Fahmida Akhter is a researcher at the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies of University of Essex, UK. Her PhD research mainly focuses on the representation of women in war-themed films made in Bangladesh. Fahmida explores how women's portrayals in the war films have been stereotyped and how the dominant ideology of Bangladesh in its male- centered frame of reference has affected the films' presentation, perception and communication. She is a recipient of Commonwealth Scholarship for this study. As a professional Fahmida is a member of faculty in the department of Drama and Dramatics at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh and she is currently on study leave. Besides teaching, Fahmida worked as a freelance documentary director in Bangladesh. She had five years' experience of working as a program producer in the Television industry of Bangladesh. She received her BA (Hons) and MA in Drama and Dramatics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh and also acquired a second Master's degree in Graphic Design from Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea.
Katya Alkhateeb is a doctoral student and a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Literature, Theatre and Film Student in the University of Essex. Her research is supervised by Professor Richard Gray and concerns the alienation of migration and communities of migrants, and interrogates and contrasts the different cases of migrating to and from the 'First World'. Katya works on different models of integration and mapping of the different aspects of alienation. Her latest interest is the problematics of globalisation and globalisms.
Francesca Ammaturo is interested in politics, social movements and human rights, with a specific expertise on rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual Persons in the European context. Currently an ESRC funded Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, she is carrying out research on the construction of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexual identities in the socio-juridical context of the Council of Europe. She has received a BA and an MA in International Relations from the University of Bologna, Italy and an MA in Social Research from Goldsmiths. In 2010 she has contributed to the editing of the first pan-European report on homophobia and transphobia in 47 member states issued by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.
Shaul Bar-Haim was born and raised in Jerusalem. He holds Masters degree in Modern History from Tel-Aviv University. Since 2010 he lives in London, where he is a PhD student at Birkbeck College. Shaul is working on a cultural history of mid-20th century British psychoanalysis. Specifically, he focuses on notions of motherhood and childhood between 1920 and 1960. He is also interested in studying the affinities between politics, ideology and the 'psy' professions in past and present.
Lena Barrett completed a degree in law and qualified as a barrister. She worked for nearly a decade on refugee and asylum issues in Ireland, Belgium and East Africa, then returned to study, completing a European MA in Human Rights and Democratisation at the European Inter-University Centre in Venice in 2007. Until 2011 Lena worked at the University of York, establishing a protective fellowship scheme for human rights defenders at risk. She is currently carrying out research for a PhD in Human Rights at the University of Essex, focusing on the impact of civil society activism on the prevalence of torture.
John Bedwell holds MAs in Cultural Studies and Human Rights from Leeds and UCL and is about to enter his second year of PhD research at Goldsmiths' Centre for Cultural Studies. Over the years he has lived, worked and travelled around Europe and Latin America. His current work questions the role of human rights in a deeply unequal geo-political order. John seeks to illustrate how human rights and development discourse are being adopted by forces of political economy in Bangladesh; how this process is re-shaping the subjectivities of its citizens; and what conceptions of virtue and justice emerge. John also teaches English in Camden to foreign students while trying to find time to dabble in the Arts.
Sean Bex graduated as a Master of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics (Ghent University 2012) and is currently reading for a PhD in English literature at Ghent University as part of an FWO project led by Stef Craps (Ghent University) and Pieter Vermeulen (Stockholm University). His thesis explores the intersection of cultural memory and human rights through the lens of the oeuvre of American author Dave Eggers. At the core of this research lies a two-pronged hypothesis. Firstly, that literary representations of traumatic memories in works such as Eggers's What Is the What (2006) and Zeitoun (2009) can provide historical grounding for abstract human-rights discourses. Secondly, that human-rights discourse can in turn help memories to be articulated within a political and institutional framework. Additionally, Sean examines the ethical problems and questions arising from the literary form of Eggers's recent works, which are conceived as collaborative testimonies in which a successful white, male, American author and a disadvantaged person of colour join forces in bearing witness to the latter's traumatic past.
Svenja Bromberg is a doctoral student in the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, supervised by Alberto Toscano and John Hutnyk. She works on conceptualising a notion of emancipation between Marx and French post-Althusserian thought, drawing on the works by Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière and Étienne Balibar. In this context, she is interested in the relationship between Hegel and the early Marx, in Marxist critiques of the law, the state and the bourgeois revolution and in anthropological conceptions of the human subject in its relation to politics. Svenja graduated with a BA in Economics and Communication & Cultural Management in 2009 from Zeppelin University in Germany, and came to Goldsmiths in 2010, where she completed an MA in Sociology. Her general research interests are Marxist social theory and continental philosophy in juncture with feminist and aesthetic theory.
Sophia Brown is a doctoral student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kent's School of English, supervised by Professor Caroline Rooney. Her research is an exploration of contemporary women's life writing from the Middle East, looking specifically at writers from Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon. Often written during times of conflict and instability, these personal narratives raise pertinent questions about the Middle East's relationship with the West, the effect of exile, and women's contestations with political power and patriarchy in the region. It is through an examination of such topics that Sophia seeks to emphasise literature's potential to take up human rights issues in a meaningful way. Outside of her academic work, Sophia is a member of the steering committee for the London Network of Human Rights Watch, a small group of volunteers committed to raising awareness about the highly respected international NGO and its vital work, through a variety of different events and projects.
Alexandra Carey is a writer, trained theatre director and PhD candidate at the University of Kent. She is interested in the questions that exist at the creative intersection between individual lives and the wider cultural and political life of communities. This is what drives both the theatre and fiction work. Her debut novel The Greater Thief was an interrogation of the space between justice and 'criminal justice', inspired by real events. For her PhD Alexandra is working on a novel based on the lives of pacifist social reformers between the two world wars. This work asks questions about the relationship between fiction, the artist, activism and the idea of human rights.
Armando Celayo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, where he graduated from Northwest Classen High School. His work has appeared in World Literature Today, PEN International, and The Salt Anthology of New Writing, among other places. He's currently working on a novel-in-stories, For the Recovery of Lost Things, and a novel, The Boys' Republic.
Sukhwant Dhaliwal is a Research Fellow at The International Centre: Researching Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. She recently completed a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, entitled ‘Religion, Moral Hegemony and Local Cartographies of Power: a feminist critique of religion in local politics'. Following on from this and her input on The Cultural History of Southall project, she has begun focusing on Sikh political mobilisations, their sense of collective memory and forms of knowledge and identity production, including through the martial art ‘gatka' (also known as Shaster Vidiya), localised Vaisakhi processions and the annual 1984 commemoration processions. These cultural political spaces oscillate between constructions of Sikhs as victims of genocide on the one hand and as warriors defending the international right to self-determination on the other. They also entail a complex dance with Britishness, exile, homelands, caste and gender.