An event to explore the languages, media and cultures of the Congo Free State under King Leopold II in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is set to be held at Leeds Beckett University on Saturday 10 October.

The one day international symposium is hosted by the University’s Centre for Culture and the Arts and supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It will take place at the University’s Rose Bowl building.

Dr Rob Burroughs, organiser of the event and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett, explained: “Our event brings together humanities-based academics working on King Leopold II’s Congo Free State (1885-1908). In particular, the symposium aims to enable dialogue between academics with different linguistic and disciplinary expertise in order to understand more fully the transnationalism of the Congo Free State, and of the humanitarian campaign against Leopold’s control of the region.”

The event will include panel presentations chaired by Dr Grainne Goodwin, Senior Lecturer in History at Leeds Beckett and Sarah de Mul, Senior Lecturer of Literary Studies at the Open University of the Netherlands. Panel members include academics from Cambridge University, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren), Hamburg University, Carroll College, Montana, USA, Uppsala University, University of Central Lancashire, Northumbria University and KU Leuven in Belgium.

The symposium brings together those involved in the research initiative, The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Cultures’, which was launched at Uppsala University in September 2014. It is funded by the NOW, Uppsala University, the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, and Leeds Beckett University.

Attendance is free. To register, or for more information, please contact




For further details please contact Carrie Braithwaite in the Communications team at Leeds Beckett on 0113 812 3022 or email


Notes for editors:


  • Leeds Beckett University was previously Leeds Metropolitan University.
  • Leeds Beckett University has around 32,000 students on programmes in Leeds and abroad and just over 3,100 staff.
  • The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University is Professor Peter Slee and the Chancellor is Sir Bob Murray CBE.
  • Leeds Beckett’s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, and Carnegie.
  • Leeds Beckett University is the only university in the UK to have achieved both the Customer Service Excellence standard, Investors in People Gold and the RoSPA Gold medal across the whole institution.
  • The Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) showed that the proportion of Leeds Beckett 2012/13 graduates in work, further study or both six months after leaving university was 94.6%.