Arthur Lewis Lectures

Our series of prestigious annual Arthur Lewis Lectures started in 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the economist Arthur Lewis, who became Britain's first black professor when he was appointed to a Chair at Manchester in 1948.

2023 Arthur Lewis Lecture

Language and Normalised Abnormalities in the World Today - 12 October 2023

Language and Normalised Abnormalities in the World Today

Thursday, 12 October 2023

We hosted our most successful lecture to date, attracting an audience of over 500 people who eagerly welcomed Professor Ngugi wa Thiong'o, East Africa's preeminent novelist. The esteemed author delivered a compelling lecture on the far-reaching implications of colonialism and imperialism on the African continent.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is a Kenyan author and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu and who formerly wrote in English. Born in 1938 in the ‘white’ highlands of Kenya - the heart of the colonised landscape - the colonial regime shaped his family’s life. His lifelong dedication as a scholar and activist has left an indelible mark on the global decolonisation movement, particularly for the African diaspora.

Since 1964, he has been honoured with numerous awards, honorary doctorates and prizes in recognition of his enduring efforts against the adverse impacts of colonisation. He is one of the few remaining scholars and activists whose work defines the grand eras of decolonisation of the African and global diasporic mind.

In his lecture he discussed the harms caused by imperialism and colonialisation, focusing on their lasting impact on native languages, African knowledge, memory, the environment and human rights.

The lecture was then followed by a conversation with Esther Stanford-Xosei, community advocate and international expert on reparatory justice, addressing African-centred solutions to these lasting legacies.

The event was chaired by Professor Gary Younge from The University of Manchester’s Department of Sociology.

A Sense of Displacement: Stuart Hall’s Art of Living - 14 March 2023

A Sense of Displacement: Stuart Hall’s Art of Living

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

A talk by David Scott about Stuart Hall's life and work as an intellectual.

Stuart Hall was a leading intellectual of the Black experience in Britain, but also of the Caribbean. This talk reflected on the particular distinctiveness that Hall’s biography brings to his work as an intellectual. the talk also aimed to think of him as a practitioner of an "art of living" animated by the idiom of "displacement," and asked how one might usefully think of his personal and intellectual formation in relation to Jamaica.

David Scott is the Ruth and William Lubic Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.
He is currently completing a book tentatively titled “Irreparable Evil: New World Slavery in Moral History,” and working on a biography of Stuart Hall.

Scott is the founder and editor of the journal Small Axe, and director of the Small Axe Project. In this context he is also the curatorial director of the exhibitions, Caribbean Queer Visualities (Belfast, Glasgow, 2016, 2017), and Visual Life of Social Affliction (Nassau, Miami, Rotterdam, 2019, 2020), director of the Caribbean Modernisms project, and was the curatorial director of the Kingston Biennial, 2022, Pressure.

The lecture was followed by a question-and-answer session.

The event was organised by the School of Social Sciences in association with Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE).

2022 Arthur Lewis Lecture

2022 Arthur Lewis Lecture

2022 Arthur Lewis Lecture

Disability rights: a global phenomenon?

The School of Social Sciences was delighted to welcome Professor Tom Shakespeare CBE, to present the Annual Arthur Lewis lecture in Manchester on Tuesday, 3 May 2022. Tom is Professor of Disability Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, having previously worked at the Medical School at UEA and for the World Health Organisation.

In this talk, Tom offered an overview of the disability movement, in Britain, America and across the world, and talked about his experience of disability and development research. 

The lecture focussed on the following questions: “Is the idea of disability rights something which activists in the Global North have imposed on the Global South or is this a genuinely global movement, free of cultural imperialism?”

The talk was chaired by Professor Brian Heaphy and was followed by a question and answer session.

Past Arthur Lewis Lectures


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