My recent and forthcoming activities are immediately below, with those from longer ago further down. If you want to contact me, please do so via m.d.francis(remove this obfuscation)@lancs.ac.uk.
Recent and forthcoming
Recent and forthcoming
- March 2015 - Forthcoming book - 'Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice' - co-edited by myself and Professor Adam Dinham due out.
- November 26th - Invited to write an article for The Conversation about how radicalisation and terrorism are not the same thing.
- November 19th - Invited to write a case-study on Aum Shinrikyo for the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser's 2014 annual report, on innovation and risk.
- October 23rd - Interviewed for article in Time magazine on the shooting in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa.
- October 16th - Following Tony Blair's comments about religion and education I wrote an article for The Conversation about how religious literacy, not respect for religion is the way to prevent radicalisation.
- October 14th - I was interviewed for the magazine On Religion, for a pair of 'expert interviews on understanding radicalisation'.
- October 7th - I was invited to write a blog for the think-tank Theos as part of a series on how to prevent radicalisation.
- September 18th - I spoke at the annual conference of The Society for Terrorism Research in Boston, USA, on the sacred, religion and violence.
- August 22nd - I was interviewed by DW.de for an article on British foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria.
- August 21st - I was interviewed on BBC Breakfast about research on radicalisation and foreign fighters.
- August 20th - Following the murder of James Foley I wrote an article for The Conversation on foreign fighters.
- June 30th - I wrote an article for The Conversation on brainwashing and radicalisation.
- May 22nd - I was invited to write an article for The Conversation about radical ideology and violent extremists, following the convictions of Abu Hamza and Mashudur Choudhury.
- May 1st - I spoke at a debate on 'Weathering the twitter storm: the pros and cons of social media', co-organised with Debating Matters.
- February 11th - I was selected to attend a course on engagement with policy-makers, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and organised by the Institute for Government (IfG).
- January 31st - I presented at the 25th Anniversary Inform conference on the past, present and future of new religious movements.
- January 24th - I was invited to speak at a symposium hosted by London School of Economics on the sacred.
- January 8th - I was invited to speak at an Open University symposium on religion and security.
- December 19th - I was invited to write an article for The Conversation about the trial of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who murdered Lee Rigby. This was republished in The Huffington Post.
- September 11th - I spoke at a conference at Chester University on apocalyptic imagination in late modernity.
- September 3rd - I presented at the British Association for the Study of Religions annual conference on religion, migration and mutation.
- June 14th - I was invited to write an article for Public Spirit in response to media reports about extremism in British universities.
- May 22nd - I was invited to write an article for The Conversation about the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
- May 17th - I was an invited speaker at a conference on religion, media and diversity.
- May 15th - I spoke at the Open University on contemporary religion in historical perspectives.
- March 22nd - I presented at a conference on social relations and human security at the Centre for Social Relations, Coventry University.
- February 22nd - I was invited to teach at a University of Kent course on methodological approaches to the study of religion.
- February 2013 (until July 2015) - I became the Senior Research Associate, Ideology, Belief and Uncertainty, hosted at Lancaster University and funded by the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme.
- November 2012 - April 2013 - I was part of a team working in partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on a series of open dialogues to promote religious literacy. Read more about it here.
- December 3rd-5th - I was invited to speak at a conference hosted by Wilton Park, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Canadian High Commission in London: Combating intolerance and promoting freedom of religion or belief for all: working on UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18.
- November 14th - I was invited to write an article for The Huffington Post about the need for religious literacy.
- November 7th and 8th - I organised the national RLLP 'Religious Literacy' workshops for 60 HE staff, with workshops on Good Campus Relations and Equality and Diversities, amongst others.
- June 2012 - January 2013 - I worked as an Assistant Research Officer at the charity Inform - The Information Network on Religious Movements.
- June 6th and 7th - I co-organised the RLLP and Campus Lokahi FlashPOD workshops, which trained university staff to deal with sticky situations on campus.
- May 8-10th - I spoke at Uppsala University at a colloquium organised by the Religion and Society Research Centre, on the subject of religious literacy.
- April 11-13th - I co-organised the Religion stream at the annual British Sociological Association (BSA) conference (with Titus Hjelm), taking place this year in Leeds. I also presented further findings from my current research with Martha Shaw.
- March 28th-30th - I presented at the BSA SocRel annual conference in Chester, with a co-authored paper (with Martha Shaw) on: 'The role of religion in Higher Education: a case study' which formed part of a panel on 'Religion and belief in Higher Education' which I organised.
- March 27th-28th - I organised the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) Postgraduate Study Day, to coincide with the SocRel annual conference at Chester.
- March 7th, 2012 - I spoke at the Westminster Faith Debates, organised by the AHRC/ESRC Religion & Society Programme, on the topic of radicalisation. Read my paper What causes radicalisation?.
- November 2011 - March 2012 - with Martha Shaw at the Faiths & Civil Society Unit I am undertook a case-study into the role of religion within a Higher Education Institution. This small HEFCE funded study complements the broader output of the Religious Literacy Leadership Programme.
- November 14&15th - as part of the RLLP programme of events I organised our annual Religious Literacy Workshops for over fifty participants from HEIs across the country, one in London at Woburn House and the other at York St John University.
- October, 12th - I presented a paper, 'Contested boundaries: exploring the role of the sacred in violent religious and non-religious movements', at the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society at the University of Kent.
- July 2011 - January 2013, I was the Programme Manager and Research Associate on the HEFCE-funded Religious Literacy Leadership Programme, hosted at the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London.
- June, 7-8th - I presented a paper, 'The move to violence: religion, radicalisation, violence and identity' and led a discussion at a Religion, Policing and Security Colloquium at the University of Leeds.
- May, 6-7th - I presented a co-authored (with Professor Knott) paper, 'Return? It never left: Exploring the 'sacred' as a resource for bridging the gap between the religious and the secular', for which I received an honorarium and expenses. This was at a workshop run by the Religious Norms in the Public Sphere network at the University of California, Berkeley, hosted by Professor Olivier Roy. Watch here...
- April, 11-13th - I organised a PG study day as part of the annual SocRel conference, in Birmingham where I also presented a paper 'Mapping the sacred: the application of a new matrix of factors to the analysis of religious and secular beliefs'.
- February, 5th - I took part in the SocRel Study Day, where I also presented a paper 'For God's sake: making a useful distinction between the 'sacred' and 'religion' in constructions of religious violence'.
- January, 11th - I presented a paper at the Theology & Religious Studies Research Day at Leeds, on the theme of Religion and Violence.
- August, 14-22nd - I delivered a paper, 'In God's name? The role of an external legitimating authority in the move to violence in religious and non-religious groups', at the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR) XXth Quinquennial Congress in Toronto.
- May, 19-21st - I attended an international poster conference and course in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- April, 7-9th - I delivered a paper at the annual BSA conference, in Glasgow.
- November, 2009 - I delivered a paper, 'The danger of contagion: a comparison of two group's aversion to dialogue with the 'Other'', at a Religion and Society @ Leeds, research day.
- November, 2009 - I spoke at an AHRC regional event on the Library of Congress (LoC) study scheme. Listen here...
- January - April, 2009 - I held an AHRC/LoC scholarship to study at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
- May, 2008 - Finished analysis of data as academic consultant, leading to report: Peter Tarleton and Khalid Ahmed Kazi, 'Looking beyond the veil: a research project into people's perceptions of the Muslim Veil in Kirklees'. Batley, WY: Crescent Consultancy.
- October, 2006 - Finished Home Office funded project (on which I was Research Assistant) leading to a report and presentation at the Houses of Commons in London. Kim Knott, Alistair McFadyen, Sean McLoughlin and Matthew Francis, 'The roots, practises and consequences of terrorism: a literature review of research in the Arts & Humanities', Leeds: University of Leeds.
- February, 2004 - Produced concluding reports for the Home Office and Her Majesty's Prison Service based on HO-funded research project with Kim Knott. Kim Knott and Matthew Francis, 'Leeds pilot faiths consultation exercise on restorative justice and the rehabilitation of young male ex-offenders', Leeds: University of Leeds. Reproduced in part in Appendix 5 of 'Working together: co-operation between government and faith communities', London: Home Office Faith Communities Unit.