In this podcast, we look at what happens when academics turn enemy of the state. Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), talks about the beginnings of the charity first created to assist Jewish academics escaping the Holocaust, and how, 80 years later, academics in harm’s way from Zimbabwe to Syria, still rely on CARA’s support.

Refugees from Algeria (Latefa Guemar) and Uzbekistan also discuss their journey from academics to exiles and how CARA helped them to rebuild their professional lives in the UK.

Presented by Sierra Williams. Produced and Edited by Cheryl Brumley. Music and sound came courtesy of: The Free Music Archive: Podington Bear (By Grace); Chris Zabriskie (Readers Do You Read and What True Self Feels Bogus Let’s Watch); Coma Stereo (Sleep Invaders); and from Suonho (fire noise); benboncan (airport announcement); ikbenraar (landing announcement); inchadney (heathrow sound); hoscalgeek (passenger plane landing); and from Fasli Navbahor (Tavakkal Qodirov). Image credits for Featured Images Saber68 (Algerian War), 1933 Book Burning (Public Domain), camerafiend, (Luminarias). Podcast logo: headphones: gcg2009 (Sennheiser) via Flickr.

More on academic refugees and the history of CARA

If you would like to learn more about the topics discussed, here is a list of websites and materials mentioned in the podcast.

home-10The Council for At-Risk Academics
CARA is a British charitable organization dedicated to assisting academics who, for reasons including persecution and conflict, are unable to continue their research in their countries of origin. Academics are given funding and other support to relocate to the United Kingdom and/or rebuild their careers.


William_Beveridge_D_17134 (1)Former LSE Director Lord William Beveridge
LSE Director from 1919 – 1937. In 1933 he helped set up the Academic Assistance Council. This helped prominent academics who had been dismissed from their posts on grounds of race, religion or political position to escape Nazi persecution.


LatefaGuemarLatefa Guemar: ‘My hope is to contribute to this county – if I’m given the opportunity’
Visiting LSE Fellow, Latefa Geumar shares her story in the podcast. You can also read about her experience as an academic and as a refugee living in the UK in the Guardian Higher Education Network.

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