Savage closure

July 19, 2002

We the undersigned write in protest at the University of Birmingham's recent decision to close the department of cultural studies.

It is internationally acknowledged that the department has been a leading centre for the teaching of sociology and cultural studies, with a vigorous intellectual culture and an illustrious history. The decision to close it will have a devastating impact on its current students and staff and raises serious issues of principle about how a major public employer spends its money and treats its staff and students. The decision must also be seen as an attack on the position of sociology and cultural studies in the United Kingdom academy.

We believe this closure puts in question Birmingham's international reputation as a first-class university.

Hazel Carby, Yale University

Richard Dyer, Warwick University

Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Stuart Hall, Open University

Richard Johnson, Nottingham Trent University

Stuart Laing, Brighton University

Maureen McNeil, Lancaster University

and 50 others

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