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Poet Matt Martin awarded the Stuart Hall PhD Scholarship at Birkbeck

The Stuart Hall PhD Scholarship at Birkbeck has been awarded to Matt Martin, who will begin his PhD studies at the Department of English and Humanities and Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre later this year. He is currently completing an MA in Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Martin’s project will be entitled 'Nation Language Poetry as Political Resistance in the Caribbean and the UK', combining his poetic interests with his professional work on Caribbean history. For ten years, Martin has worked at the Museum of London Docklands, overlooking docks built for Caribbean sugar cargoes. 

The scholarship is generously funded by the Stuart Hall Foundation, and is named in honour of Professor Stuart Hall - a Jamaican cultural theorist, political activist and sociologist who had a major influence on many scholars at Birkbeck.

Throughout his life, Hall developed new areas of scholarship and research, established new organisations and entities and was a catalyst for a number of significant initiatives. He was the first editor of the New Left Review, a founding editor of Soundings, President of the British Sociological Association and founder of the field of Cultural Studies. He also chaired the arts organisations Iniva and Autograph ABP.

Professor Stephen Frosh, Pro-Vice-Master at Birkbeck said: “We are delighted to have this partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation to fund a PhD scholarship. Stuart Hall was one of the UK’s foremost sociologists, and probably this country’s most influential Black scholar from the 1970s onwards. He was a friend and mentor to many of us at Birkbeck.

The award to Matt Martin was made from a very competitive field of applicants. Matt is an accomplished poet with an excellent academic record, and I am sure he will excel in his PhD project, which is on a topic about which Stuart would have been very excited.”

Professor Gregor McLennan, of the Scholarships committee of the Stuart Hall Foundation, added that: “We're very pleased to be part of this arrangement with Birkbeck, and Matt Martin's project selection represents a really productive combination of radical scholarship and creative cultural appreciation”.

The Stuart Hall Foundation seeks to support new generations of creative thinkers and provoke original thinking, debate and research. The Foundation seeks to illuminate connections between politics, culture and society and challenge the status quo.

Further information:

The Stuart Hall PhD Scholarship

The Stuart Hall Foundation

Department of English and Humanities

Contemporary Poetics Research Centre

Published: 25 April 2017