James Hodkinson

Critical Kinships, Contemporary Alliances.

Cultural Studies, Community Voices, and the Problem with Belonging.

I’m fortunate. I’ve been awarded a reasonably hard-to-get Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the book I’ve long been meaning to write, which is entitled Ambivalent Relations. German Islamic Kinships, 1750-1918. As the title implies, it’s historically focussed and pitched to an academic audience. Yet, as my work progresses, I cannot help . . .

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June 11, 2024

Jürgen Klopp will leave us.

10 Lessons for life and work we can take from his example.

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For fans of Liverpool Football Club, the retirement of our manager, who has changed all of our lives, has been a matter of high emotion. But his example contains much deeper learning. Here are my ten learnings for life, love and work:

  1. Respect tradition and history, but don’t drink too deeply from the well of nostalgia. . . .

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January 28, 2024

The Ellesmere Port-Reutlingen Town-Twinning and the Value of Deep Exchange.

More than half a century after its foundation, following challenges and changes, Dr James Hodkinson (Warwick University) reflects on the value of the town-twinning and school exchange programmes between his hometown and Reutlingen, Germany.

Since 1966, the partnership between Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and my own home-town, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK, has been a source of cultural and economic enrichment for both. Nestled at the confluence of the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal and within sight of Liverpool, the Port enjoyed a postwar economic boom and . . .

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January 24, 2024


On the challenges, opportunities, and the ‘imaginative labour’ of academic public engagement work – and how we can better do it together.

In fact, I’m currently writing two books. And at the same time. One is for my day job, the long-awaited academic study of Islam in nineteenth- century German culture, the other is the novel I’ve secretly longed to write for a decade. The novel, though, is all about memory, obsession, and a series of strange trans-historical experiences . . .

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December 12, 2023

The Land is Calling.

Can street art still punch through the politics?

Mohammed Ali’s new Brick Lane mural channels stories of heritage and legacy – and sparks negative commentary in the process. But can street art still transcend ideological critique?

Mohammed Ali’s latest mural ‘The Land is Calling’, now emblazoned over the side wall of a Brick Lane property, is arresting to the eye. The split-focus . . .

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April 16, 2022

Drinking Deshi Chai in the UK.

The Complex Flavours and Unheard Stories of Sylhet.

It’s another one of those cool days that pass for summer in the UK. The sky is overcast with lead-grey cloud. On such days, I’ve grown accustomed to dropping in at Cha and Nasta a café in my adopted hometown of St Albans, to add some warming spice to my day with a cup of deshi chai, chat with the proprietors, whom I have known for a number of . . .

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September 02, 2021

What happens after impact?

The real test for empathy.

Some months have passed since I completed the ‘Re-imagining Islam’ public engagement project. It ran from autumn 2015 through to summer 2019, drew in several rounds of finance from my native Warwick University and later external funders such as Arts Council England. It was a huge undertaking for all involved.

As the UK’s Research . . .

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February 29, 2020


Cover image credit: http://Photo by James Hodkinson.

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