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Welcome to the Northern Notes, the new blog published by the School of Sociology and Social Policy (SSP) at the University of Leeds. Edited by SSP staff, Northern Notes will be your one-stop destination for learning more about the ground-breaking teaching and research that is happening in and around our community here in Leeds. By putting local events and happenings into global conversations, we aim to create a dynamic online forum for scholars, students, practitioners, activists and the wider community.

Northern Notes seeks to circulate the work of SSP academics and colleagues by bringing together the pens of scholars, post-graduate researchers and practitioners, offering a glimpse into the vibrant intellectual life of the social sciences today. In this way, posts for Northern Notes will reflect on ongoing research projects, methods and epistemologies, impact events, research-led teaching and innovations in student education in an attempt to nurture new thinking and insightful discussions in the social sciences.

Northern Notes places the individual scholar at the various stages of his/her/their career in the heart of a collectively constructed world, in which changes happen at ever faster modes. Such happenings beg for the formation of a knowing community of scholarly biographers who are committed to articulating social problems or even propose solutions to them.

Situating Northern Notes at the University of Leeds alerts British, other nationals and world citizens to the challenges and opportunities posed by the increasing connectivities that turn large cities such as Leeds, or regions such as Northern England and population segments such as the middle or working classes, women, migrants and academics into actors, witnesses or even contentious social ‘categories’. Northern Notes is particularly committed to strengthening research capacity amongst social scientists in the North of England and collaborating with colleagues in neighbouring universities as well as connecting with social scientists across the globe. It enshrines a dedication for inclusion and the democratisation of knowledge by publishing short, open access, critical and reflective posts and by deliberately opting for accessible posts and, when possible, posts in languages other than English.

Northern Notes wishes to shed light on processes of cultural valorisation, social marginalisation and political conflict in various contexts through a stream of blog posts, in which Northern Notes’ collaborators voice their own concerns and solutions to the problems and phenomena that we are encountering in our everyday lives. Northern Notes also wishes to act on occasion as a mediator between different publics and academia, through accessible short posts and image collections in which places, localities and social groups come to life with their problems, dreams and ambitions.

We invite you all to share in this new forum for global conversations about local challenges. We look forward to having rich and fruitful conversations with you in the year to come.

Roxana Barbulescu, Sarah Marusek, Rodanthi Tzanelli and Abel Ugba