How the experience of migration has informed the work of writers in Greater Manchester from 1960 to the present.
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The Project Team


Professor Lynne Pearce - Project Director

LynneLynne has been a lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University since 1990 and was appointed Chair of Literary Theory and Women's Writing in 2001. Her teaching has mostly been in the field of feminist theory and womens's writing and she was, for many years, centrally involved in the University's Centre for Gender and Women's Studies. The common thread running through her research (which covers wide ranges of historical periods and range of texts) is an interest in reception theory and epistemology -- i.e., an abiding concern with 'meaning production'. Her principal publications include Woman/Image/Text: Readings in Pre-Raphaelite Art & Literature (1991), Reading Dialogics (1994), Feminism and the Politics of Reading (1997), Devolving Identities: Feminist Readings in Home and Belonging (ed.)(2000), The Rhetorics of Feminism (2004) and Romance Writing (2007). She has also been centrally involved in Postgraduate Teaching during her time at Lancaster and is author of How to Examine a Thesis (OUP, 2005).

The research interest that caused her to become involved in the 'Moving Manchester' AHRC grant-application was her work on regional writing and devolution in the the UK -- in particular, Scotland -- in the late 1990s (see Devolving Identities). On this point it should also be noted that both she, and the Project, remain indebted to her PhD student David Law whose thesis, 'Guddling for Words: Representations of the North and Northerness' (2003), paved the way for much of what has followed.


Dr Robert Crawshaw

Robert Crawshaw

Robert is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University, where he has taught French language and literature for the last twenty five years. His work has involved setting up a European Relations Office in the Management School, acting as a consultant to the European Commission and, more recently, directing the Interculture Project and the ESRC funded Pragmatics and Intercultural Communications Project.   He was formerly associate editor of the Journal Language and Intercultural Communication and guest-editor of a double volume on The Intercultural Narrative (Vol 4: 1&2). He is currently writing a book for Cambridge University Press on Pragmatics and Cross-Cultural Communication and editing a special volume of the journal Regional Studies arising out of the Annual Research Programme of Lancaster University's Institute for Advanced Studies which he directed in 2006-07.

The current focus of his research is on intercultural studies with particular emphasis on narrative, history, migration and cross-cultural communication.


Professor Graham Mort

Graham Mort

Originally from Manchester, Graham is Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University and Director of the Centre for Trancultural Writing and Research. A former freelance writer, he has worked as a poet, educational writer, editor, and tutor in a wide range of settings throughout the UK and is a distance learning specialist. He was project leader of the British Council/Lancaster University African writers mentoring scheme Crossing Borders (2001-2006) and is the consultant and designer of a recent British Council project in Africa, Radiophonics, which has been developing new writing for radio in relation to social and political debates for change. African research and writing development projects have taken him to Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, S. Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria in recent years. He was the UK adviser for the Beyond Borders pan-African literature festival in Uganda in October 2005, an event hosted by the British Council and involving writers from the UK and 17 African countries.

Graham has published eight full-length collections of poetry and won a number of literary prizes, including a major Eric Gregory award for his first collection, A Country on Fire (Littlewood Press). Visibility: New & Selected Poems was published by Seren in 2007. He also writes BBC radio drama and fiction, winning the Bridport Prize for short fiction in 2007. Touch, a collection of short stories published by Seren (2010), won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2011. His latest collection of poems is Cusp (Seren, 2011).

His research interests include contemporary fiction and poetry, literature development projects, emergent African writing and narratives of diaspora.


Dr Corinne Fowler - Researcher and Curator

Corinne Fowler

Corinne was formerly an English teacher at  Small Heath School in  Birmingham, Corinne completed her PhD at Stirling University in 2005. She is now a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Postcolonial Literature at the University of Leicester.

Corinne specialises in twentieth-century postcolonial writing, specifically non-canonical diasporic fiction and travel writing about Afghanistan, with additional interests in creative writing and postcolonial feminist theory. Her recent monograph, Chasing Tales: travel writing, journalism and the history of ideas about Afghanistan (2007) investigates the legacy of traumatic Anglo-Afghan encounter to contemporary travel narratives, ethnography and journalism about Afghanistan. She is co-authoring a book for Manchester University Press called Postcolonial Manchester and co-curated the ‘Writing Manchester’ exhibition at Manchester Central Library. She has also published a number of short stories. Corinne is currently editing an annotated reprint edition of a 1907 travelogue (Beatrice Grimshaw: From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands, Humanities e-books, 2009). Also in press is a co-edited volume, entitled Travel Writing and Ethics: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2010), which contains essays by scholars of postcolonial theory and travel writing. 


Jo McVicker - Administrator

Jo McVickerJo came to Lancaster University as a mature student and is a French Studies graduate. She works part-time on the Moving Manchester project for two days a week. She is also the administrator for the HomeWork project, which is researching into the situation of migrant care workers in Cumbria.


Sarah Post - Researcher, Author on E-Catalogue and PhD Student

sarahSarah studied for a BA in English Literature and an MA in Contemporary Literature at Lancaster before starting her PhD.  She has also worked in the Department as a first-year tutor.  The working title of Sarah's PhD is 'Desiring Postcolonial Britain: British Immigrant Literature since The Satanic Verses'. Her thesis starts from the premise that Britain has become a postcolonial country as many formerly colonised peoples have migrated back to the old colonial centre.


Dr Kate Horsley - Designer and Curator

kateKate is a research associate and web designer for CTWR and a Creative Writing Teaching Associate at Lancaster. She has has taught literature and writing on both sides of the Atlantic and completed a volunteer teaching stint in Uganda. Her poems and stories have been published in magazines and anthologies, including Storyglossia, Erbacce, Seventh Quarry, Ravenglass and Momaya Press.  She has just finished her second novel and the first is out on submission with Jenny Brown Associates. She has worked as researcher for the Radiophonics project, co-curated the ‘Writing Manchester’ exhibition at Manchester Central Library and designed the Lancaster/Uganda Friends Writing Project, Regarding War and Grassroutes web galleries. 


Dr Lee Horsley - Director of Web Development, Centre for Transcutural Writing (CTWR)

LeeLee has worked increasingly in recent years on web design and eLearning in relation to creative writing pedagogy and interdisciplinary, transcultural uses of virtual space. It was in her capacity as CTWR's Director of Web Development that she helped out with various aspects of the Moving Manchester project.  Lee's research work focuses on crime fiction as a vehicle for counter-cultural protest and socio-political critique: The Noir Thriller, 2001; 2009; Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction, 2005; and in 2010, co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to Crime Fiction, which is both cross-cultural in content and cross-disciplinary in its arguments, drawing in the diverse disciplinary affiliations of crime fiction study.


PhD students


Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Rajeev is a writer and workshop leader who was born in Lancashire. His first novel In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury 2001) won a Betty Trask Prize and was longlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award.

He is currently working on his second novel, The Dreamer, based on a short story which won an Ian St James Prize in 2001. He was the recent winner of the Clarissa Luard Award and an Arts Council Writers' Award and has published short stories in various anthologies including New Writing 12. In October 2006 one of Rajeev's short stories featured in BBC Radio 4's Original Modern Stories, commissioned as part of the Manchester Literature Festival.


Tariq Mehmood

Tariq Mehmood

Tariq's first novel was Hand on the Sun (Penguin, 1983), which focused on the problems of Asian youths in the 1970s. His second novel, While There Is Light (Comma, 2003), is a fictionalised account of the events leading up to the arrest of one of the so called 'Bradford 12'.

Tariq wrote and co-directed Injustice, a feature documentary dealing with deaths in police custody which won the 2002 Black Film Maker Best Documentary Award. He writes in both English and Pothowari, his mother tongue, and is a founder of the Pothowari-Pahari language movement which aims to develop a script to enable the language to be written down.

Tariq has also had two children's books published.

Read an interview with Tariq.


Management Advisory Group


Steve Dearden

Steve DeardenSteve is the Director of the Writing Squad, a programme for writers in Yorkshire aged 16-20, and is a producer of new writing projects such as Light Transports and the UK/Canada exchange Foundland .

Steve's short stories have been published by magazines in the UK, Australia and Finland. He was the archiTEXTS Writer in Residence at the Bluewater Shopping Centre and one of six writers from Finland and Yorkshire collaborating on Interland published by Smith Doorstop in October 2006.

He also works as a freelance consultant and while collecting jobs with literature in the title has been Co-ordinator of the National Association for Literature Development (NALD), Literature Officer at Yorkshire Arts, and Director of the Ilkley Literature Festival.


Avril Heffernan

Avril HeffernanAvril has worked for Arts Council England since 2003 and is the Literature Officer for the North West . Her work involves contributing to policy nationally, as well as the development of a portfolio of literature clients and the distribution of lottery and treasury grants via ACE's Grants for the Arts Scheme. Her background is in arts development and administration. From 2001 to 2003 she worked for Commonword/Cultureword, where she co-ordinated a range of projects from the Investors in People business programme to the Commonwealth Games Cultureshock programme. Prior to that, she was based in Belfast , with Democratic Dialogue, a political, social and economic think tank working on peace and reconciliation initiatives in Northern Ireland , as a co-ordinator of round-table talks.

Her interests include writing across genres, in particular poetry, short fiction and writing for performance/transmission. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Writing for Performance.


Ovie Jobome

Ovie Jobome has lived in and travelled extensively in Nigeria . He subsequently travelled to England , and has lived in Manchester since 1996, the longest he has ever lived continuously in any one city. He ran into novelist Pete Kalu at a literary event in Manchester in the summer of 2002, an encounter that sowed the seeds for various literary adventures, mainly involving prose (for example a collaborative novel in the pipeline), but also poetical dabblings. His short story Monday at the Barber's is published in the anthology Hair (Suitcase Press).


Pete Kalu

Pete Kalu

Pete is well known on the North West writing scene and beyond as a novelist, storyteller, poet, and playwright. He started writing as a member of the Moss Side Write black writers' workshop. He has written six novels, the most recent being the psychological thriller, Strangers; four theatre plays ( Pants, Gabrielle, Downfall and Taxi ); two radio plays (Xango's Challenge, Afrogoth), poetry and film as well as two children's books.

Recent writing prizes include the BBC/Contact Theatre Dangerous Comedy Award 2003 for Pants, the Bradford and Cumbria Playscript competitions 2003 award for Hills Trees Green Stuff and the Black Film Festival Award 2000 for No Trace). In the last five years he has visited over a hundred schools, as well as libraries and youth centres, as a storyteller.

Pete is a development worker with the Manchester-based independent community press Commonword.


Paul J King

Paul King

Paul is a former Chair of Commonword and current trustee of the Commonword Trust as well as being a former board member of the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers and a member of Manchester's 'Monday Night Group' (surprisingly, a writing group which meets on a Monday...) Paul's interest is to see how Greater Manchester's migrant communities have shaped Manchester and developed our neighbourhoods through their writings and published accounts.

In his paid role, Paul is the Chief Executive of the Autistic Society Greater Manchester Area, which supports people affected by autism including Asperger syndrome.


Qaisra Shahraz

Qaisra Shahraz

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Qaisra is a critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter. Her novels have been translated into several languages including Turkish, Indonesian and Dutch and have become part of major literary festivals. The Holy Woman (2001) won the Golden Jubilee Award, was Bradford's Book of the Month and launched the One Book for Coventry promotion. Typhoon (2003) became a bestseller in Holland . Her drama serial The Heart is It won two TV awards in Pakistan . Her award winning short stories are studied in schools and colleges. A Pair of Jeans has become prescribed reading for the German equivalent of the 'A' level. She has toured Pakistan , Turkey and Germany leading workshops.

In her other career Qaisra is a college inspector for Ofsted and ALI, an education consultant and trainer.

Read more about Qaisra on the British Council's Contemporary Authors webpage and on



SuAndiBorn of Nigerian and Liverpool British heritage, SuAndi has been a performance poet since 1985. Her collections of poems include Style (1990) Nearly Forty (1994), There Will Be No Tears (1996) and I Love the Blackness of my People (2003). In the nineties she began performing on the Live Art stage. She tours nationally and internationally; her ICA commission The Story of M received critical acclaim in the UK and North America . She has also written two librettos: The Calling (BBC Philharmonic 2005) and Mary Seacole Opera (2000) which toured Britain after a West End opening.

Her work has been recognised with a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 1996, an OBE in 1999, The Big Issue Community Diploma in 2003,The Windrush Inspirational Award in 2003 and a NESTA Fellowship in 2005.

Since 1985 SuAndi has been the freelance Cultural Director of Black Arts Alliance, the largest and longest surviving network of Black artists. On behalf of BAA she has organised exhibitions, performances, seminars, colloquiums and workshops. Since 2001 she has coordinated the Northwest celebration of Black History Month under the banner Acts of Achievement.


Mei Yuk Wong

Mei-Yuk WongMei Yuk Wong was born in Hong Kong. She studied theology and then worked as an editor for a Christian organisation for several years.  She then studied for an MA in Women and Development in The Hague, where she met officials and activists from different countries.  After 1997, she felt that her work in Hong Kong had come to an end.  She decided on a change of direction by pursuing her creative work so she came to England and studied at Wimbledon School of Art and London Guildhall University.  While making artwork, she started to write poems and was published by Poetry Now.  In 2002, she published her first book, Walking in the Clouds , based on her exhibition of photography and embroidered poems.  More recently in 2004, she had led a poetry reading event for the Manchester Poetry Festival(now the Manchester Literature Festival). She also writes joint poems with other poets.

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