Weeks Centre's 'Critical Terrain' project explores the divide between North and South
In 2013 Professor Yvette Taylor, Head of the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research at London South Bank University (LSBU), was awarded a British Academy Fellowship for a project exploring the North – South divide in the UK.
Yvette was awarded the mid-career fellowship in 2013, having achieved distinction in social sciences, for a project titled 'Critical Terrain, Dividing Lines & Lives: Re-Placing North–South Regionalism'. This award has provided more than £150,000 to the Weeks Centre - representing a solid investment in the Centre's developing international profile.
Exploring the divide between North and South
Since September 2013, Yvette has been travelling the lines between Newcastle, York and London – using them as 'North-South' fieldwork sites for the project.
North-South UK terrain is represented and perceived as a critical dividing line, as policies ('Big Society') summon 'community' as cure, claim and contestation in everyday lives. The project explores processes that shape and (re)shape regional maps - asking how dividing lines and lives can be shared beyond a static North-versus-South economy of belonging.
Through working with different York groups, services and residential hostels, Yvette has been exploring specific local responses to being in, and feeling excluded from, York, questions which deeply concern City of York council.
Participants have been engaged in workshops which think through place-based attachments, symbols, meanings and objects, representations and tastes - everything ranging from Yorkshire puddings and Tea & Scones, to Newcastle Real Ale and Fish n' Chips.
'Dear North, Dear South'
Amongst the questions explored in the workshops are 'how do homeless groups articulate claims on space?' and 'how do expressions of being 'at home' appear when residency is compromised?'.
Rather than viewing these concerns as only located in, or particular to, the sites explored, Yvette has been interested in fostering connections and conversations across space, using the letter writing exercise 'Dear North, Dear South…'
In discussing indicators and sentiments of place, people expressed particularity as well as commonality. In writing 'Dear South…', one York participant expressed an empathy for the cost of living, imaging London to be alluring as well as troubling:
How's things down there? I hope you're not finding it too difficult what with the higher cost of living. At least if you have any issues you are closer to Parliament so you could pop round and have a work (ha ha!). I saw on t.v. that the tube is being upgraded so you will have to take a black cab to work in the City. By the way, do you ever see anything of Her Majesty nowadays? She doesn't bother with us up here anymore!
Bye for now, York."
Critical Terrain: Dividing Lines and Lives
As part of the project, a conference entitled 'Critical Terrain: Dividing Lines and Lives' will be held at LSBU on 7 February. The event will see high-profile academics such as Valerie Walkerdine (Cardiff University), Valerie Hey (Sussex University), and Dr Jon Binnie (Manchester Metropolitan University), as well as LSBU academics deliver thought-provoking presentations on the topic of North and South divide.
Building on letter writing and postcard posts, the 'Critical terrain, Dividing Lines & Lives: Re-Placing North–South Regionalism' project will then culminate in an exhibition titled 'Walking The Lines: The North by the South, The South by the North', to be on display in the Digital Gallery in Borough Road at LSBU in July 2014.
Find out more about the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research.
LSBU’s Professor Alison Leary awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019
14 June 2019
Lauren Webster, student at LSBU, wins at Women in Property Awards for the South East
12 June 2019
Ten place rise for LSBU in the Guardian League Table 2020
11 June 2019
Associate nursing professor at LSBU awarded place on 70@70 leadership programme
4 June 2019
Law student at LSBU wins double scholarship from the Honourable Society of Inner Temple
17 May 2019
LSBU hosts British Journalism Training Council conference
15 May 2019
London South Bank University supports MillionPlus #ThinkModern campaign
14 May 2019
LSBU's engineering students take on Constructionarium 2019
13 May 2019
LSBU chancellor co-hosts local business gathering with Southwark Chamber of Commerce
10 May 2019
20 June 2019PRODUCT OF SOUTH BANK: LSBU Product Design Degree Show 2019 - Day One
20 June 2019Money’s Importance from the Religious Perspective
21 June 2019Arts and Creative Industries Experience Day
21 June 2019PRODUCT OF SOUTH BANK: LSBU Product Design Degree Show 2019 - Day Two
21 June 2019Depicting the future of AI through art
22 June 2019PRODUCT OF SOUTH BANK: LSBU Product Design Degree Show 2019 - Day Three
22 June 2019University Open Day
24 June 2019Information Evening: International Human Resources Management
26 June 2019Open borders in Europe: current challenges from migration and from terrorism … working towards solutions
26 June 2019'Citizenship, Nation-Building and Identity in the EU' - Book Launch and Reception