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Ben Pimlott Writer in Residence 2016

Richard Clarke taught at Birkbeck from 1988 to 2011 where he was responsible for the postgraduate programmes in Countryside and Protected Area Management and in Heritage and Environmental Interpretation and for the Graduate Diploma in Ecology and Conservation.  From 1999 to 2003 he was Head of the School of Social and Natural Sciences within the then Faculty of Continuing Education.  Since 2013 Richard has been Visiting Scholar at PrOBE, Westminster Business School, University of Westminster.

Further biographical details

    Richard came into academic work through adult education, working first as a part-time tutor with the Workers' Educational Association teaching 'outreach' on topics ranging from natural history (he still has a passing interest in fungi and lower plants and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society) to debates on population and the environment and on the social implications of microelectronics and other new technologies (including teaching TUC and other trades union courses).  Subsequently as Staff Lecturer for the University of London Department of Extra-mural Studies he was responsible for the university's course programme, liaising with WEA branches and LEAs in a wide sector of west London from Hillingdon down to Surrey. Sadly little of this now exists, a victim first of Labour and then of Tory cuts.

    Further back Richard has worked as a secondary teacher (science, maths, civics) in Luton and in Paddington, and as a builders' labourer, tyre fitter, light removals, shop assistant, ice-cream salesperson, delivery driver, farm hand and Hollerith operator.

    Amongst his extra-curricular activities at Birkbeck, Richard was Staff Representative Governor and joint President of Birkbeck UCU.

    Richard currently undertakes research, evaluation and training related to heritage management with a particular emphasis on community engagement and working at a 'landscape' scale.  Recent consultancy work includes: national evaluation of the Heritage Lottery Fund's Landscape Partnership programme and preparation of application and evaluation guidance under HLF's fourth (2013-18) Strategic Framework; evaluation of Defra's Sustainable Development Fund; statutory guidance for AONB management plans under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act; 'best practice' guidance for National Parks and AONBs for Natural England, and training and facilitation in management and management planning, interpretation and monitoring for the National Trust and other 'third sector' organisations.

    In parallel with his landscape interests and as a Londoner Richard has developed interests in the politics of London’s open spaces (including Russell Square) and UK conservation history (including the Selborne Society - Britain's oldest conservation body - and its reserve, Perivale Wood in west London).

Current research interests

    As Writer in Residence, Richard will focus on aspects of the ‘hidden history’ of Birkbeck College, in particular the manifestations of contested radicalism and (individual versus collective) models of ‘useful knowledge’ and 'self-help' such as:

  • the College’s foundation in 1823 - including George Birkbeck’s role in mediating between Thomas Hodgskin, the radical instigator of the London Mechanics’ Institute (the College’s predecessor) and its influential liberal utilitarian benefactors;
  • the activities of the Birkbeck Bank and Building Society (once the largest in the world) in developing London’s suburbs (including four pubs and a railway station) and facilitating working-class access to the vote and a home;
  • the Birkbeck Schools, which pioneered what were then progressive teaching techniques as a means of social control;
  • university liberal adult education including the creation of London University’s extra-mural programme (from 1876), its incorporation within Birkbeck College (1988) and its more recent collapse (following the government’s marketization of adult and higher education).

Selected publications

    • ‘‘Really useful’ knowledge and 19th century adult worker education - what lessons for today?’ Theory & Struggle, 117, 2016.  67-74
    • Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership: Final Report. (Contract: Durham County Council) October 2016.
    • ‘Self-help, Saving and Suburbanisation 1851 – 1911.’ The London Journal, 40 (2), 2015. 123–146.
    • ‘Beyond landscape designation.’ Management of Environmental Quality, 26 (2), 2015. 172-194.
    • Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project Final Evaluation and Completion Report. (Contract: Scorrier: Cornwall Council) March 2014 and Final Evaluation of the Windermere Reflections Landscape Partnership. (Contract: Penrith: Environment Agency) November 2014.
    • Evaluation guidance. 2013 and Landscape conservation action plan guidance. 2012 (Contract: Heritage Lottery Fund).
    • Evaluation of the HLF Landscape Partnerships programme; Report to the Heritage Lottery Fund. London: CEPAR, July 2011 (Contract: with David Mount and Marija Anteric)
    • ‘Fanny Copeland and the Geographical Imagination.’ Scottish Geographical Journal, 127 (3), 2011. 163-192. (with Marija Anteric)
    • ‘Local sustainability initiatives in English National Parks: what role for adaptive governance?’  Land Use Policy, 28, 2010. 314-324 (with Julian Clark).
    • Mushrooms and Fungi. London: Usborne, 2009.  (2nd ed. of Mushrooms and Other Fungi. London: Usborne, 1981).
    • ‘Adult Education between the Wars. The Curious Case of the Selborne Lecture Bureau.’  History of Education, 39 (5), 2010. 613-629.
    • Študija o Solčavskem 1932 - 2007. [Solčavsko Studies 1932 – 2007] Ljubljana: Univerze v Ljubljani, 2008. (with Boštjan Anko, Marija Anteric, Marko  Košcak, Ian Mitchell, Avgust Lenar.  In Slovene with English summary).
    • ‘(British) Anthropological tourism in Slovenia 1932-2007.’ Anthropological Notebooks, XV (1), 2010, 5-25. (with Marija Anteric).
    • Russell Square: a Lifelong Resource for Teaching and Learning. FCE Occasional Paper 5, London: Birkbeck College, 2005. (with E McKellar and M Symes).
    • Evaluation of the National Parks Sustainable Development Fund. London: CEPAR, 2004. (Contract: Defra; with David Mount and Marija Anteric).
    • Pioneers of Conservation; The Selborne Society and the (Royal) SPB. London: Selborne Society, 2004.
    • Proofing Rural Lifelong Learning. FCE Occasional Paper 3. London: Birkbeck College, 2003. (with Sue Jackson)  and Lifelong Learning in Rural Areas. A Report to the Countryside Agency. London: CEPAR, 2002 (Contract: with Sue Cara, Alastair Thompson, Fred Gray, Bill Jones, Sue Jackson, David Mount, and Tom Schuller).
    • AONB Management Plans: A Guide. CA23. Cheltenham: Countryside Agency, 2001. (Contract: Countryside Agency/ Department of Food and Rural Affairs).
    • ‘Bosnia and Hercegovina.’ and ‘Yugoslavia’.  In Environmental Problems in East Central Europe (ed. Frank W. Carter and David Turnock), London: Routledge, 2001. 283-304 and 396-416.
    • ‘Nature and Landscape Conservation in Transition in Central and South-Eastern Europe.’ European Environment, 10 (5), 2000. 211-9 (with Andrew Tickle).
    • ‘The Other Side of the Adriatic: Landscape, People and Place.’ in Landscape and Sustainability, Global Change, Mediterranean Historic Centres – from Rediscovery to Exploitation (eds. Elio Manzi, and Marcella Schmidt).  Milan: Guerini e Associati, 1999. 354-65 (with M Anteric).
    • ‘Computer based project management tools for protected areas.’ in Nature and Culture in Landscape Ecology, Experiences for the 3rd Milennium, (ed. Pavel Kovar). Prague: Charles University, Karolinium Press, 1999. 394-407.
    • Management Plans and Planning; A Guide. CCP527. Cheltenham: Countryside Commission, 1998. (Contract: Countryside Commission).
    • ‘Education and Training for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection: Content, Context and Competence.’ in Protection of Nature. Belgrade: Institute of Nature Protection of Serbia, 1998. 609-17 (in Serbian Cyrillic with English summary).
    • 'Project Management in Protected Areas: A Tale of Two Systems.’ International Journal of Project Management, 15 (4), 1997. 245-253.
    • Interpretation In Trust: A century of sustainable stewardship, 1885- 1995.’ in Globalisation and Local Identity, Heritage Interpretation International, 53. Brussels: PACT 1997 and ‘Heritage in Trust: sustainable stewardship in transition?’ International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2 (3), 1996. 145-159.
    • ‘Dead Spaces? Wildlife conservation in cemeteries.’ London: Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration and Federation of British Cremation Authorities, 1993. 52-72.
    • ‘¿Espacios Muertos o Refugios Viventes?’ In: Una Arquitectura para la Muerte. Seville: Junta de Andalucia. 1993. 355-362.
    • ‘New Technology: Worker's Enemy or Ally?’ World Marxist Review, 26 (3) 1983. 24-41
    • ‘Population, Poverty and Politics.’ in More Than The Parts: Biology and Politics (eds Lynda Birke and Jonathan Silvertown), London: Pluto Press, 1983. 152-176.
    • ‘‘Man’, Environment and the Great Growth Debate’ Marxism Today, 1974, 18 (3), 69-71; 18 (4), 104-111; 18 (5), 144-151.

Richard Clarke

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