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Spaces of Deindustrialisation: Thirty Years On

Creative Geographies Research Cluster



Dr Geoff Bright (MMU)



Dr Katy Shaw (Leeds Beckett)



Professor Tim Strangleman (University of Kent)



Precisely thirty years from the end of the miners’ strike, three leading researchers will come together to explore the affective legacy of deindustrialisation and the representation of the miners’ strike and post-industrial spaces in the UK and abroad.


Creative Geographies Research Cluster Event

Thursday, 5 March, 17.15 – 18.45

Geoffrey Manton, Lecture Theatre 6

For more information e-mail


Book via Eventbrite Here


Dr Geoff Bright (Research Fellow, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University) Thirty Years On from the 1984-85 miners’ strike: Two Funerals, a Party, and a Kind of Haunting Going On On the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1984-85 miners strike, this paper reflects on an ongoing ethnographic examination of intergenerational experiences of school ‘disaffection’ in four former Derbyshire coal-mining communities. A key focus is the investigation of school disaffection as an affective aspect of local historical geographies of resistance and conflict relating to the 1984-85 strike and the class memory narratives in which it has become entwined.

Professor Tim Strangleman, FAcSS (Professor in Sociology, University of Kent) Industrial Hauntings: Smokestack Nostalgia or Working Class Obituary? This paper will explore some of the images that have emerged from the process of deindustrialisation over the last three decades or more. It seeks to understand the similarities and differences between post-industrial photography collected in book format and other publishing trends in both North America and Europe, examining what this tells us about the wider meanings and values attached to industrial work in the past and present.

Dr Katy Shaw (Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Leeds Beckett University). Geoff and Tim will be joined in conversation with Katy Shaw: Head of English at Leeds Beckett and a leading authority on the literature of the 1984-85 miners’ strike. Katy’s publications include Mining the Meaning: Cultural Representations of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike (2012).

February 13th, 2015 - 15:32pm

‘Is a Psychiatric Diagnosis Labelling or Enabling’

'Time to Change Society' debate

The Time to Change Society are hosting its first ever debate: ‘Is a Psychiatric Diagnosis Labelling or Enabling’ on Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 1-3pm in the Business School G.35 (Manchester Metropolitan University).

The society is based on challenging the stigma and discrimination towards mental health through learning and talking about it in a range of different ways and the debate is the society’s latest innovation in exploring the topic further.

Dr Tom Brock (Sociology) will be chairing the debate, joined by Dr Ken McLaughlin (Social Work), Dr Lucy Burke (English) and Ann-Marie McLoughlin (Psychology) who will form the panel of judges.

All are welcome to attend, however due to the ongoing interest surrounding the debate, registering via Eventbrite (free) is required.

February 13th, 2015 - 14:46pm

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes Interviewed for Award-Winning Horror Documentary

Last year, Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, lecturer in English who specialises in Gothic and Horror fiction and film, was interviewed for the Why Horror? documentary, which has recently premiered at film festivals in Mexico, Spain, Canada and the US. This exclusive documentary brings together world-renowned directors such as Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), the Soska sisters (American Mary), Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), Karen Lam (Evangeline), Álex de la Iglesia (Day of the Beast) or Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes remake), magazine editors such as Chris Alexander (Fangoria) and Dave Alexander (Rue Morgue), academics such as Noël Carroll and even producers, writers, actors and video game developers in a cast of over sixty interviewees. Following the personal experiences of horror enthusiast and journalist Tal Zimmerman, Why Horror? explores the allure and pleasures of the genre for fans and even the ways in which it works neurologically.

Of the experience, Xavier said ‘it was great to be involved in such a vast and exciting project that included some of my favourite horror practitioners and academics. I really enjoyed the whole process’. When asked about what makes the documentary special he replied that:

‘Why Horror? is distinctive because it is both personal and universal. Although we follow Tal in his own experiences and adventures in the real world, this narrative device allows scope for a more general journey throughout the history of horror and its related fan cultures. The result is an engaging and thought-provoking piece that will raise awareness of the breadth of the genre and what it means to individuals and communities’.

Why Horror? has, thus far, won the Audience Choice award at the Toronto After Dark Festival and been named Documentary of the Year 2014 by Rue Morgue magazine. It has been reviewed in a number of on-line and print publications, which include Fangoria, SFGate, TwitchFilm, The Hollywood Reporter and The Toronto Star. Its makers are currently looking for a screening venue in the UK.

Xavier is the author of Body Gothic: Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary Literature and Horror Film (2014), the co-editor of Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon (2015) and is currently working on a book entitled Horror Film and Affect: Towards a Corporeal Model of Viewership, which will be published by Routledge in 2016.

To read more on ‘Why Horror’, visit the website here or the documentary’s imdb page here.

February 5th, 2015 - 16:56pm

Video: Twenty-First-Century Poetry

19th January: Antony Rowland's Inaugural Lecture

Antony Rowland is Chair of Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. After studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds, he taught at the University of Salford and the University of Lincoln, where he was, respectively, a Chair in Modern Literature and Chair in Contemporary Literature. This event was a mixture of readings from the author’s poetry collections, and other poets’ work, and a lively (and contentious) debate about twenty-first-century poetry.

Go to Humanity Hallows for Freddie Bruhin-Price’s summary of the evening.

Video filmed and edited by Neil Harrison, Humanities in Public Media Assistant.

January 27th, 2015 - 15:50pm

Seeing Queerly: A Season of LGBT Cinema

February 2015

Congratulations to Dr Andrew Moor (Reader in Cinema History and Theory at MMU), who has recently won funding from the British Film Institute to support the ‘Seeing Queerly’ film season that is running as part of the LGBT History month in February. Details of the season are below.

This project is organised to coincide with LGBT History Month and is financially supported by Film Hub NWC, a member of the BFI Film Audience Network. We are grateful for the support of Queer Contact and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.

Supported by:


Vito (Jeffrey Schwarz, US, 2012):
Wednesday 11th February 2015, MMU New Business School, Manchester Lecture Theatre 5 – 6.30pm. Free but please reserve a place via Eventbrite.

A documentary about the man who brought us all out of the ‘Celluloid Closet’. Director Jeffrey Schwarz looks back at Russo’s life as a film fan, a film critic and latterly as an AIDS activist. In the aftermath of Stonewall (1969), Russo found his voice as an angry critic of LGBT representation in the media. Always defiant and eloquent, this moving and inspiring film tells the story of one of our movement’s most important figures. The screening will be introduced by Dr Andrew Moor of Manchester Metropolitan University, and there will be a post-screening discussion.

‘An emotionally powerful documentary portrait’, Hollywood Reporter

This event is in partnership with LGBT History Month

View the Manchester Campus map to find a building


Taxi Zum Klo (Frank Ripploh, 1980, W Germany, 90 minutes, 18 cert).

Thursday 12th February, MMU New Business School, Manchester Lecture Theatre 5 - 6.30pm. Free but please reserve a place via Eventbrite.

Written and directed by Ripploh, who also stars in the film, this very personal – and graphic – sex comedy follows the constantly cruising lifestyle of Frank, a gay schoolteacher, and charts his relationship with sweet-natured, domesticated Berndt. The screening will be introduced by Dr Andrew Moor of Manchester Metropolitan University, and there will be a post-screening discussion.

This event is in partnership with LGBT History Month

Read a Guardian review of the film here.

View the Manchester Campus map to find a building


Shortbus (John Cameron Mitchell, 2006, US, 18 cert) plus Q&A with the legendary queer cabaret icon (and star of the film) Justin V. Bond.

Sunday 15th February, Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester. Purchase tickets here.

A humane, sexy and uplifting queer comedy for the 21st Century set in and around the Shortbus sex club (‘for the challenged and the gifted’) in New York City. A celebration of love, sex and community, and as innocent as a film with this much sex in it can possibly be.

MMU is delighted to bring this event to Manchester in partnership with Queer Contact.

Supported by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.


Special Charity Screening of Will You Dance With Me? (Derek Jarman, 1984, UK, 78 mins, uncertified):

Friday 20th February, 2015, 8:00pm, Sackville Lounge, Sackville Street, Manchester. Tickets: FREE via Eventbrite.

In 1984, the British film director Derek Jarman (Sebastiane, Last of England, Edward II) spent an evening in Benjy’s – a gay nightclub in London – capturing intimate footage of a night out in the mid-eighties. Derek’s roaming camera dances with the music, cruises the building, flirts, and catches handsome faces in the crowd. It is a rhapsodic snapshot of the gay scene in 1984 – a trip down memory lane for some, a fascinating time capsule for all. This experimental vérité-style film was screened for the first time in 2014 and it now gets its regional premiere in the UK.

• Music afterwards from DJ Greg Thorpe.
• All profits from tonight’s event will be donated to George House Trust and Albert Kennedy Trust. Donation buckets will be circulating at the venue.


Supporting Talks:

We are scheduling public lectures / illustrated talks to support the film screenings:

• Being a Gay Film Critic in the 1970s (Andrew Moor, MMU): 16th February, 6:00pm. LT4, MMU (Geoffrey Manton Bldg): Free but please reserve a place via Eventbrite.
• LGBT film festivals and Activism (Jon Binnie & Christian Klesse, MMU): 23rd February, 6:00pm, Lecture Theatre 4, MMU, (Geoffrey Manton Building): Free but please reserve a place via Eventbrite.


January 8th, 2015 - 11:57am

Carol Ann Duffy and Friends – series ten

12 January 2015

Start time:19:00
Venue:The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH


Carol Ann Duffy presents this tenth series of poetry nights at the city’s iconic Royal Exchange Theatre. Each evening features Carol Ann reading from her own work and introducing some of the country’s best new emerging talent: student poets from the Manchester Writing School, led by house poet Liz Venn. There’s also a special guest appearance from a poet of national stature and live music from the house jazz band.

12th January 2015: Kit Wright with Martin Kratz, Paul McGhee and Kim Moore

19th January 2015: Ann Gray with Justine Chamberlain, Michael Conley, Robert Harper

9th March 2015: Lachlan Mackinnon with Scott Fellows, Ian Humphreys and Carolyn Zukowski

Start time: 7.00pm (music), 7.30pm (readings)

Venue: The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH

Tickets: £12 – book via the Royal Exchange Theatre: or contact the box office on 0161 833 9833

Manchester Writing School events are sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute for Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR) and presented in partnership with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and Blackwell’s. Join the Manchester Writing School mailing list, contact, or follow on Twitter @mcrwritingschl.

December 5th, 2014 - 16:05pm

World Premiere of Newly Discovered Song by Anthony Burgess

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street

On Wednesday 26th November the International Anthony Burgess Foundation presented the world premiere of a newly discovered song by Anthony Burgess, along with three other settings of Shakespeare songs. Andrew Biswell, Professor of Modern Literature at MMU and Director of the Burgess Foundation, introduced the concert.

The “new” song is a setting of Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare. The Burgess Foundation acquired the manuscript earlier this year from Mr John Beck, to whose wife it was dedicated by Burgess in 1951.

Here you can read The Guardian’s story on the discovery of the song.

The performance was also reported on the Midnight News on BBC Radio 4 in the early hours of Saturday 27th November. The four Burgess songs were performed to great acclaim alongside other settings of Shakespeare by Gerald Finzi, Dominick Argento and Roger Quilter.

Musicians: Zoe Milton-Brown (soprano) & Ben Powell (piano).

December 5th, 2014 - 15:42pm

Multi-award winning Sally Wainwright to visit MMU

Friday 28th November 2014

One of our most prominent and celebrated television writers, the multi-award winning Sally Wainwright, fresh from choosing her eight ‘Desert Island Discs’ on Radio 4, will be ‘in conversation’ with playwright and lecturer Julie Wilkinson on Friday 28th November 2014 at 1pm in Lecture Theatre 4, Geoffrey Manton Building.

Sally is writer, producer and sometime director of some of the most characterful and inventive television drama of the last decade. The author of Scott and Bailey, Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgiven, The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, Sparkhouse, Jane Hall, At Home with the Braithwaites, and many other shows, Sally’s work has fundamentally changed the way women are represented in British television drama. Her command of story, her inventive range and productivity make her an inspiration to new writers. How does she do it? On her third visit to support and encourage writing students in the Department of English at MMU, Sally will be talking about her experience of writing for television and answering questions from you, the audience. Do not miss this event, which is free to students and staff. To reserve your seat please contact Julie Wilkinson on

Here you can read more about Sally’s work at The Agency’s website.


November 13th, 2014 - 16:06pm

Gothic Manchester Festival 2014

Humanities in Public Video

We talk to Director of Gothic Manchester Festival, Dr Linnie Blake and Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes from MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies as they let us in on their highlights from the Gothic Manchester Festival 2014.

This year’s Gothic Manchester Festival was back with a new programme of events and activities designed to showcase MMU’s academic expertise in the gothic and foreground Manchester’s rich vein of gothic talent. In this festival of the macabre and fantastical we invited readings from authors working on the gothic dimensions of austerity politics, tours of the John Rylands Library and of the gothic splendours of the city and author Rosie Garland reading from both of her novels and discussing her alternative life as Goth icon Rosie Lugosi. As if this were not already a surfeit of transgressive pleasure, we also had a Vampire-themed pub quiz, a phantasmagoric lantern display and film screening, and the local Steampunk community joined us for a day of retro-tech delights, including a costumed tour of the Museum of Science and Industry’s Steam Hall.

November 11th, 2014 - 16:26pm

Literary lives: Muriel Spark

Thursday, November 27th, 2014, 6:30 pm

Free, advance booking required

Muriel Spark’s shrewd, unsentimental and hilarious novels are some of the finest of the twentieth century. Spark’s distinctive mix of realism, satire and allegory was hugely influential for a generation of writers. Join Martin Stannard — author of the acclaimed biography Muriel Spark — and literary critic Ellie Byrne for a lively discussion of Muriel Spark’s fascinating life and work. Chaired by Andrew Biswell.

Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY.

Advance booking is advised, so reserve your place via or 0161 235 0776.

You can access the website link here

November 11th, 2014 - 11:45am