By David Miller
The Teaching About Terrorism Group held a very positive two day seminar in London in early June. A range of issues were discussed including
- discussions with the UCU about how to defend members who were attacked in the press as had happened to members of the group at Aberystwyth who had been targeted by Melanie Phillips, in allegations rejected by the University.
- Discussion about the Nottingham case and its implications for academic freedom.
- discussion about the wide variety of experiences that members had in teaching and research terrorism.
- The implications of government guidance on good campus relations for teaching about terrorism.
The group to take forward a number of initiatives including policy guidance and research activities, some of which relate to the grant we have been given by C-SAP to survey terrorism teaching and experience.
Following on from the previous post on the removal of online comments following a piece in the Times Higher Education on 25 June, the THE also refused to publish a letter on the controversy from myself. I reproduce it below for the record.
The Times Higher reports on vetting at Nottingham
This was the headline of a piece in the Times Higher Education on 25 June, which sparked some controversy. The story is online on the THE site, but the significant number of comments posted in response are now no longer online. There seems to be a variety of reasons for this, but we can note in particular that many of the comments were strongly critical of the report and in particular of the journalist who wrote it. The comments were removed on the 29/30 June. At lunch time on the 30th Sean Matthews from Nottingham University emailed the deleted comments to me as convenor of the Teaching About Terrorism email list stating that the debate ‘is too important to suppress’. He went on to suggest that the comments be posted on the web ‘in order that the materials may continue to
be in the public domain’.
C-SAP has awarded around £12,000 to a team from the Teaching About Terrorism Group to study how Terrorism and political violence are taught across the UK. The team is led by David Miller (Strathclyde) and includes Marie Breen Smyth (Abersytwyth) and Dave Whyte (Liverpool).
This project aims to research the extent and nature of teaching about terrorism in UK Universities in Sociology, Politics and Criminology. This is important because of the renewed interest
in teaching and researching terrorism that has hugely expanded
post 11 September 2001. It is also because the teaching of terrorism has become a topic of some controversy as a result of government, media and law enforcement interest, with considerable resulting uncertainty about what constitutes appropriate and legal content for teaching and learning. (more…)
Teaching About Terrorism poster
Yesterday the University of Strathclyde held its third annual ‘Research Day‘
The University states that:
The event, in the University’s Barony Hall on Wednesday 17 June, is aimed at highlighting research across the University and to enable researchers to share their ideas with invited guests, including industry representatives.
More than 160 projects by academics and postgraduate students will be displayed on posters at Research Day, which is now in its third year and has become a staple of Strathclyde’s calendar. The main speaker will be Professor Allister Ferguson, Deputy Principal of Strathclyde with responsibility for research, knowledge transfer and commercialisation.
The Teaching About Terrorism SIG and the project funded by C-SAP were discussed in a poster presentation. Download the poster here: (PPT file
Sponsored by the BISA Critical Studies on Terrorism Group
and the Teaching About Terrorism Special Interest Group
of C-SAP. Supported by the Consortium for Research on Terrorology and Political Violence
Date of Meeting: 17/18 Oct 2009.
Place: Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford.
The goal of the meeting is to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue between academics dealing with the issue of terrorism. We cordially invite submissions from researchers in any field of social sciences to present their research and participate in interdisciplinary discussions.
APSA Task force web page
This is the first in a series of posts updating on resources availabe on the web on teaching about ‘terrorism’ and political violence.
I list here some resources which might be useful to use in teaching or to provide a counterpoint to other approaches.
This is the text of the announcement of the first meeting of the SIG on 12 September 2008 for the record:
The arrest of Nottingham University postgraduate student Rizwaan Sabir and a Nottingham administrator Hicham Yezza in relation to the downloading of an ‘Al Qaeda’ manual for Rizwaan’s dissertation research has highlighted the emerging and ongoing difficulties of teaching about ‘terrorism’ and political violence in the current climate. (more…)
Welcome to the Teaching About Terrorism blog. This blog is the home of the Teaching About Terrorism Special Interst Group of C-SAP (Centre for Sociology, Anthropology, Politics) of the UK Higher Education Academy.
The group was established in 2008 and held its first meeting at Strathclyde University in September of that year. The group focuses on pedagogical issues faced by academics engaged in the delivery of courses on ‘terrorism’, political violence and associated subjects. The group offers a forum for discussion of these contested issues and encourages a wide participation from academics and teachers in this area.