Arts and humanities

Seumas Milne: The battle for history | Education

It would be easy to dismiss the controversy over the latest Martin Amis offering as little more than a salon tiff among self-referential literati. His book, Koba the Dread, follows a well-trodden political path. An excoriation of Lenin, Stalin and communism in general (interlaced with long-simmering spats with his once communist father Kingsley and radical friend Christopher Hitchens), it is intended to be a savage indictment of the left for its supposed inability to acknowledge the crimes committed in its…

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Arts education should not be a luxury, says Julie Hesmondhalgh | Education

Julie Hesmondhalgh, the actor and campaigner, has accused policymakers of conspiring to limit access to arts and culture for British children. Reacting to a report into school provision, Hesmondhalgh told the Observer she was dismayed that arts education was now seen as a luxury. “The idea it is not career-oriented is so wrong. And anyway, what happened to the idea of learning for learning’s sake? It is so depressing.” The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education has called for the…

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Where will our working-class playwrights come from, now the arts have been sidelined? | Selina Todd | Education

The playwright Shelagh Delaney shot to fame when her debut work, A Taste of Honey, first performed in 1958, turned into a runaway success. She was just 19. The play told the story of a single mother, Helen, and her teenage daughter, Jo, who wanted more from life than marriage and motherhood in the slums. It has rarely been off the stage since and is currently being revived in a National Theatre tour. Fascinated by the work and its Salford-born…

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