Professor Dom Alessio

Dom Alessio, Dean of International Programmes and Professor of History, gave a keynote speech this week at the University of Vienna for the annual conference of the New Zealand Studies Association.

Dom Alessio, Dean of International Programmes and Professor of History, gave a keynote speech this week at the University of Vienna for the annual conference of the New Zealand Studies Association. The paper was co-written with Dr. Wesley Renfro from St. John Fischer College, New York.  Dom and Wes’s paper was entitled “‘The Island of thieves': Rethinking Empire and the United States in a South Pacific Context” and examined the way by which military bases were acquired in the region and the significance of such acquisitions – both historically (nuclear testing in the Cold War) and currently (Washington’s pivot to Asia).

William Durden

Richmond’s Dr Nicola Mann publishes article in Writing Visual Culture

Writing Visual Culture, Volume 6,

Between Texts and Cities
guest-edited by Dr Daniel Marques Sampaio and Michael Heilgemeir 

WRITING VISUAL CULTURE (WVC) is an international peer-reviewed journal for research in visual culture.

“A Disconnected Community? (Re)visioning the Heygate Council Estate through Digital Activism”


From the wailing police sirens in The Bill (1984-2010), to the gun-toting bad boys in Top Boy (2011-2013), during the late 20th and early 21st century, London’s Heygate council estate was a stage on which to enact terrifying anxieties about crime and social deviance. As if in answer to these visualizations, in 2010 the government announced a £1.5 billion regeneration project that will transform the area into a “brand-new town centre” over the next fifteen years. By demolishing the Heygate and replacing it with mixed-income accommodations, the council aim to counteract the area’s association with concentrated poverty, organized crime and dependency on benefits. I propose that the dystopian vision of the Heygate in popular visual texts contributed to its notoriety in the nation’s visual imagination, and consequently helped to influence its socio-spatial restructure.

This article considers the visual activism of residents who respond to the dominant visualizations of their homes with counter-narratives centred on an attachment to place. I focus primarily on the website, Southwark Notes, a dynamic and malleable digital text that facilitates and makes visible citizen action and a sense of creative ownership over the rapidly changing urban landscape in Southwark. The site is a practical manifestation of what I call usable memory––a place where residents reminisce about their deeply rooted past, utilizing this historical attachment to place to unite and prevent the uprooting of community landmarks in the future.

View the full piece here

William Durden

A Lens-Based, Non-Profit, Start-Up: FotoFocus in the Realm of the International Art Fair

THURSDAY 2 JULY 2015, 18.00


The FotoFocus Biennial launched in 2012 to present a month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a non-profit organization, FotoFocus is dedicated to sponsoring and providing funds to institutions to produce photography exhibitions and events that are artistically and intellectually engaging, while also being enriching to a large and diverse public. For example, most recently FotoFocus was a proud supporter of the Screenings during Paris Photo LA in April 2014. In this lecture, the Executive Director of FotoFocus introduces the project, examines its contributions to date, and considers and its position as an international art fair.

Mary Ellen Goeke has worked for over twenty-five years with museums and art organizations in New York, Chicago, Hartford and Cincinnati. She has held a number of positions at the Cincinnati Art Museum and at the American Federation of Arts in New York, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and the Terra Museum of American Art/Musée d’Art Américain in Giverny. She established a private consulting practice in Cincinnati in established 2001. She graduate with an MA in Art History at Richmond University in 2006. Her thesis examined fine art museums and early 20th century photography: Aesthetics, Taste and Cultural Distinction: The Museum of Modern Art and An American Place Gallery, New York, 1929.

All are welcome. Wine will be served.

Richmond’s Dr Martin D. Brown writes for the London School of Economics’ EUROPP Blog

The battle for history: why Europe should resist the temptation to rewrite its own communist past

Earlier this month the Czech and Slovak governments criticised the airing of a Russian documentary on the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, with the Slovak ministry of foreign affairs describing it as an attempt ‘to rewrite history’. Martin D. Brown writes that while the documentary was undoubtedly flawed, the diplomatic spat was symptomatic of a situation in which Russia has increasingly adopted a resolutely Soviet view of history, while post-Soviet states have supported the construction of a consciously anti-Soviet history built around the concept of totalitarianism. He argues that there is little to gain from EU states rewriting their own past simply to counter the Russian narrative.

William Durden

Richmond’s Prof George Zhang spoke on frameworks of standards for Chinese language learning and teaching

Dr George Zhang delivered a presentiaon on frameworks of standards for international Chinese language learning and teaching at the 13th New York International Conference on Teaching Chinese ( held in early May at Pace University and organised by the Chinese Language Teachers’ Association of Greater New York. Professor Zhang’s presentation compared various frameworks of standards for Chinese language learning and teaching which has witnessed a rapid growth in the last five to ten years in the UK, Europe and the USA. At the conference, Professor Zhang also chaired the panel on Assessment and Standards. On the 7th May Professor Zhang also gave a talk on the same subject at the University of Columbia at the invitation of the university’s Chinese programme team.


Richmond Student Works on Documentary about Colombia’s Paramilitary at Guardian News Media

Richmond student Blanca Lantero was recently hired to help make an important Guardian News Media documentary about Colombia’s Paramilitary death squad and its alleged connection to BP.  The documentary was released on 22 May to coincide with a high court case in London against BP and can be seen here:


About her experience working with the Guardian team on this project, Blanca Lantero commented:

‘Through my professor’s working relationship with Guardian, I got a paid gig to work on this documentary.  My job involved translating interviews and using video editing software. I loved working on this amazing project and doubt I would have gotten this experience had I not studied video production and cinema at Richmond.”

Richmond Shield

Round-table discussion on the general theme of migration

As part of the activities of the School of Business & Economics’ Wellbeing Research Cluster a round-table discussion on the general theme of migration has been arranged for Friday June 5th on the University’s Richmond campus (Lycett Room). The session will aim to address (through discussion rather than individual presentation of papers) a number of themes of wider interest, some of which have made headline news both nationally and internationally in recent weeks.

Program starts at 1000 and expected to end by around 1230.

The following non-exhaustive list of topics will feature:

1.       Migration (political and neoclassical motivations)

2.       Variations in migration patterns and links to climate change.

3.       The political and economic need for measuring migration flows, and

4.       Issues of data accuracy.

If you wish to attend please let Jacqui Ryan know (

William Durden

Student Government Election Results are in

Congratulations to the following candidates who have been elected to office for Fall 2015.

Louise Kofoed-Dam

Synthia Hynes

Damien Ashton-Wellman

Jimmy Enhammar

Karen Chaberman-Fisman

Arielle Medrano