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OpenTALKS: John Slight ‘British Imperialist Visions of Islamic States’

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, join us for our History lecture series which opens a window onto the exciting research being conducted by historians at The Open University. The next talk is on 3rd April 16:30-17:30 in Berrill Lecture Theatre by John Slight on ‘British Imperialist Visions of Islamic States’. Can't join in person? Watch the event live online (* link will be live just before the event.)

Lecture 4 image

Credit: Samuel Zwemer, The Moslem World (out of copyright image)

From the mid-nineteenth century, men working in the highest levels of the British state, animated by the partition of the world among the imperial powers and fuelled by the idea of Britain as the ‘greatest Mohammedan power’, began to sketch out a vision for states under British tutelage in which Islam played a central role. This talk will trace the trajectories of these putative Islamic states in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the role played by Muslim leaders in them, and explain how this British imperial manipulation of Islam ultimately failed.

‘This talk will explain how Britain’s imperial attempts to manipulate Islam in the nineteenth century ultimately failed.’

Mobilising Global Voices: Conference at the UK House of Commons

Centre Director Dr Sandip Hazareesingh and collaborators from the Indian NGO Green Foundation have been invited to present the research findings of their GCRF project Changing Farming Lives in South India, Past and Present at a conference on Mobilising Global Voices: Perspectives from the Global South, to be held at the House of Commons on 27-28 February 2019. Jointly organised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the International Development Committee (IDC) of UK Parliament, the conference will bring together development scholars from the Global South, UK based researchers, and UK parliamentarians to share ideas on strengthening evidence-based scrutiny of development policy and programmes.

Workshop on Sustainable Farming Practices Past and Present

Sandip workshop photo

The AHRC-funded Changing Farmers’ Lives Past and Present research project held its first event in Bangalore, India on 21-22 February 2018, co-organised by the Open University and the Karnataka based NGO Green Foundation.

A variety of presentations by academic researchers and development practitioners explored the potential, first, of Arts and Humanities approaches, in particular aspects of oral history, stories, drama, and film, to document and support small farmer creativity in developing resilience to livelihood challenges in relation to food, biodiversity, and climate issues; and second, of participatory methods aimed at local community conservation of agricultural biodiversity and revival and control of indigenous seeds. Each session was followed by lively discussions. See workshop programme.

Ferguson Centre Director awarded an AHRC Research Networking for International Development (GCRF) grant

Centre Director Sandip Hazareesingh has been awarded an AHRC Research Networking for International Development (GCRF) grant for a 12-month pilot project on 'Changing Farming Lives in South India, Past and Present'. The project's main aim is to explore the potential of various aspects of history, film, and sound, to document and support small farmer creativity and resilience to food, biodiversity and climate issues in south India. It will be carried out in collaboration with a Karnataka-based NGO, Green Foundation, which works with local smallholders to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture. The AHRC peer reviewer for the project wrote: 'This is an ambitious project which has the potential to produce long-term beneficial contributions to knowledge of significant cultural practices, as well as contributing to the sustainability of those practices through a heritage record of them'.

Ferguson Centre Director was one of the OU’s Academic Consultants for the BBC-OU documentary 'Dangerous Borders'

Centre Director Sandip Hazareesingh was one of the OU’s Academic Consultants for the BBC-OU documentary series ‘Dangerous Borders: A Journey across India and Pakistan’, broadcast in August 2017 on BBC2 to mark the 70th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan.

Ferguson Centre welcomes new Assistant Director

John Slight, Lecturer in Modern History, has joined the Centre as Assistant Director.