Why is UoM not dumping Master-Slave terms in computer science?

If you’re not involved in computer science in some way, you might not know that it’s common for the term “master/slave” to be used to refer to a variety of concepts in computer science. The term has a range of uses, but one of the main ones is where there is a primary copy of some data (the “master”) and various replicas of that data (referred to as “slaves”). When I was taught to use this term as a computer science undergraduate in 2010 I was taken aback. It seemed unclear and unnecessarily upsetting. Why were we making casual references to the horrific practice of slavery in a lecture on databases? The origins of the use of “master - slave” as a technical computer science term are unclear. The first use I could find was in a paper from 1959, which uses it as a metaphor alongside the more self-explanatory “primary - secondary” when discussing a method of linking two computers together. It comes up again in 1964 when researchers at Dartmouth College (an Ivy League university in the Uni

Establishing and holding on to anti-racist space in the University of Manchester: The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre

Language for describing Black, Asian, ethnic minority, refugee and migrant communities often changes and is frequently contested.  In this piece, we will use the term Global Majority or racially minoritised where we need to refer to Black, Asian, ethnic minority, refugee and migrant communities collectively. We will describe specific communities wherever we can.   The RACE Centre Reception Desk based in Manchester Central Library Who we are The  Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE (Race, Archives and Community Engagement) Centre  is a specialist library and archive focusing on the experiences and stories of Black, Asian, global majority, refugee and migrant communities. We are part of the University of Manchester Library but based in Manchester Central Library.  We work very closely with our sister organisation, the  Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust  to a shared vision and mission: Our vision  is an inclusive, equally represented and racially just society.    Our mission  is to make Black, Asian a

The Strengths and Limitations of Critical Whiteness Studies

Whiteness studies is an emerging field of discourse, arising in the late 20th Century in both the US and the UK respectively. It can be viewed as a concrete body of literature which exposes the importance of considering whiteness and white privilege in contemporary society, as well as alerting us to the ways in which systems of white privilege operate, and how white racial identity is constructed (Byrne 2006; Dyer 1997; Frankenberg 2001; Garner 2007; McIntosh 1988). I will explore the strengths of critical whiteness studies and I will  offer an explanation as to how critical whiteness studies is applied to render whiteness visible, disrupt white privilege and racism, and problematise whiteness. I will also examine the limitations of the discourse, such as how it can be said to re-centre and reify whiteness, and how it may not achieve anti-racist aims. My own view on the contributions of critical whiteness studies will be posited with reference to contemporary examples.  Firstly, it is

Merry Leftist Christmas: A Guide to Surviving the Holiday of Culture War Horror: Part Two

The Auntie: liberal, big fan of Biden, can’t shake a fundamental dislike of Dianne Abbott. How on earth did we get here! Where did it all go wrong for this country? Pack it up Jess Phillips, we get it! You like when you don’t have to develop your lexicon beyond ‘white privilege’, and you really LOVED the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. Sorry to break it to you, but this country has been dystopian since… forever. In this nostalgia for some form of golden age, the right and soft left/centre have become bedfellows. This family member might not have experienced it, but the lived experience of migrants, refugees, people of colour, and the working class refute any claim that this country has recently lost something, some form of humanity or inherent goodness. An example is the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, in 2017. The conditions that led to this crisis did not appear overnight. The highly flammable cladding placed on tower blocks like Grenfell Tower, began under the government of Tony Blair, a