This World Poetry Day (Tuesday 21 March), the University of Sussex is celebrating local artist and poet, Erin James, who was recently named the University’s Stuart Hall Fellow for 2023. As part of her fellowship, Erin will perform at this year’s Brighton Festival on 8 May.
Erin James is a Brighton-based artist who uses design, music, spoken word and written articles to connect with the community and discuss social justice issues. Her event will weave together poetry performances and live debate as it explores possibilities for decolonising education and academia.
The Stuart Hall Fellowship is a partnership between the Stuart Hall Foundation and University of Sussex’s, School of Media, Arts and Humanities. It sees Fellows c’onnecting with other artists and scholars, and contributing to the ongoing conversations about race and inequality in culture and society.
James’ event, which is called ’ Festival of Ideas: The Live Archive hosted by Erin James ’, is part of the University’s Festival of Ideas, which is a programme of talks, events and activities from the University’s School of Media, Arts and Humanities.
Erin James, the University of Sussex’s current Stuart Hall Fellow, said:
"Having never gone to university or been in an academic world, I’ve learnt so much-in such a short amount of time, and genuinely believe this experience has and will change my life and my perspective around education."
Professor Kate O’Riordan, Dean of Media, Arts and Humanities is looking forward to the impact that Erin will make in her as Fellow. Kate says:
" The University of Sussex is excited to support the work of the Stuart Hall Foundation and its talented fellows, including Erin James, whose work-aligns perfectly with the Foundation’s commitment to public education and addressing the urgent questions of race and inequality in culture and society. We are confident that Erin’s work will inspire and engage diverse audiences. "
Professor Claire Alexander, Vice Chair of the Stuart Hall Foundation and Chair of the Academic Committee said:
"We are delighted to welcome Erin to the Foundation’s Scholars and Fellows network. Erin is asking important questions about what ’public education’ is and how intellectual work can be made more inclusive, accessible and decolonial. Erin’s work captures perfectly the spirit of intellectual enquiry, political challenge and collaboration that Stuart Hall championed throughout his career."
The Stuart Hall Fellowship at the University of Sussex was established in partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation in 2018. The Foundation is committed to promoting cultural diversity and understanding through the arts. Each year as part of its pledge to support new artists, the Fellowship is awarded to a local artist to help develop their skills and gain valuable experience to work with academics in their chosen field.
Previous Stuart Hall Fellows at the University of Sussex include the renowned photographer and Turner prize nominee Ingrid Pollard, journalist Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, and multi-media artist and curator Susuana Amoah.
The University of Sussex was last month announced as the official Higher Education Partner for the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival 2023 - the annual celebration of arts, culture and creativity taking place in the city.