New Project – Lives and Legacies of 1919 in Liverpool – Call for Participants

I have a new participatory project about to start which continues the work done by the Great War to Race Riots project over the past few years – details are below, but please get in touch with me if you would be interested in taking part.

Lives and legacies of 1919: A Community History

In 1919, Liverpool (along with a number of other UK cities) experienced a series of race riots in the aftermath of World War One. Most infamously, Charles Wootton was murdered by a mob on the 5th of June 1919, however, there were many other people whose lives were devastated by the events of 1919. This project explores the lives and legacies of 47 black men who were affected by the 1919 race riots. It will expand on a previous project – From Great War to Race Riots – which collected information about these 47 men, particularly through the letters they wrote to various officials asking for justice or help from the authorities.

Funded by the AHRC, the Centre for Hidden Histories in Nottingham, and organised by Writing on the Wall and the University of Liverpool, we will explore the 1919 riots and their aftermath in Liverpool through 4 different mini-projects.

  1. Life, marriage and partnership in Liverpool: This part of the project will explore the family histories of the men who remained in Liverpool. We will explore where these men lived, who they married/lived with, and where their children lived. We will look through ancestry records, but also through other records held in both the Liverpool Records Office in order to understand what life was like for these men and their families after the 1919 riots.
  2. Legacies of 1919 on Merseyside: Here we will interview family members and descendants of those we have identified in the first project. Using these interviews, some of which will be video recorded, we will make some videos for the project website and to be used in public presentations about the project.
  3. Official responses to 1919: The Great War to Race Riots project uncovered some of the official responses to the letters and requests of the 47 men, but not all of them. We will attempt to complete this record, and will travel to London to the National Archives to try to understand the official reaction to the events of 1919.
  4. Project Public Event: At the end of the project, there will be a public event/workshop to tell people about the things we have found out during the project. This mini-project will mainly involve helping to organise the public event to take place in October/November 2017, and well as taking part in the workshop itself.

We are looking for a team of volunteers to take part in the project. You don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the events of 1919, and you can take part in the various mini-projects that are of the most interest to you. We will also provide training in any skills which you may require, so you don’t need any previous experience of looking at archives, conducting interviews or any other aspects of the projects.

The project will run for 10 months, although some of the mini-projects will not last for the full length of the project. We will meet every two weeks during the 10 months as a group to plan and discuss progress as the project develops, so you would need to attend the majority of these meetings. The first meeting will be on the evening of the 28th of February, where we will introduce the project and you will have a chance to ask any questions.

If you like to take part in the project, or would like to learn more about it, then please contact:

Andy Davies, the researcher leading the project at the University of Liverpool – Tel: 0151 7942840

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Call for Participation/Attendance: Teaching Justice Pre-Conference 1st September, Pre-RGS-IBG Conference 2015, Exeter

I’m co-organising a Pre-Conference before this year’s RGS-IBG conference in Exeter – the details are below, and the deadline for people wishing to present and/or organise workshops for the Pre-Conference is on the 26th of June.


Call for Participation/Attendance: Teaching Justice Pre-Conference 1st September, Pre-RGS-IBG Conference 2015, Exeter


Organised by the Geographies of Justice Research Group of the RGS-IBG

One of our key roles as academics is as teachers and educators, yet, this is often neglected or rendered less-visible in comparison to our research activities. This is despite a number of interventions by geographers into ‘critical pedagogy’ – the ability to use teaching as a tool for creating, promoting and advancing social justice (see Askins, 2008, Rouhani, 2012). This pre-conference aims to bring to the fore the various approaches geographers have adopted to teaching about – and with the goal of achieving – justice (broadly conceived). We are interested in how ‘justice’ is taught by geographers (and other academics/teachers) and how teaching is one of the key ways of engaging people in projects that seek to develop a more just world. However, we are also aware that teaching in this way involves negotiating a number of practical and ethical challenges, and as such we are interested in the practises adopted when teaching and how these associated challenges raised have or have not been addressed.

This pre-conference brings together academics and educators actively involved in teaching issues of justice, particularly by encouraging the development and exchange of ideas about how to teach (and to teach about) ‘justice’. It would provide a space of co-learning amongst teachers, but would also act as one of the first attempts by geographers to map out the range and scope of teaching about justice as it is pedagogically practised across the discipline. The pre-conference will provide a space for mutual exchange of ideas, innovations and good practice in teaching various aspects of justice. Additionally, the pre-conference will allow a focus on the intersections between teaching and research on justice, exploring how the practice of teaching is often informative of our own research practices and behaviours, which will also allow a combined teaching/research agenda to be established.

We seek to ground the day in practical discussions based on problem solving rather than discussions of pedagogic theory. Questions which could be addressed during the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Are there potential overlaps between different aspects of justice that could be usefully explored (e.g. what teaching techniques may be useful for both environmental justice and food justice (to name only two)?)
  • What are the challenges and opportunities offered by teaching using approaches to justice which are emanicipatory in nature (e.g. feminist/postcolonial/radical)?
  • How do we advance  – and work with – justice – when employing anti-oppressive pedagogies?
  • What strategies and techniques have been successful in teaching justice, and which have been more problematic? (and how do we judge this level of success?)
  • How do we seek to engage students in projects/studies that seek justice in ethically sound ways? What is the feasibility of getting students to ‘practice’ justice through fieldwork, practical classes etc. and what are the potential implications of this?
  • Does teaching practise differ across undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts? And relatedly, how do postgraduate teachers deal with these issues given their often limited time and financial renumeration?
  • What are the links between teaching and research on justice?


We are interested in receiving either: abstracts for short, c. 10-15 minute papers/interventions, or; ideas for c. 90 minute workshops which deal with practical issues/challenges involved in teaching.

Papers: We are not necessarily interested in formal academic papers, rather, short pieces exploring practical, ethical and pedagogical concerns/issues which affect how justice is taught, including how these issues were, or were not, resolved.

Workshops: We aim to run a series of small workshop sessions during the pre-conference which will focus on specific areas/issues related to the teaching of justice (e.g. one session already arranged will focus on issues of ‘trade justice’). These sessions will be guided by individuals or small teams who will be responsible for designing the session (e.g. choosing an appropriate approach and circulating any reading material in advance to the Pre-Conference team) as well as running the session on the day.

We seek short abstracts (200-300 words) for both of these forms of participation outlining which aspects of teaching justice the paper/workshop would engage with, and/or details of the challenges faced as a part this approach.

Please send paper abstracts/workshop proposals to Andy Davies ( by 5pm on June the 26th 2015.

Registration: There will be a charge for registration of £10 to cover the costs of lunch/refreshments. This will be waived for unfunded/unwaged participants.


Askins, K. (2008), In and beyond the classroom: research ethics and participatory pedagogies. Area, 40: 500–509. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2008.00827.x

Rouhani, F. (2012), Practice What You Teach: Facilitating Anarchism In and Out of the Classroom. Antipode, 44: 1726–1741. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01030.x

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Prelude to Bandung: The Interwar Origins of Anti-Colonialism

Interesting piece on anti-colonialism and transnationalism between the two World Wars.

Imperial & Global Forum

The Gathering of Visionary Anti-Imperialism. Plenary Meeting, Brussels Congress 1927. Source: Louis Gibarti (Hrsg.), Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont, Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Berlin (1927) The Gathering of Visionary Anti-Imperialism. Plenary Meeting, Brussels Congress 1927. Source: Louis Gibarti (Hrsg.), Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont, Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Berlin (1927)

Fredrik Petersson
Åbo Akademi University
Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU), Moscow

In 1927, the “First International Congress against Imperialism and Colonialism” convened in Brussels at Palais d’Egmont. The event celebrated the establishment of the League against Imperialism, and as the congress reached its crescendo, Willi Münzenberg, the German communist and General Secretary of International Arbeiterhilfe (IAH), declared that this was “neither the end, nor the beginning of a new powerful movement”.[1] Nearly 28 years later, amid the aftermath of the brutality of the Second World War, Münzenberg’s anti-colonial vision was revitalized at the Afro-Asian conference in Bandung, Indonesia.

In the 1955 Bandung Conference’s opening address, Achmed Sukarno, the Indonesian president, declared to the leaders of the twenty-nine countries in attendance: “I recognise that…

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Virtual issue – “People Without Property in Jobs: Stuart Hall and the Conundrums of Contemporary Urbanization in India”

News of the 2015 Antipode Lecture at the AAG, this year by Vinay Gidwani – together with a virtual issue of the journal

virtual issues_website bannerVinay GidwaniOn Wednesday April 22nd, Vinay Gidwani will be presenting the 2015 Antipode AAG Lecture from 17:20 to 19:00 in Grand C/D North, Hyatt, East Tower, Gold Level. His lecture will be followed by a drinks reception–and the Antipode Groovefest!–sponsored by our publisher, Wiley. Vinay is a Professor of Geography, Environment, and Society at the University of Minnesota. From 2009 to 2014 he was an editor of Antipode, and he continues to serve as one of the Antipode Foundation’s trustees. He is a quintessential geographer. In his last editorial, Vinay described geography perfectly as an “undisciplined discipline”. It’s a field that, in David Harvey’s words, “rub[s] different conceptual blocks together to make an intellectual fire” (2001: 9). Arguably a risky enterprise–Harvey warns that those blocks are too easily lost in the heat; and too few collisions, too little friction, is of course as problematic–but when ideas catch, when they’re…

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Book review on Antipode Online

My review of Anna Feigenbaum, Fabian Frenzel & Patrick McCurdy’s book Protest Camps (published last year by Zed Books) is now up on the Antipode Foundation’s website. It’s a great book, which everyone interested in protest should read!


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New Edition of South Asianist

The University of Edinburgh’s Open Access Journal ‘The South Asianist’ has a new edition out – themed on crossing boundaries, with lots of interesting looking stuff in it. Link is below.

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Selected readings on the Indian election results

Following Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister of India, and the landslide win of the BJP in general, there are some interesting and thought provoking articles doing the rounds, so I’ve tried to collate a few of them here. I’ll add to these as I become aware of them.

A relatively balanced piece by William Dalrymple in the New Statesman which is good as an introduction to the key issues

Saroj Giri on OpenDemocracy

Economic and Political Weekly‘s Editorial following the election – this and previous weeks’ editions also understandably have a lot of coverage of the results. Anyone interested in Modi’s political economy may find last week’s editorial here an interesting read.

Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian last week, just before the election results were announced. The Guardian’s coverage of the elections has been a bit better than most UK sources (i.e. it has actually tried to cover them). There is a profile of Modi here and there has been continuing coverage on the site.

An Open Letter by Gopalkrishna Gandhi in today’s Hindu.

A piece by Siddarth Varadarajan on his blog about Modi’s past and its implications for his Government, and a response to it on Kafila by Pradip Kumar Datta


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George Garrett Archive

Today I went to a talk about George Garrett at Liverpool Central Library. Garrett was a radical sailor who spent most of his life in either Liverpool or New York, organising for labour issues, speaking out against racism and imperialism, and writing plays and short stories after being inspired by his membership of the Wobblies in New York in the 1920s. Shamefully, I’d never heard of Garrett before this week, but over the past year or so there’s been a Heritage Lottery funded project to create an archive of his life and it’s currently on display in the Library, and there are a few talks going on about him, and a reading of one of his plays as a part of the Writing On The Wall Festival which is currently taking place in the city. There’s also a fascinating looking event on at Toxteth Library where Levi Tafari will be using poetry to understand the struggles of black soldiers/sailors/workers in the aftermath of WW1, which sadly I don’t think I’m going to be able to make as I’m busy that evening. It’s fascinating stuff – the archive website explains things better than I can – but Garrett is someone who I’d like to find out more about.

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It’s been a busy few months, and as a result, I’ve once again let the blogging slide, but hopefully the impending summer will give me a chance to get things up and running once again.

In any case, here are some of the interesting things that have happened recently – with more updates to follow soon!

1) The session on the Geographies of Sound that myself, Matt Benwell and Bethan Evans are organising at the RGS-IBG this summer has been chosen to represent the Society’s new journal Geo which will be launching officially during the conference. We’re really excited by this, and it’s made what was already a fascinating set of papers even more exciting. I will update details of the session in a few weeks time – we’ve got two sessions covering a really interesting ways of engaging with research on sound & space.

2) The AAG Annual Meeting took place in Tampa, FL last month. As always, the jet lag flying back from the States was a nightmare, but it was great to listen to some fascinating talks. Highlights included Ayonna Datta’s Urban Geography Plenary on Sexual Violence in Delhi slums, Rinaldo Walcott’s Antipode Lecture, and a fascinating author meets critics discussion of Joel Wainwright’s book on the involvement of the military in geographical research in Oaxaca (see Rachel Woodward’s review for Antipode here). I was speaking about my research on colonial Pondicherry as a contact zone in a session organised by Lucy Mayblin and Lucy Jackson at Sheffield, which was really interesting and helped to sharpen up some of my ideas thanks to some interesting questions and discussion. I also was a discussant in a session on borders organised by Margath Walker, which was again interesting, and I learned a lot about borders as a result.

3) It was the annual Barcelona field class at the start of April, which seems a long time ago now, but once again, the city was a great space for our students to explore. The various people we took them to meet were great hosts – despite the fact that this was the 5th or 6th year that we’ve been to visit. The Crisis, and the continuing effects of it upon Spain are still all too visible, however, and some of our students projects explored some interesting ideas here, from student futures after graduation through to ideas about cosmopolitan identity construction amongst subaltern and migrant actors. the first bits of work are beginning to come through now, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

4) I’ve also been asked to present at a workshop in Manchester in early June on ‘Theorising Resistance in Development’, (some details here) where again I’m going to be speaking quite historically about Pondicherry, but (hopefully!) tying some of these historical events into more contemporary ideas about how freedom and liberty are framed in the Indian constitution – particularly drawing on Gurpreet Mahajan’s work here.

5) This coming Wednesday (the 7th of May) with colleagues in our research cluster at Liverpool, we are organising the latest Engage@Liverpool methods ‘Masterclass’ on the challenges of participatory research techniques. This is part of the University’s engagement with methods training for doctoral and postdoctoral students, and together with Bethan we’ll be speaking about our work with KCC Live! on the riots project which we undertook last year. There are still places if people are interested in finding out more – it’s free of charge but you do need to register – details here.

That’s it for now – will hopefully update with enw developments as things progress over the summer!

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Derek Gregory to talk at the University of Glasgow, Friday March 7, 3:30pm

Derek Gregory is speaking in Glasgow next week – it looks an interesting talk which continues his interests in drones and contemporary war-making.

Understanding Empire: Technology, Power, Politics


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