I’m writing to those of you working in gender history to highlight the recents course closures and wider cuts to services being imposed on London Met University. 70% of courses are being cut, including the history department.
As you will know, this department was home to the MA in Modern British Women’s History (which was previously closed) and a thriving culture of research into gender history more generally, led by Dr. Lucy Bland and previously Prof. Claire Midgley. The announcement of closure is particularly ironic given that London Met and the Women’s Library will be hosting the annual Women’s History Network Conference in September.
I am worried that this points the way to future funding cuts at all of our institutions in which a more marginal subject such as gender history will stand to lose out. Students occupied the graduate centre at London Met last week in protest at the course closures and UCU and Unison held a demonstration as the first step in what looks to be a serious attempt by staff and students to keep the courses open.
It would be enormously helpful if you could write to the Vice Chancellor of London Met, Prof. Malcolm Gillies (email@example.com) , expressing your concern at the closure of the history department. The more pressure put on him, the better.
For more information see http://savelondonmetuni.blogspot.com/, which links to an on-line petition and details of a lobby of the University’s Board of Governors planned for 11 May.
Dr. Laura Schwartz
Fellow in History
St Hugh’s College
University of Oxford