Moving Manchester: How the Experience of Migration has Informed the Work of Creative Writers Greater Manchester since 1960

Dr. Corinne Fowler,
Dr. Graham Mort
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Led by Professor Lynne Pearce, a team of researchers at Lancaster University has been commissioned by the AHRC to catalogue and give critical attention to published narratives in English by writers from diasporic communities who have migrated to or through Greater Manchester since 1960. The team will consider the contribution of the narratives to wider social and cultural change and research their social and literary significance. Of particular interest will be the way in which writers have addressed the experience of migration and the extent to which their narratives have operated as a social or cultural catalyst. The research team comprises literary critics, cultural theorists and creative writers and the project is unique in combining critical analysis with pro-active literature development in its mission to produce an anthology of new work as well as a full academic study.

As well as delineating our methodology in relation to key constituencies of writers identified so far, out presentation will discuss the ethical and political dilemmas encountered by the research team in attempting to involve the wider public in their research. They will outline the process of negotiation and re-configuration necessitated by a critical engagement with creative writers, communities, independent publishers and agencies that have played a role in promoting this writing.

Keywords: Manchester, Creative Writing, Diaspora, Migration
Stream: Arts Agendas, Art in Communities, Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Return of the Author, The

Dr. Corinne Fowler

Researcher, English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK

I specialise in contemporary travel writing and journalism about Islam. I recently co-edited a special issue of the international journal Journeys on travel writing and ethics and have just completed a book (forthcoming) on travel writing, journalism and the history of British ideas about Afghanistan.

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Dr. Graham Mort

Co-applicant of the research, Department of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK

Graham Mort is a university lecturer and a published poet who has produced six full-length collections of work; he also writes short fiction and radio drama. He is currently director of postgraduate studies in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and is a distance learning specialist. He designed and ran the British Council ‘Crossing Borders’ mentoring scheme for African writers (2001-2006), which engaged writers from the UK with writers from 8 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. He was the UK adviser and designer for the ‘Beyond Borders’ literature festival, held in Kampala in October 2005, which attracted writers and delegates from 17 Anglophone African countries across the continent. Graham was a co-applicant on a major AHRC-funded research project, ‘Moving Manchester: Mediating Marginalities’ which has recently been commissioned to catalogue and research the writings of migrant and diasporic communities in Greater Manchester since 1960. Graham’s most recent collection of poems is, ‘A Night on the Lash’, (Seren, 2004).

Ref: A06P0490