‘Unity in struggle is our strength’: Sheffield University’s Overseas Student Bureau and international activism at a local level

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Throughout the 1970s, the Overseas Student Bureau (OSB), a working group within the Sheffield University Students Union (SUSU), supported overseas students studying in Sheffield. Through a range of actions and activities it encouraged overseas students to become more involved in the students’ union and to build friendships and ‘integrate’ with British students in Sheffield. By the second half of the 1970s, however, these activities were placed within the national and international context of political Blackness, anti-imperialism
and anti-racism. This group put forward a vision of internationalism that had personal networks at its heart and encouraged solidarity with a range of movements fighting for independence around the world. Drawing on the archives of this organisation, interviews and the writing of international students themselves, this article emphasises the perspective of students, often from the Global South, who articulated their own lives and conceived of political activism as a way of helping to create a world of solidarity. It also highlights how
ideas of political Blackness were being taken up in medium-sized industrial towns outside of the capital, challenging the London-centric understanding anti-racism in this period.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial History
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • overseas students
  • student fees
  • anti-racism

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