George Francis

George Francis

Profile

I gained a B.A in History and an M.A in American History, both from the University of Sheffield. Determined to further solidify my status as 'honorary Yorkshireman', I moved to the University of Leeds in 2016 to undertake a PhD with Kate Dossett and Simon Hall. I currently teach on a HST1055 stream about The Black Panther Party and HST1210 The Modern World. I can usually now be found complaining loudly in the Katrina Honeyman Room of Parkinson Building.


Supervisors: Simon Hall (School of History) and Kate Dossett (School of History).
 

Research interests

My WRoCAH-funded PhD Project focuses on Black and Latino grassroots protest in the city of Los Angeles throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the years preceding the 1992 Rodney King Rebellion, the most devestating urban unrest in recent American history.


More specifically, my research examines how a range of protest movements and community activists, from African American mothers, Latino environmentalists and immigrant janitors, engaged with the city's spaces. L.A faced numerous social challenges in the neoliberal 'Reagan' era such as a huge rise in Korean and Central American/Mexican immigration into the city and an acute 'crack' epidemic that resulted in a punitive mass incaceration program. These new social relations were expressed spatially, as corporate regeneration and intensifying poverty affected the urban environment and physically juxtaposed the increasing inequality of the city.


Popular culture usually sees the poor or minority residents of L.A in this time as apolitical, violent and nihilistic. My project attempts to show the wide variety of local activism that sought to create change within their communities. Moreover, it looks to examine how these activists understood how physical changes to their city reflected socio-economic developments, utlilised these spaces within their protest to achieve their goals, and imagined an urban environment which truly addressed the needs of the city's complex, diverse population.

Qualifications

  • B.A. (Hons.) History - The University of Sheffield, 2014
  • M.A (with distinction) American History - The University of Sheffield, 2015