Long Overdue Update on My Website

After much procrastination, I have finally managed to find some space to write a blog posting for my own blog. I was only talking to a colleague in the University yesterday how it is very hard these days to find a quiet time to clear your head and be able to sit back and reflect on what your are doing and where you are going and to have the clear head to be able to sit down and actually write. With the pressures of modernity (or post-modernity or even post-haste modernity, I’ve lost track), big data verses information overload; yet another urgent email and the feeling that there must be another urgent task on your to-do list I have forgotten, contributing to my own blog as I originally planned has taken somewhat of a back seat. 

So I have decided to finally sit back, take a breath, and try to get a few words down on (virtual) paper as a means of bringing my own website back to life as it were. Whilst I’ll confess procrastination has been an issue in my writing, this has not been helped by a nagging chest infection over the first part of this year combined with the ever present responsibilities that come with managing a university archive combined with my own interests and outside commitments (yes I know, I’m very good at taking on more than I can chew sometimes). At UEL, this semester has been busy to date with our civic engagement funded product focusing on the local history and community engagement in the Royal Docks area of East London, with a particular emphasis on North Woolwich and Silvertown. This has encouraged engagement with the Crossrail Wall Artwork Commission as well as the London Festival of Architecture, (LFA). Our exhibtion on Silvertown and North Woolwich (E16): Past and Present as part of the LFA will run from the 11-16 June and we look forward to showcasing our work during the exhibition. 

Management of our University Archives including the British Olympic Association Archive and Library; the Refugee Council Archive and related refugee and migration collections; Hackney Empire theatre collection and we are very pleased to say the Twentieth Anniversary of Eastside Community Heritage and their East London People’s Archive oral history collection, documenting the diverse lives and communities of London’s East End. (Eastside’s birthday was celebrated at the House of Lords with a tea hosted in their honour by Lyn Brown MP). We have also been very pleased to be connected with several new oral history projects focusing on different aspects and approaches to help document the narratives of refugees and migrants to the UK. These we are able to support through both our Archive work and though our outreach with the Oral History Society Migration Special Interest Group. 

Our work with the OHS Migration SIG links nicely with my ongoing commitment to outreach and engagement work incorporating the UEL OLIve course for refugees; the Migration and Asylum Network; and the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Forced Migration Issues (ESPMI) network. With ESPMI we have been successful in a funding application to the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council for a Connections Grant for a project entitled “Connecting Emerging Scholars and Practitioners to Foster Critical Reflections and Innovation on Migration Research.”  Further details will follow in a subsequent blog but just to say that I have just finished packing for an early start to the airport tomorrow for a flight to Ottawa for the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies annual conference on `Dialogue Beyond Borders.’

My aim for the blog segment of my website it to focus on both work and personal issues of interest including migration and refugee rights; photography; history; archives; human rights and community activism. I hope from now on to (hopefully) provide regular-ish updates on subjects of interest (at least to me) so thank you all for your patience and lets see how it goes! 

Many thanks for listening!

Paul V. Dudman