Author Archive

MCR History Talks: Tourism

Posted on: July 28th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

Jessica White and Adam Waddingham from the University of Manchester explore the history of tourism, travel and heritage in Manchester’s past and present.

They discuss the history of Manchester Airport, alternative tourism and the National Trust.

Jessica and Adam are also joined by Jamie Farrington. Jamie is a third year PhD History Candidate who is interested in the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, and how it impacted on the health and well-being of those employed in the developing textile industry of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century.

This podcast was produced by Jessica White & Adam Waddingham for The Manchester Lit and Phil in July 2020.

MCR History Talks: Health

Posted on: July 28th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

Jessica White and Adam Waddingham from the University of Manchester discuss the history of health in Manchester.

Joining them is Andrew Seaton. Andrew is a PhD Candidate in Modern European History at New York University.  He is a political and social historian working on topics related to the history of science, technology, environment, and medicine.

Jessica and Adam are also joined by Will Ranger from the Living Wage Foundation.  Will is a Manchester based community activist and campaigner who specialises in the political and social history of the city.

This podcast was produced by Jessica White & Adam Waddingham for The Manchester Lit and Phil in July 2020.

MCR History Talks: Alcohol and Drinking Cultures

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

Jessica White and Adam Waddingham from the University of Manchester talk about the history of alcohol and drinking cultures in the north west.

They examine why the north has such a reputation for drinking, why gender and alcohol are so entwined, and if our attitudes to drinking have changed over the past two hundred years. Jessica and Adam are joined by Dr Gemma Outen from Edge Hill University, and Dr Craig Stafford from the University of Liverpool.

This podcast was produced by Jessica White & Adam Waddingham for The Manchester Lit and Phil in August 2020.

Interview with Professor Gary Younge

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

In this short interview, Gary touches on his influences, the COVID-19 pandemic, and what he would do if he was Prime Minister for a day…

Q: Could you please share the inspiration behind the title of your talk, ‘I danced here on other peoples’ dreams’?

A: The primary inspiration is my mother who would dance me around the house on her feet as a child to Bob and Marcia’s “Young Gifted and Black”.

But it is also the numerous people, most of whom I don’t know, who fought for the rights that I have even when there was little immediate prospect of those rights being granted and even though they themselves would never have the chance to enjoy them.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day — how would you set about building the more ‘diverse, inclusive, and respectful’ society that you will be discussing in your talk?

A: In a day it would not be possible to do anything substantial to undo the things that took centuries to get us to where we are. So it would have to be something largely symbolic.

“In a day it would not be possible to do anything substantial to undo the things that took centuries to get us to where we are. So it would have to be something largely symbolic.”

I would release all the people in prison for minor drugs charges, invite all those who use foodbanks to Number 10 or Chequers for a garden party, and pay for mayors up and down the country to do the same, and I’d offer an official apology to every country we have bombed or oppressed in contravention of international law.

Q: Has the COVID – 19 pandemic taught us anything new, or has it just re-enforced inequalities within society?

A: Both. It has laid bare the inequalities and shown us how they work and whom they affect. What is new is that we have never seen it quite so clearly before.

Q: In October 2021, we were joined by Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. Elizabeth is a very inspiring woman, and spoke with great passion about the influence of Mary Seacole on her own career. Who is the biggest inspiration in your career? In fact, is there someone in particular who instantly springs to mind as soon as you read that question?

A: In an immediate sense my mother. Raising three boys on her own while being thoroughly engaged in her community and instinctively drawing connections between race, class, religion and other identities. Beyond her it would be C.L.R. James, the Trinidadian-born activist, intellectual and writer who wrote beautifully and maintained a sharp, incisive critical analysis throughout his life.

Q: You’ve been Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester since 2020. Have you had chance to explore the city? How does it compare to London— both in its history, and today? Does Manchester inspire you in a different way than to London?

A: I started at the university a week after lockdown, so I have not explored the city half as much as I would have liked to. I’m not from London but lived there for 10 years before going to the US for 12 years. When I returned it had become prohibitively expensive and inhospitable, particularly for the young and those on low incomes. Manchester inspires me as a city where it is still, for now, possible, to be young and enjoy a halfway decent life and still be creative and not have to work all hours.

“Manchester inspires me as a city where it is still, for now, possible, to be young and enjoy a halfway decent life and still be creative and not have to work all hours.”

Q: What do you have planned for the future? Is there anything that we should be looking out for?

A: I studied French and Russian, then fell in love with an American and spent most of my journalistic career in America and/or writing about America. I am now shifting my research interests back to Europe, and more particularly the black experience in Europe, and will be writing more about that in the years to come…

Thank you to Gary for taking the time to answer our questions

Legacy of Empire

Posted on: February 17th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

How much of what we consider to be modern Britain is actually rooted in our imperial past?

Award-winning author Sathnam Sanghera talks to historian Dr Michael Taylor.  In this highly anticipated event, Sathnam and Michael seek to unravel the extent to which Empire has shaped our history, perception and understanding of the world.

Their conversation touches on Sanghera’s experiences of growing up in Wolverhampton as the son of Punjabi Indians. It explores the role of Commonwealth immigrants in shaping modern Britain. And considers the legacies of some of the most traumatic incidents in imperial history.

Their exchange seeks to address some of the most pressing questions facing Britain today. What should we do with the statues of slaveholders such as Edward Colston and imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes? Is it ‘woke’ to regard British imperial history with scepticism? How should we teach imperial history in schools and universities? And who is going to win the ongoing ‘culture wars’ about history and memory?

Slavery and Manchester in the fight for Abolition

Posted on: January 25th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

What role did Manchester and Mancunians play in the fight over slavery and emancipation?

Manchester, with its strong Dissenting tradition, was a hotbed of abolitionist enthusiasm which produced some of the largest anti-slavery petitions of the day. But that fact alone does not tell the full, complex story.

When Parliament outlawed the British slave trade in 1807, it did nothing to set free more than 700,000 enslaved people in the British West Indies. In fact, it was not until 1823 that the Anti-Slavery Society, which pursued the abolition of slavery itself, was even founded.

A decade-long battle was fought between British abolitionists and the powerful slaveholding lobby known as the ‘West India Interest’. This fight took place on battlefields as diverse as the Houses of Parliament and the pages of the London and regional press. In churches and chapels, and even in the Caribbean colonies themselves.

Dr Michael Taylor’s talk examines Manchester’s part in this complex story. He describes the role of prominent north-westerners, such as George Hibbert and Robert Peel, in defending slavery from 1823 until the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833.

The Beginnings of Shakespeare

Posted on: November 22nd, 2021 by mlpAdmin

What were the social, political and artistic influences that shaped the young William Shakespeare before he moved to London to find fame and fortune in the theatre?

Until recently, studies have tended to focus on the poet’s family background; his schooling and education; and his first encounters with drama. But increasingly, historians are understanding him as part of the generation which grew up during a huge shift between the traditional thought-world of late Medieval England and the new Protestant order, imposed during the reign of Elizabeth 1st.

Fascinating recent finds – including some twenty new documents on his father – are transforming our view of the poet’s background. In particular, the bitter politics of Reformation Warwickshire, which it is now clear touched his own family.

In this illustrated talk the historian Professor Michael Wood – author of the highly-praised biography In Search of Shakespeare (2003) – looks at what we can learn from the recent discoveries.

Engineering bubbles for targeted drug delivery

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by mlpAdmin

How is the development of new techniques to deliver drugs helping to treat cancer?

Despite extraordinary advances in the development of new drugs and biotechnology, cancer continues to represent one of the leading causes of death worldwide.  Often the problem lies not with the drugs but rather the difficulty in successfully delivering them to the site of a tumour.

In healthy tissue there is a regular structure of blood vessels supplying oxygen and nutrients to cells, which divide and grow at a steady rate.  However, in cancerous tumours, cell division and growth is unregulated. This leads to a chaotic vessel structure and regions of tissue with little or no blood supply. So, when drugs are ingested or injected into the blood stream, not all parts of the tumour are treated. And there is a high risk of recurrence.

Compounding this, in many tumours there is a pressure gradient that resists uptake of drugs from the blood vessels. This means that only a very small fraction is actually delivered.  The rest of the drug circulates and is eventually absorbed by healthy tissue, often leading to intolerable side effects.

The goal of the research being carried out in the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) is to develop new methods for delivering anti-cancer drugs that overcome these barriers.  In particular, physical stimuli such as ultrasound and magnetic fields are being used to localise the release and improve the distribution of drugs within tumours using micro and nanoscopic bubbles as delivery vehicles.

In this talk, Professor Eleanor Stride presents the new techniques that have been developed to fabricate and characterise these bubbles. And how they are being applied for the treatment of cancer.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive exclusive content and all the latest Lit & Phil news

* indicates required