Welcome to our current issue of Emerge
|After a break, e-merge is back with a bigger issue than ever, including a broader spread of subject areas and some longer articles. Recent changes to the University structure mean that our School now has a new name (Humanities and Social Science), a new Director and new colleagues from the Humanities. Overall, the past year has therefore presented us with a series of opportunities, challenges and dilemmas. We have no longer recruit to our Geography and Politics programmes but our merger means that the School now includes English and Media and Cultural Studies. Institutional change at School and Faculty level also brought changes to the structure of our website and we now have a new home and design.|
We have also had a debate within the School concerning the use of longer dissertations and we now offer this possibility to students. As editors, this provided us with a dilemma: should we extend our word limit or ask students to edit their work? Having read some of the longer dissertations, we felt that the former course was preferable, as key arguments were built up throughout the chapters in a way that meant that radical editing would be very time-consuming at a point at which many ex-students are working, travelling or engaging in further study. The length of articles we have included therefore now covers a broader range.
Over the past year, the issue of hate crime against disabled people has been drawn to public attention. Alice Phipps’ study of local voluntary agency responses underlines the importance of awareness raising and adequate funding when addressing these issues. There has also been a controversy surrounding the use of ASBOs and a second piece from the Criminology programme by John Maguire considers the human rights implications of their widespread use.
Written before the untimely death of Gil Scott-Heron on 27th May 2011, Dominic Brown’s biographical study assesses the artists work as counter-hegemonic practice. Accompanying this piece is a further critical biography by Debbie Adamson, evaluating the contribution of Mumia Abu Jamal to struggles against racism.
Other contemporary issues are also explored indifferent ways: the impact of globalisation on the nation-state (Peter Timson), the actions of the far-right in Russia (Stephen Dennison) and a case study in the development of anti-capitalist protest (Natasha Siddall). Given the interest in the Leverson Enquiry, Rob Perry’s piece on newspaper history is also timely, as it sets the historical context for many current debates. The current economic climate has led to the question of a North-South divide being re-visited and Sam Goodby’s article provides an assessment of the previous Labour government’s policies aimed at reducing the gap.
We have two pieces from Humanities, with more to follow in our next issues. Kirsty Tierney’s article explores the role of Star Wars toys in the construction of their collectors’ identities and Elena De Sacco discusses the interconnections of youth and the gothic in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.
We have also been able to include a local history section in this issue, demonstrating the importance of research informed teaching in building on staff research interests. This section covers the debates about the significance of the slave trade in Liverpool’s economic history (Nick Wong), and the local response to the Spanish Civil War (Stuart Murphy) and as detailed analysis of voting patterns in St. Helen’s (Michelle Girvan).
We hope that you will enjoy the articles collected here and that our current students will find inspiration for work of their own.
Dominic Brown A Sign of the Ages’: Gil Scott-Heron and Resistance to Racism
Natasha Siddall The Seattle Protests: Issues, organisation, and strategy
Michelle Girvan St Helens: Municipal Elections and Explanations 1919-38