Peace Studies at the University of Bradford is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Among the events planned, a major international conference on 1-3 May 2014. It will explore the intellectual agenda for peace studies now and over the next century. See the call for papers and find out more here.
On 20 January 1951, at the height of the Korean War, seven distinguished doctors published a letter in the Lancet expressing concern about the arms race, the impact of arms spending on healthcare ("each pound spent on bombs means ... more dead babies now") and the apathetic drift towards another world war.
The signatories (Richard Doll, Alfred Esterman, Ian Gilliland, Horace Joules, Duncan Leys, Lionel Penrose, and Martin Pollock) argued that doctors could use their unique expertise and authority to work towards disarmament:
I’m delighted to share with you the first product of PaxCat 2: the peace pamphlet collection.
PaxCat 2 will make available the remaining Commonweal archives and historic material which were not covered by the first phase of the PaxCat project. These are fantastic resources which intertwine with the catalogued archives – so many connections of people, places and organisations. Find out more about PaxCat 2 here.
So far we have catalogued about 2000 of the peace-related pamphlets, from the First World War to the present day. We’ve used an Excel spreadsheet for the cataloguing, which offers the speed, flexibility and accessibility we need to get these resources to the public without external funding. They are often very striking visually, as this Poison Gas illustration shows. More images and lots of information about the pamphlets in no. 89 of the 100 Objects series.
Cohesion, Challenge and Critique
The "Arts and Issues" fellows at Bradford University, 1966-1982
14 November 2013-16 January 2014
A new exhibition in Gallery II at the University of Bradford brings together as never before the unique resources of special collections and the permanent art collection. Arts Curator Amy Charlesworth, with help from Special Collections, explores the growth and significance of the most fascinating and distinctive facets of the University's story: the Arts and Issues programme.
This week, two little pamphlets which tell the story of a unique newspaper: Peace News. The history of Peace News is that of the peace movement in Britain. Written, edited and read by activists, it reflected and shaped campaigns and debates.
The Peace News Story was written by Harry Mister. This particular issue dates from around 1951 or 1952, just after Allen Skinner became editor.
James O’Connell, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, died on 8 September 2013 after a short illness, at the age of 87. Professor O’Connell was appointed chair of Peace Studies in 1978. He faced a difficult task: how to manage the activism and interdisciplinary nature of Peace Studies within a University setting, not to mention the threat posed by the Thatcher government. Professor O’Connell played a vital role in saving the department and in building its considerable reputation worldwide.
Find out more:
The University’s announcement of Professor O’Connell’s death.
Obituary in the Guardian by his colleague Professor Paul Rogers, 19 September.
James O’Connell and Peace Studies also by Paul Rogers, on Opendemocracy.net
Obituary on the BASIC website by Paul Ingram – Prof O’Connell was Board member and Chair of BASIC.
Piece in the Hackney Gazette (Prof O’Connell moved there towards the end of his life).
My Dad: James O’Connell by his daughter, author Sanjida O’Connell.
Coming very soon, Bradford Voices of Peace, an exhibition and events celebrating the city’s radical heritage and looking at projects happening right now. Voices is on from 6-14 August at Fabric on Broadway. The programme brings together activists, academics and organisations, including Yorkshire CND, Special Collections, the Peace Museum, Peace Studies department, and Commonweal Library.
Here’s a little bit of that heritage, a poster for a 1979 lecture by Adam Curle, first professor of Peace Studies at the University.
When is a finale not the end? Routes to Peace 2013!
The Routes to Peace season came to an end with the 'Big Sing' for peace in Centenary Square and a range of workshops held at partner venues across the city. The sun shone, the people came and everyone had an amazing time. Why was it not the end because we are going to do it all again next year bigger and better and because it was the first day that the community, children and young people got to try out the new Routes to Peace Heritage Trail and App, now live!
This week, we explore the work of a remarkable scientist and humanitarian who turned away from work on the atom bomb: Professor Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005).
A pioneer of atomic physics at the Free University of Poland, Jo Rotblat came to Liverpool University in 1939, drawn by the opportunity to work with James Chadwick and his new cyclotron. Rotblat caught what was to be the last train out of Poland; his wife, Tola, sick with appendicitis, was due to follow, but was unable to leave in time - she later died in a concentration camp.
A new heritage trail will enable young people (and everyone) to explore Bradford’s amazing history of campaigning for peace and social justice: William Forster, Norman Angell,Margaret McMillan, J.B. Priestley, not to mention the Independent Labour Party, celebrated in the mural below …
Produced by the Peace Museum and local young people as part of the Routes to Peace season, the trail highlights interesting sites and stories around the city centre, with more ideas for longer walks and links to follow up. The trail is available now as a downloadable pocket guide, with an app available in June.