About Emma Dwyer

Emma is currently a postgraduate research student at Leicester University's Centre for Historical Archaeology, having previously worked for commercial archaeology units and museums across the UK. She is the social media liaison for the SHA 2013 conference in Leicester, and treasurer of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, which she encourages you all to join: http://www.spma.org.uk/

SHA 2013: From Kampala to Leicester

The Call for Papers for the SHA conference in 2013 closed on 10th July, and the Program Committee is now busily reviewing all of the abstract submissions, before putting together the conference program, which will be announced later in the year.

In the meantime, and happily coinciding with the conference theme of Globalization, Immigration, Transformation, blog followers who find themselves in Leicester at some point over the summer might like to visit the city’s New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, which is hosting a new exhibition, celebrating the 40-year history of Leicester’s Ugandan Asian community.

From Kampala to Leicester: The Story of Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Community, 1972 – 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of the South Asian community from the former British protectorate, which had won independence in 1962. Many South Asians lived in Sub-Saharan Africa, brought there from British India by the Imperial service during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to undertake clerical work and manual labour. In August 1972, the then-President of Uganda Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the country’s South Asian community, exploiting existing fears and perceived concerns about the South Asian minority in Uganda.

About 60,000 South Asians were given 90 days in which to leave the country. As a former British colony, many Ugandan Asians held British passports; 27,000 arrived in the UK, despite warnings in the media and from right-wing politicians that there were few opportunities for migrants. Leicester City Council even advertised the lack of opportunities in the city in Ugandan newspapers, hoping to dissuade potential arrivals, but the city’s approach changed once very traumatised refugees began to arrive, and local charitable groups rallied round to provide accommodation and support.

Ugandan Asians arriving in the UK in 1972

The new exhibition profiles how the 10,000 Ugandan Asians who arrived in Leicester adapted to life in the UK, and the developing role of the community in the cultural life of the city over the last four decades. The exhibition runs until 30th September 2012, and has a full programme of accompanying events, including lectures, dance workshops and film screenings.

This film, which features interviews with some of Leicester’s Ugandan Asian community, has been produced by the East Midlands Oral History Archive as part of their Migration Stories project.

Image: Maz Mashru

SHA 2013: Kibworth, Leicestershire, and the Story of England

British blog readers will recall the BBC series Michael Wood’s Story of England, which was originally broadcast in 2010, and repeated at the end of last year. The series followed 2000 years of English history, through the lens of a typical English parish – which just happened to be Kibworth in Leicestershire, only a few miles from the University of Leicester, where SHA’s annual conference in 2013 will take place. Now American viewers will have a chance to watch the series on PBS, starting at 8pm on Tuesday 3rd July.

Michael Wood and Carenza Lewis with the residents of Kibworth

Historian and broadcaster Michael Wood introduces the series in this blog. Staff and students from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester University were involved in the making of the programme, working with residents to devise a community archaeology project to research and excavate sites in the parish. You can find out more about the Kibworth outreach programme here, and some of the results of the excavation, as well as interviews with Michael Wood and Leicester University’s Archaeology Outreach Officer Debbie Miles-Williams, were featured on the BBC Leicester website.

Kibworth’s interest in its history did not end with transmission; the residents of Kibworth (which comprises three villages; Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp, and Smeeton Westerby) have put together their own website, which looks back at the production of the BBC series and the parish’s history, and at contemporary events including celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Olympic torch relay. An online museum will soon be available on the website.

Image: BBC

SHA 2013: Gender and Minority Affairs Committee Travel Award

The Society for Historical Archaeology is committed to diversity, and is excited to announce its support of:

The 2013 Gender and Minority Affairs Student Travel Award

The Gender and Minority Affairs Committee (GMAC) is sponsoring two travel awards to graduate students who are presenting at the 2013 annual meeting in Leicester. Each award provides a prize of $500 to defray travel costs. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program, be a member of the SHA, and be presenting a paper or poster at the conference.

The goals of the fellowship are to increase diversity and to encourage student involvement at the meetings. Diversity is inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and socio-economic background. Applications are encouraged from diverse populations including, but not limited to, groups historically underrepresented in archaeology.

To apply, send a CV (the name of your advisor/supervisor should be indicated on the first page), a letter of interest, and your poster or paper abstract submission. In your letter, please address the following:

1) Explain how you will increase diversity in historical archaeology, and why increasing diversity within the discipline and the SHA is important.

2) State how participation in the SHA Conference will advance your career and research.

3) Explain how your paper will potentially benefit those who attend your session.

The letter should be succinct and no longer than two single-spaced pages.

Following the conference, award recipients are required to submit a one-page report to the GMAC Chair on their conference experience and their thoughts on diversifying archaeology that will be posted to the SHA Blog.

Please note: individuals can apply for both the GMAC and Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel awards, but may only receive one in the same year.

Deadline for submission:  September 3, 2012

Submit your application materials to Flordeliz T. Bugarin, Chair of the Gender and Minority Affairs Committee, via email at florie_bugarin@yahoo.com.

The award will be announced by October 3, 2012, and the award funds will be distributed at the SHA conference in Leicester.

Don’t forget that in addition to the GMAC Travel Award, there are two other awards available to enable students to attend the SHA 2013 conference in Leicester.

All graduate students who are presenting a paper at the SHA conference should consider applying for the Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Award; two awards of $500 are available.

The Quebec City Award, of up to $750, is granted to assist French-speaking students to attend the SHA conference. To be considered for the prize, candidates must be a standing member of SHA, be registered in a French-language university (contrary to the name of the award, you don’t have to be studying in Quebec!) and preparing a thesis or dissertation in French – and they must present a substantive or theoretical paper at the annual conference. Further information about the award, and how to apply, can be found on the SHA Awards webpage.

Good luck!

Image: “Muro Occidentale o del Pianto” (Western Wall or Wailing Wall) by Fabio Mauri (1993) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr