Situated in the heart of London, the University of Westminster, proud of the diversity of its staff and students, is one of the most open academic institutions in the city.
Until recently I had associated the university mainly with Chantal Mouffe. She is a professor in the Centre for the Study of Democracy that is currently celebrating its 25 anniversary. I wrote here about the anniversary conference that was held in November. Now, after having a chance to take part in a number of events held at the university, I know that there are many other extremely enthusiastic and passionate scholars.
Because of my scientific interests, I attended a couple of “Materialism Old and New” seminars organized by David Chandler, a current director of the CSD. The reading group meets once a month to discuss various articles and books – either recently published or classic ones. Usually there are about ten people who debate in a friendly manner over wine and nibbles. It may seem like a pretty standard formula, but from my experience at the university in Poznań I know, how difficult it is to gather at the same time and place even a few persons who are willing to read recommended text.
Another interesting event held at the University of Westminster was the LGBT History Month, an initiative of university’s LGBT Staff Network. It consisted of two public lectures and a film screening. The latter took place at the Regent Street Cinema located in the main buliding of the university. Again, one may ask if it would be possible to organize such an event in Poland without risk of injuries to those involved? But then again, I have not heard about LGBT staff networks at Polish universities.
Beside the scientific reasons for visiting University of Westminster there is also another, pop-cultural one. As it turns out, among students of Regent Street Polytechnic (as it was called at the time) were Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, the founders of Pink Floyd.