial Planning Perspectives Paper Prize for their paper From Planning to Opportunism; Re-examining the Creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation.

The Biennial Planning Perspectives Prize is funded by Taylor & Francis and awarded to the best planning history article published in the previous two volumes of the journal.

In awarding the prize the judges commented: “This paper represents both methodologically and conceptually a very important work, challenging ideological and political clichés and investigating with historical tools (archival research) very recent developments, something quite uncommon.[it offers] a new and deep insight into a key moment in the history of planning that goes beyond simple discourses and analyses the complex articulation between actors, pushing on the frontline the issue of contingence in planning history.

“The authors have used careful historical skills and newly accessible archive resources to re-interrogate narratives of important and iconic events that constituted an urban change of truly world significance but which have grown bardic with years of telling by different ideological camps.

“Brownill brings an unrivalled knowledge of the community, political, professional and developer networks that came together in London Docklands built up over many decades of research including innumerable interviews with key actors going back to the earliest days of the initiative. O’Hara brings an extensive understanding of the economic and social policies of the post-war British state and a deep understanding of Britain’s changing long term relationship to the sea.

“This is an article that will, whatever we decide, be very widely read and cited, showcasing the journal for those many who are outside the planning history community.”

The article came out of joint research funded by the University’s Central Research Fund.

The prize was awarded at the 17th Biennial International Planning History Society conference held in Delft on 26 July 2016. The paper can be downloaded and read on Taylor & Francis Online.

PhD student receives funding award from Royal Historical Society

Daniel ReedDaniel Reed, a PhD student from Oxford Brookes University and a previous winner of a Royal Archives award, has now gained funding from the Royal Historical Society.

“I’m delighted to receive this generous award from the Royal Historical Society. The funding will allow me to make a crucial research trip to Yorkshire, where I plan to visit the archives at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research and York Minster library.”

Daniel Reed, PhD student

Daniel’s thesis ‘The Clerical Profession in the North of England, 1714-1760’, researches the administration and patronage within the Church of England during the mid-eighteenth century.

Daniel remarked “I’m delighted to receive this generous award from the Royal Historical Society. The funding will allow me to make a crucial research trip to Yorkshire, where I plan to visit the archives at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research and York Minster library. This is to support my thesis and wider research into ecclesiastical affairs and early newspapers in the North of England.”

Daniel is a part-time PhD student in the department of History, Philosophy and Religion under the supervision of Professors William Gibson and Joanne Begiato

Professor Begiato said “I’m very proud of Daniel’s continued success in attaining awards, which secures funding for his doctoral research. These achievements are testament to his excellent scholarship and hard work.”

Founded in 1868 The Royal Historical Society has become one of the foremost societies in the UK. It works with professional historians advancing the study of the past.

Oxford Brookes student joins regional newspaper on a journalism internship

Emma Corr JournalismEmma Corr, a History and History of Art joint honours graduate from Oxford Brookes University has recently completed a journalism internship with regional newspaper the Leicester Mercury.

The week-long placement held at their Leicestershire headquarters allowed Emma to experience the pace of a working press office.IMG_6736

Keen to make the most of the internship, Emma presented her own ideas for articles to the press editor and wrote four published articles over the course of her placement as well as shadowing a journalist in court.

Emma said “I have always had an interest in journalism and current affairs and wanted to gain some experience with a well established newspaper.”

“My final project at the end of the week involved going to court and shadowing a court correspondent. This was particularly exciting as I had never seen a live court case before, and getting to hear verdicts and observe how journalists followed up real cases was really interesting.”IMG_6732

Emma’s articles included a piece on the infamous Red Bull Challenge, a world-wide trial, involving teams of students challenging themselves to travel across Europe using only cans of red bull as currency. She also wrote an inspiring piece about a mother running the London Marathon for a local charity on behalf of her daughter.

More information about studying History or History of Art can be found here.

Oxford Brookes Historian offers a new take on the making of modern public health

Dr Tom Crook, Postgraduate research tutor

This month sees the launch of a new book by an Oxford Brookes historian on the development of public health in the nineteenth century.

In Governing Systems: Modernity and the Making of Public Health in England, 1830-1910, Tom Crook explores the world of Victorian Britain, and revisits a basic question: ‘when and how did public health become modern?’

“For me, the Victorian period marks a critical threshold in British history. It’s during this period when you see Britain’s entrance into the modern world; but you also see Britain’s role in making that world modern – for me, that’s why it’s such an exciting period.”

DR TOM CROOK, SENIOR LECTURER IN MODERN BRITISH HISTORY

Tom said: “It’s not just about Victorian public health; it’s also about trying to understand what made modern public health modern, and I wanted to offer a fresh perspective on that.”

“I felt that the whole history of Victorian public health had been very well studied from multiple perspectives. For example, there is an enormous amount of literature on sewerage systems, small pox vaccination, the management of food, sanitary inspection, and so on; but I thought that there was still this important new story that could be told about Victorian public health.”

“It’s a book that I hope will encourage debate, and not just about public health, but also how we might think again about other fields of governance, such as education, the poor law, penal reform and policing.”

Governing Systems: Modernity and the Making of Public Health in England, 1830-1910 is published by University of California Press

Tom Crook is the Postgraduate Research Tutor for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University.

 

 

More doctoral success for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion in a record-breaking semester

PG graduation

Last week, Melanie Bashor successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Engineering Tolerance: Origins of Multicultural Education Policies in the Atlantic World from 1941‒1988.

Melanie’s success rounds off a record-breaking semester for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, bringing the total of doctoral completions this year to ten.

Recent completions also include:

  • Dr Stephen Massie, “The Imperialism of Cecil John Rhodes: Metropolitan Perceptions of a Colonial Reputation.”
  • Dr Jenny Wright, “Public Health Women Doctors in England, 1965-1991.”
  • Dr Christine Bianco, “Modern Art for Middle America: American Abstraction in Mass Magazines, 1946–1960.” Director: Dr Elizabeth Darling
  • Dr Catriona Gilmour-Hamilton: “A Cohort of One: Oral Narratives of Cancer Research in Britain, 1970–2010.” Directors: Dr Viviane Quirke and Dr Marius Turda

“I’m absolutely delighted. Doctorates don’t happen overnight, of course, and the success we’re currently enjoying reflects years of hard work on the part of students and their supervisors right across the department”Dr Tom Crook, Postgraduate Research Tutor

“I’m absolutely delighted. Doctorates don’t happen overnight, of course, and the success we’re currently enjoying reflects years of hard work on the part of students and their supervisors right across the department,” said Dr Tom Crook, Postgraduate Research Tutor for the department.

“The good thing,” he added, “is that this hard work continues, and there are plenty more in the pipeline. So watch this space!”

The department of History, Philosophy and Religion has nine interconnected research communities, supporting our doctoral students and encouraging wide participation through partnerships, research centres, conferences and public events.

Further information about our current cohort of doctoral students, including student profiles, can be found here.

 

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion receives excellent rankings in new Guardian University League tables

HPR guardian rankings photo

 

The Guardian UK released their new University league tables and the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion achieved excellent rankings for a range of subjects.

Philosophy at Oxford Brookes, is currently ranked 10th for its subject, with a high score of 91.9% of final-year students satisfied with the overall quality of their course, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS).

History at Oxford Brookes, has recently jumped from 50 to 39 in this year’s Guardian University leagues tables, with a high score of 96.7% of final-year students satisfied with the quality of teaching they received on their course (NSS).

History of Art at Oxford Brookes, is currently ranked 20th for its subject, compared to other providers in the UK and received a rating of 96% of final-year students being satisfied with the overall quality of their course, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS).

I am delighted to see these results, which are testimony to the hard work and enthusiasm of our teaching staff who use their research to offer inspiring modules and to the committed, high-calibre undergraduates who choose to come and study with us.”
Professor Joanne Begiato, Head of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Oxford Brookes Historian receives Nobel Fellowship

Dr James Cooper speaking at the Nobel Institute in Oslo. Photograph credit: livestream.com/aktivdebatt/events/5319724

Dr James Cooper speaking at the Nobel Institute in Oslo. Photograph credit: livestream.com/aktivdebatt/events/5319724

Dr James Cooper, senior lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University, joins the Nobel Institute in Oslo this month as part of the Nobel Peace Prize Research and Information (NPPRI) visiting fellows programme.

The NPPRI is run as part of the research agenda of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, which has a special interest in the fields of modern history and international affairs.  In 1992 the Institute set up a fellowship programme offering research grants to established and younger scholars. Nearly 100 visiting fellows from over 25 countries have spent periods at the Institute, including a number of world-leading Cold War historians and experts on international relations.  Fellows participate in, and lead, regular research seminars, which are open to the public.

Dr Cooper, who is primarily interested in contemporary American history within a global context, spoke as part of the Nobel Fellowship research seminar programme on ‘The Politics of Peace Making: US Presidents and the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1964-1998’. The talk stems from his current project on the response of U.S. Presidents to the Northern Ireland conflict during the Troubles and will contribute to the historiography of the American dimension of the Anglo-Irish Process. Dr Cooper will also release a book on this topic early next year with Edinburgh University Press.

Speaking about his fellowship, Dr Cooper said:

It’s a real honour to be given a fellowship at the Nobel Institute.  It’s been an invaluable opportunity to complete my monograph and share my broader research agenda with some of the leading scholars in the field of international relations.”

To see a podcast of this event, please follow this link http://livestream.com/aktivdebatt/events/5319724

For more information on NPPRI visiting fellows programme please visit their website http://www.nppri.org/

PhD studentships now available for September 2016 start!

8460 800 by 430The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University is pleased to offer a number of full-time PhD Studentships across a range of subject areas for a September 2016 start.

The successful candidate will receive an annual payment of £14,000 as a stipend towards living expenses for a maximum of three years.  Home/EU fees will also be covered by the relevant Department for a maximum of three years.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences spans a diverse range of disciplines that include social sciences, history, philosophy, religion, education, law, English and modern languages, and has a long tradition of producing world-class research. The REF 2014 results confirm our ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ research status in a range of subjects, and serve as official recognition of the expertise, dedication and passion of our academic community. We are now accepting applications for the following PhD studentships:

 

Department of Social Sciences

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘Lemurs as protectors of the forest: Lemur seed dispersal, forest regeneration and local livelihoods in the littoral forest fragments of Madagascar’ The supervisory team will be led by Dr Giuseppe Donati (Primatology/Biological Anthropology), with Professor Kate Hill  (Anthropology). This proposed PhD project will examine the assumed role of lemurs’ forest regeneration and the likely value of this to local human populations.

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in Challenging Security Anew: Probing the Bases and Limits of Critical Security Studies. The supervisory team will be led by Dr Tina Managhan (International Relations) with Dr Doerthe Rosenow (International Relations). This proposed PhD project will explore the ontological and philosophical underpinnings of post-structuralist Critical Security Studies with the aim of furthering its critical ethos and politics.

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in Exploring family, care work and fatherhood in the ‘age of migration’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Tina Miller (Sociology) with Dr Maja Cederberg (Sociology). This proposed PhD project will investigate the role of fathering and examine the emotion work involved in transnational migration, focusing on fathers who are migrants coming to the UK. In particular it will explore how men who are fathers navigate expectations of paternal care and associated emotion work across their home and host country, and how parental obligations and responsibilities are understood, maintained and practiced over time and across borders.

 

Department of English and Modern Languages

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘Avant-Garde Writing, Technology and the Everyday’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Alex Goody (Twentieth-Century Literature), with Dr Eric White (American Literature).  We are interested in proposals that examine the interactions between the avant-garde writers of modernism and its aftermath and the technological world of the twentieth century. The proposed research should aim to produce a new account of the relationship between the modernist ‘revolution of the word’ and the contingencies and externalities of living in a modern world radically reconfigured through technology (such as transport, inscription, information, communication, surveillance, prosthesis, augmentation and warfare).

 

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in ‘The Art of Pre-Raphaelite Criticism’. The supervisory team will be led by Professor Christiana Payne, (History of Art) with Dr Dinah Roe (19th Century Literature). The proposed project will examine the role of contemporary criticism in the development of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, with particular reference to the work of William Michael Rossetti and Frederic George Stephens.

 

Viva success from the Centre for Medical Humanities

CMH Viva success_800x430px

The Department of History, Philosophy and Religion are delighted to announce two new Doctors of Philosophy: Dr Alexandra Barmpouti and Dr Hanna Choudhury,  who both successfully defended their theses in March this year.

Alexandra’s thesis was entitled “Eugenics, Demography and Family Planning in Greece, 1950-1980: The Activities of the Hellenic Eugenics Society,” and was examined by Dr Tom Crook, from Oxford Brookes University and Dr Lisa Pine, from London South Bank University

Hanna’s thesis: “The Forgotten Children: The Association of Parents of Backward Children and the Legacy of Eugenics in Britain, 1946-1960,” was examined by Dr Viviane Quirke, from Oxford Brookes University and Professor Mark Jackson, from the University of Exeter.

Both projects were directed by Dr Marius Turda, Director of the University’s Centre for Medical Humanities, which seeks to bring together interrelated research across medical humanities and includes research specialisms in eugenics, forensic medicine and crime and race, immigrations and multiculturalism.

Speaking about the work of his students, Dr Marius Turda said

“These doctoral completions are the culmination of years of hard work and dedicated study on the part of Alexandra and Hanna, their success is richly deserved.”

He added:

“Their achievements also reflect the vibrant academic culture fostered by the new Centre for Medical Humanities in which both of them matured as scholars.”

These successes are a result of the first of five viva examinations taking place in the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion this semester.

Cake: the short and surprising history of our favourite bakes

Dr Alysa Levene, , Reader in History at Oxford Brookes University

Dr Alysa Levene, , Reader in History at Oxford Brookes University

This week sees the publication of a new book by Alysa Levene, Reader in History at Oxford Brookes University. Her book, entitled Cake: the short, surprising history of our favourite bakes, has already attracted a lot of interest.  Alysa says:  “people are generally fascinated when they hear that I have spent the last few years writing a history of cake- they want to know what types of cake I’ve been writing about, whether Marie Antoinette makes an appearance with her famous (almost certainly apocryphal) comment about letting the French poor eat cake, and how much baking I got to do along the way. What they – perhaps surprisingly – never seem to ask is why I got into such a surprising area of research in the first place?”

A slice of cake

As both a cake-baker and a social historian, Alysa wrote the book on cake (or what she refers to as ‘this most delicious of sweet fripperies’) as she realised they had an enormous amount to tell about modern societies and where they came from. Cake may be a luxury but its ingredients have something very fundamental to tell about the growth of global communications and trade, changes in diet, urbanisation and the move away from nature, and the expansion of technology. If we broaden our view to think about the huge array of types of cake we also need to take in gender roles, migration, community and belonging, the history of rituals, and even feminism.

“What does cake mean for different people? How have we come to have such a huge variety of cakes? What had to happen historically for them to appear? And what can they tell us about the family and women’s roles in particular? I wrote this book to find out the answers.”
Dr Aylsa Levene, Oxford Brookes University

Cake tackles all of these themes on its way from the Ancient Egyptians to the modern craze for Cronuts™ (croissant-meets-donut) and gourmet cupcakes. Along the way we meet maverick chefs, cookbook authors who could barely bake, and birthday cakes whose weight would sink a small battleship. In fact, readers will learn, manufactured American cakes were shipped across the Atlantic during the Second World War to keep the morale of the troops up, and queuing for inferior cakes was one of the main grumbles of British housewives under rationing.

Alysa hopes that her book will show readers exactly why the history of cake is such a sweet – and surprising – topic. Cake isn’t just a treat to get you through the afternoon; it really does give us a slice of our societal history.

Alysa has researched and published articles and books on a variety of topics including the history of childhood, health, the family, and food.  The book launch event took place on Thursday 25 February from 7-8pm at Blackwell’s bookshop, Oxford

Alysa will also be at the Henley Food Festival on 1 March, Bath Literary Festival on 2 March and at Aye Write Literary Festival in Glasgow on 19 March where she will interview The Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn.

Cake: the short, surprising history of our favourite bakes can be ordered via Headline