Research News and Events
Boardroom, School of History University of Liverpool Abercromby Square
Tale of Two Rival Cities - LJMU historian Frank McDonough
‘Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler’
Sophie Scholl was a 21-year-old Munich University student and a member of an underground, non-violent protest movement against Hitler's rule in Nazi Germany called the White Rose. Her brave stand in fighting Nazism has made her a legend in Germany. She was voted 'Woman of the Century' in 1999 and she came 4th, along with her equally brave brother Hans Scholl, in 'Greatest Germans', a popular German TV programme.
In 2005 the final days of her short life was the subject of an award-winning German film called: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. Now, Frank McDonough, Reader in International History, has written the first major biography of this remarkable heroine of the German resistance. The book draws on a wide variety of original documents, including the letters and diaries of Sophie Scholl, key Gestapo interrogation files, court documents and interviews with survivors - including an exclusive interview with Sophie's 88 year old sister.
Although not released until 2 March 2009, the book is already receiving major national and international publicity. It was the subject of a full two-page feature in The Mail on 26 February, entitled: 'Braver than Valkyrie', written by leading historian Andrew Roberts. Andrew commented: "McDonough has unearthed remarkable new evidence which helps to explain why Sophie Scholl defied all sense of self-preservation to distribute leaflets denouncing Hitler's Nazis."
The book has also featured in media coverage in Germany, Ireland, and the USA - and was the subject of an article in the leading Brazilian magazine Gallileu. The book is being widely reviewed, most notably, in a major forthcoming review in the Times Higher Educational Supplement by Professor Richard Evans, the Regius Professor of History at Cambridge and one of the world's leading historians on the Third Reich.
Locally, the book was highlighted by Professor David Alton at the Roscoe Lecture in January 2009, by an article in the Liverpool Daily Post and is the subject of special 30-minute programme, hosted by Roger Phillips on BBC Radio Merseyside on 29 March 2009.
The story of this principled young woman, who bravely opposed Hitler's terrifying Nazi regime and was executed for her beliefs, is published by the History Press.
LJMU Criminology Research Seminars, 2008/2009
Silencing dissent: languages of denunciation for the neutralisation and criminalization of trouble makers in Liverpool 08
Chris Allen Professor of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
19 March 2009, 3.00-4.30 Room tbc, Clarence Street
Once upon a time urban researchers studied (and even helped) ‘new social movements’ in their struggles with the local state. But times have changed. The role of a 'contemporary' urban researcher is to assist the state by 'informing' urban policy. The result? In Liverpool, an industry of urban researchers has been busy ‘dealing with’ the urban movements of ‘trouble makers’ that oppose their 'regeneration' policies. Their manner of‘dealing with’ these trouble makers is the focus of this paper. 'Dealing with' trouble makers seldom involves an invalidation of critique by recourse to counter-critique, that is, by using 'appropriate weapons' such as the instruments available within the social scientific field. Conversely academic and urban elites tend to deploy ‘languages of denunciation’ to neutralise critique. Languages of denunciation do not engage with the substance of critique at all. They are linguistic devices that use ‘word play’ to nullify the arguments contained in critique whilst, in a sleight of hand, avoiding any form of engagement with those arguments. This is an effective form of silencing. Worse still, languages of denunciation are also used to criminalize academic 'trouble makers'. This raises important issues for the academic freedom of those that work with the 'wrong' communities.
Here we go again: the Working Class as a 'Problem Population’
Gerry Mooney Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University in Scotland
24 March 2009, 4.00-5.30 Room tbc, Clarence Street
This paper explores some of the key current ways in which the working class is being constructed as a 'problem population' in the UK today. Drawing on a case study of the Glasgow East by-election in July 2008 and representations of working class youth as Chavs and Neds, the paper highlights the recurring entanglements of class, gender and race in such constructions. It is argued that ideas of 'problem populations' and 'problem places' reflect class hatred and the dominant ideology of the middle and ruling classes in Britain today.