Both American and African-American Studies are traditionally confined almost exclusively to the US-American context, and European disciplines have been slow to address the transnational aspects in which they occurred from the outset. In particular, the influence and importance for Scottish culture of the American Civil Rights movement has not yet been cogently addressed either by the research community or in socio-political debates. Under the auspices of STAR, The Civil Rights in Scotland project, for which funding is currently being sought, aims to recover evidence of the impact that the US Civil Rights movement had on literature, music, performance and the visual arts in Scotland, and to reconstruct its cumulative importance in British literary and cultural life. Through a series of seminars, interviews and analysis the project seeks to illustrate the trasnational implications of the African-American Civil Rights movement, and advance a more nuanced and sophisticated sense of how America's struggle for democracy reverberated across the globe. The project emerges from an innovative collaboration with the international research network African-American Civil Rights and Europe (co-ordinated by Sabine Broeck at the University of Bremen), and with the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR).
The research community established through STAR makes available a range of transatlantic methodologies that allow for comparisons between different cultures, and descriptions of multifaceted interdependencies and exchanges that would normally escape the critical eye. The aim of the project is to redraw the customary way in which the American Civil Rights movement is told by building onto and feeding into the STAR Project.
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Photography in the Civil Rights Movement:
BBC News in Pictures: US Civil Rights Movement
KODAK: Powerful Days in Black and White - the photography of Charles Moore
Billy Kay's BBC Radio 7 Series on the Civil Rights movement and The Fiery Cross will soon be repeated - details via the newspage on www.billykay.co.uk.