Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Elites, The Establishment and The ‘People’ – Analyzing the “Micro-Politics” of Rightwing Populism

The Elites, The Establishment and The ‘People’ – Analyzing the “Micro-Politics” of Rightwing Populism

In my lecture, I explore the new face of politics’ of right-wing populist parties and discuss adequate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to analyse the – ever more acceptable – exclusionary rhetoric (distinguishing between US- the people and ‘THEM- the establishment and the strangers) while focussing on the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), and the recent presidential and national election campaigns in Austria and Germany (2016, 2017).  The main question to be posed – why are such parties and their programmes successful – requires a careful context-dependent, multi-methodical, multimodal, and critical interdisciplinary analysis of the ‘micro-politics’ of the Far Right; i.e. how they actually produce and reproduce their ideologies and exclusionary politics in everyday politics, in the media, in campaigning, in posters, slogans and speeches. The dynamics of everyday performances frequently transcend careful analytic categorisations; boundaries between categories are blurred and flexible, open to change and ever new socio-economic developments.

Biog
Ruth Wodak is Emerita Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University, UK, and affiliated to the University of Vienna. Besides various other prizes, she was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize for Elite Researchers in 1996 and an Honorary Doctorate from University of Örebro in Sweden in 2010. She is past President of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. 2011, she was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria.

She is member of the British Academy of Social Sciences and member of the Academia Europaea. 2008, she was awarded the Kerstin Hesselgren Chair of the Swedish Parliament (at University Örebrö).

She is member of the editorial board of a range of linguistic journals and co‐editor of the journals Discourse and Society, Critical Discourse Studies, and Language and Politics. She has held visiting professorships in University of Uppsala, Stanford University, University Minnesota, University of East Anglia, and Georgetown University. In the spring 2014, Ruth held the Davis Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC. In the spring 2016, Ruth was Distinguished Schuman Fellow at the Schuman Centre, EUI, Florence. 2017, she holds the Willi Brandt Chair at the University of Malmö, Sweden.

Her research interests focus on discourse studies; gender studies; language and/in politics; prejudice and discrimination; and on ethnographic methods of linguistic field work. Ruth has published 10 monographs, 27 co authored monographs, over 60 edited volumes and ca 400 peer reviewed journal papers and book chapters. Recent book publications include The Politics of Fear. What Right‐wing Populist Discourses Mean (Sage, 2015; translation into the German Politik mit der Angst. Zur Wirkung rechtspopulistischer Diskurse. Konturen, 2016); The discourse of politics in action: ‘Politics as Usual’ (Palgrave), revised edition (2011); Migration, Identity and Belonging (with G. Delanty, P. Jones, 2011); The Discursive Construction of History. Remembering the German Wehrmacht’s War of Annihilation (with H. Heer, W. Manoschek, A. Pollak, 2008); The Politics of Exclusion. Debating Migration in Austria (with M. Krzyżanowski, 2009); The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics (with Barbara Johnstone and Paul Kerswill, 2010); Analyzing Fascist Discourse. Fascism in Talk and Text (with John Richardson, 2013), and Rightwing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse (with Majid KhosraviNik and Brigitte Mral, 2013). See http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/profiles/Ruth‐Wodak for more information on on‐going research projects and recent publications.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Thresholds - A pop-up symposium


22 September 2017
University of York


21 Exciting abstracts have been accepted !

Spaces now limited - book via eventbrite ASAP

This event platforms scholars working across the humanities and social sciences around the theme of ‘thresholds’. It explores perspectives on the liminal edges of everyday, organisational and social life. What and who reside beyond or within different types of thresholds? Who has to cross thresholds? What prevents people or things crossing? How does power operate through different thresholds? How do thresholds articulate with limits, extremes, dangers and tipping points? These are just some of the questions explored in this one day symposium.

Thresholds is intended to bring together diverse disciplines including sociology, politics, history, anthropology, women’s studies, critical management, human geography, social policy. The format will be short papers (10 mins) followed by discussion.

Organisers: Joanna Latimer, David Beer, Nik Brown, Rolland Munro

SATSU – Sociology – University of York

Time and Place: 10:30 to 15:30; Berrick Saul Building, The Treehouse - University of York


REGISTER HERE

Supported by: the University of York ‘Culture and Communication’ Research Theme; The Department of Sociology; Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU)

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dates confirmed for 2017/18 'suite' of CA skills training courses

Skills based training courses in Conversation Analysis (£360 per course)

 
Turn-Taking: 28-30 November 2017
Sequence Organisation: 12-14 December 2017
Repair: 17-19 April 2018
Word Selection: 22-24 May 2018
 
We offer a ‘suite’ of four courses (each 3 days) designed to provide ‘hands-on’ training in conversation analytic skills:
  
These courses are open to anyone who has some familiarity with conversation analysis (we prefer you to have taken an introductory course)
 
Courses 1 (Turn-taking) and 2 (Sequence organisation) can each be taken as a ‘stand alone’ course; however completion of courses 1 and 2 is a pre-requisite for taking courses 3 and 4
 
Completion of all 4 courses is highly recommended – and will equip you with an essential ‘toolbox’ of skills for doing conversation analysis
 
DISCOUNTS:
Register for 2 courses at the same time: get 1/4 off the 2nd
Register for 3 courses at the same time: get 1/2 off the 3rd
Register for 4 courses at the same time: get 3/4 off the 4th 
 
Enquiries: Please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison: sarah.shrive-morrison@york.ac.uk

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy


The Department of Sociology at the University of York and the Institute of Comparative Media and Communication at the Austrian Academy of Sciences are jointly organizing an international symposium on Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy. It will be held on 21-22 September 2017 in Vienna. Keynote speakers include Barbara Pfetsch , Josef Seethaler, Brian D. Loader, Maren Beaufort, W. Lance Bennett, Michael X. Delli-Carpini, and Jörg Matthes. More details can be found at:


A selection of the best papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Information, Communication & Society (iCS) in April 2018.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Imagining the History of the Future: Unsettling Scientific Stories

27-29 March, 2018 | University of York, UK

The future just isn’t what it used to be… not least because people keep changing it. Recent years have seen a significant growth of academic and public interest in the role of the sciences in creating and sustaining both imagined and enacted futures. Technological innovations and emergent theoretical paradigms gel and jolt against abiding ecological, social, medical or economic concerns: researchers, novelists, cartoonists, civil servants, business leaders and politicians assess and estimate the costs of planning for or mitigating likely consequences. The trouble is that thinking about the future is a matter of perspective: where you decide to stand constrains what you can see

With confirmed plenary speakers Professor Sherryl Vint (University of California, Riverside, USA) and Professor Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent, UK) this three-day conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, and activists to explore ways in which different visions of the future and its history can be brought into productive dialogue.

Focused on the long technological 20th Century (roughly, 1887-2007) and looking particularly at the intersections between fictional/narrative constructions of the future, expert knowledge, and institutional policy development, the themes of the conference will include but are not limited to:

The relationship between lay and expert futures, especially futures produced by communities marginalised in public dialogue by ethnicity, gender, sexuality, species or political orientation

How have different forms of fiction (novels, films, games, comics) created different visions of what’s to come? How have their audiences responded to and shaped them

The role of counterfactuals/alternate histories, as well as factional accounts and popular science: how have different forms of writing positioned the future?

What’s the relationship between past and present scenario planning in government or commerce? How have they fed into wider cultural conceptions of impending developments?

Disciplinary influences: how have different academic disciplines – sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences – fed into developing futures? Has this changed over time?

The role of futures past: how can we recover them, and what do they tell us about futures present? What are the forgotten or marginalised sites of future-making

How have different themes – time, the apocalypse, the individual, among others – changed over the last century of future-thinking?

Twitter: @UnSetSciStories #ImaginedFutures
We invite proposals based broadly on these themes. Individual papers should take the form of 20 minute presentations, but we would also be delighted to consider three or four paper panel submissions on a related topic, workshops or round-table discussions.

Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a short author biography (100 words). Panel proposals should also include a short (150 words) commentary on the overall theme. Please email proposals to unsettling-science@york.ac.uk (as email attachments in Word format) by FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER. Authors will be notified of decisions by Friday 27 October. Prospective organisers of other formats should contact the steering committee by email as soon as possible to discuss possibilities.

Please direct all enquires to unsettling-science@york.ac.uk.

This is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded event, run by the Unsettling Scientific Stories project based at the Universities of York, Aberystwyth and Newcastle.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Sociology achieves Bronze Award from Green Impact



We're delighted to announce that Sociology has achieved a Bronze Award from Green Impact for our efforts at greening the department.  We were particularly proud of managing to raise sufficient funds to twin two of our toilets (see: http://www.yott.info/)!  We couldn't have achieved the award without our fantastic student helper - Katy Forsyth - who was trained by the central Green Impact organisers, and is also a student in Sociology.  Beyond supporting our team, Katy also organised a vegan cake sale to support St Nicks (see: http://stnicks.org.uk/) and helped pot up baby spider plants to give away to fellow students.  


For more information on sustainability at York, see: http://www.york.ac.uk/about/sustainability/

L to R: Will Patterson, Merran Toerien, Saul Tendler

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Border Zones: Documenting Life and Work Carried Out under Precarious Conditions

Wednesday 14 June 2017, 4.00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken
From NGOs, activist and arts-based projects to programs of research, feminists have sought and secured space for re-presenting women in the visual field. Feminist projects grounded in visual methods have tended to be under-theorized, however, in relying on the power of the image itself - particularly images of female suffering - to subvert the male gaze. Since visual images often invoke the spectator experience of unmediated access to the inner world of the subject, the evocative power of photographic images may readily reproduce forms of voyeurism.
Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken takes up these theoretical, ethical and methodological dilemmas in a presentation preceding the screening of her recent film, KUWEPO (running time 24 minutes)
KUWEPO” (“Being There” in Swahili) follows the daily lives of providers in Kenya as they work within the 2010 liberalized constitution to provide post-abortion care for women.  The film shows how providers in a range of neighborhoods and clinical settings operate within this new political landscape, even as reforms in the law continue to put women at risk for medical problems and death from unsafe abortions.
The screening is followed by discussion moderated by Professor Maggie O’Neill.
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker.  Haaken is author of Pillar of Salt: Gender, Memory and the Perils of Looking Back and Hard Knocks; Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling. She has directed and/or produced six feature-length films, including “Diamonds, Guns and Rice,” “Moving to the Beat,” “Guilty Except for Insanity,” “Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines,” and “Milk Men: The Life and Times of Dairy Farmers.” She has directed five short films, including two recent films on abortion providers produced through a team at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor that carries out anti-stigma research.
Location: Environment Building ENV/005
Admission: FREE (Eventbrite ticket)

Fully funded PhD in STS available from October 2017


SATSU has available a fully funded (fees and stipend) PhD, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Programme. This will be to work on understanding the role patient charities play in shaping biomedicial innovation. Full details are at:
https://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/postgraduate/phd-mphil/pgt_funding/#tab-5

Friday, 2 June 2017

Traversing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Social Research Conference Round-up

Traversing Boundaries took place on 25 May 2017 at the University of York for postgraduate students to meet and share ideas on interdisciplinarity. Despite being organised by PGR students in the Department of Sociology, we were delighted to welcome speakers, keynotes and delegates from across disciplines for a vibrant discussion on the challenges and opportunities offered by traversing disciplinary boundaries.
 

One of the keynotes, Dr Des Fitzgerald from Cardiff University, spoke about the unspoken ‘grubby’ realities of grappling with theory or method outside of the constraints of traditional taxonomy. He discussed the embodiment of research in the negotiation of commitments and the difficulties of crafting an academic identity between boundaries when jobs or journals tend to work within disciplinary constraints.
 

Dr Des Fitzgerald introduced by Prof. Joanna Latimer.
Whether interdisciplinary work is considered a trendy or embarrassing concern in academia, the event proved a vibrant space to explore how interdisciplinarity is made sense of by early career scholars and how it manifests in practice through imaginative means and impactful collaborations. The day ended by raising the question; is it possible for a scholar not to traverse boundaries and how can we embrace post-disciplinary thinking?
If you missed the event, the programme of speakers can be found here and the conversation continues on Twitter @isrconference17.
Many thanks to the Department of Sociology, Centre for Modern Studies and White Rose DTC for their generous support.
 

Border Zones: Documenting Life and Work Carried Out under Precarious Conditions

Wednesday 14 June 2017, 4.00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken
From NGOs, activist and arts-based projects to programs of research, feminists have sought and secured space for re-presenting women in the visual field. Feminist projects grounded in visual methods have tended to be under-theorized, however, in relying on the power of the image itself - particularly images of female suffering - to subvert the male gaze. Since visual images often invoke the spectator experience of unmediated access to the inner world of the subject, the evocative power of photographic images may readily reproduce forms of voyeurism.
Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken takes up these theoretical, ethical and methodological dilemmas in a presentation preceding the screening of her recent film, KUWEPO (running time 24 minutes)
KUWEPO” (“Being There” in Swahili) follows the daily lives of providers in Kenya as they work within the 2010 liberalized constitution to provide post-abortion care for women.  The film shows how providers in a range of neighborhoods and clinical settings operate within this new political landscape, even as reforms in the law continue to put women at risk for medical problems and death from unsafe abortions.
The screening is followed by discussion moderated by Professor Maggie O’Neill.
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker.  Haaken is author of Pillar of Salt: Gender, Memory and the Perils of Looking Back and Hard Knocks; Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling. She has directed and/or produced six feature-length films, including “Diamonds, Guns and Rice,” “Moving to the Beat,” “Guilty Except for Insanity,” “Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines,” and “Milk Men: The Life and Times of Dairy Farmers.” She has directed five short films, including two recent films on abortion providers produced through a team at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor that carries out anti-stigma research.
Location: Environment Building ENV/005
Admission: FREE (Eventbrite ticket)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Dates confirmed for 2017/18 'suite' of CA skills training courses:

1. Turn-Taking: 28-30 Nov 2017

2. Sequence Organisation: 12-14 Dec 2017
3. Repair: 17-19 April 2018
4. Word Selection: 22-24 May 2018
More details to follow soon

Conversation Analysis: An Introduction and Overview 12 June 2017

In the last thirty years, Conversation Analysis has become the preeminent method for the analysis of naturally occurring interaction. Despite its name, CA studies all forms of talk-in-interaction in institutional or work related settings as well as in ordinary conversation. It also studies embodied behaviours such as gaze, gesture, and movement. 

In this course, we introduce the history and principles of CA, sketch some of its main analytic procedures, and show how it offers a indepth view of how we use talk in social interaction, and how these analytic practices inform a radical methodology in sociology.

This course is recommended for people with no prior knowledge of CA who just want to get a basic understanding of its distinctive approach, and those who intend to go on to take the more technical CA skills training programmes offered in the Department.

Course Leaders: The course team will be Robin Wooffitt and Darren Reed
Location: University of York, Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS)
Fee: £75 (which includes tea/coffee and materials
Please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison to reserve your place 
sarah.shrive-morrison@york.ac.uk 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Traversing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Social Research


The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, The University of York

25 May 2017, 9:15am – 5:30pm

Keynote speakers: 
Dr Mark Coté, Kings College London
Professor Felicity Callard, Durham University
Dr Des Fitzgerald, Cardiff University


 
We are pleased to announce our conference for postgraduate students and researchers interested in Interdisciplinary Social Research. There is increasing interest in interdisciplinary research within the Social Sciences due to its ability to create impactful new knowledge and insights. But, what does this mean in practice? 
 
What kinds of interdisciplinary research are taking place?
How can we use theoretical approaches across disciplines?
What methodologies are employed?

How are methods implemented in or adapted for interdisciplinary research?

What impact can be made?
What are the challenges?
Who sets the research agenda?
 
Further questions can be sent to: isr-conference@york.ac.uk
 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Antinomies of data-driven public services: the case of regionalisation of adoption in England

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Speaker: Dr James Cornford, University of East Anglia
The adoption of children from care is a form of state-led family making – what Derek Kirton (2013) has called ‘Kinship by design.’ As a practice, it is reliant on a variety of forms of data that are gathered, organised and interpreted to inform the various agencies involved, including children and prospective adopters, social workers, psychologists and clinicians, the family courts, as well as policy makers and academics. The recent regionalisation of adoption, which can be traced back to Michael Gove’s time as Minister at the Department for Education, has sought to ‘radically redesign’ the whole adoption process, building systems around ‘the needs of children,’ incorporating the statutory and voluntary sectors to deliver ‘evidence-based decisions’ and ensuring that ‘the right accountability’ is in place (DfE, 2016). Reform has built on a greater use of large-scale data within the whole adoption system and a more systematic analysis and interpretation of that data (Dickens et al. 2014; Selwyn and Masson, 2014; Farmer and Dance, 2015).
This paper, part of a wider set of studies of how public services ‘think family’ (Cornford et al. 2013), examines the interaction different cultures of data in the reform of the adoption process in England drawing on action research in one regionalisation project. Different perspectives on data associated with different epistemological and moral positions give rise to a set of antinomies – retrospective versus prospective, population-level versus individual case- level, static versus dynamic, representational versus performative – that structure the field. The tentative conclusion is that creating a more data-driven adoption process is a more complex matter than at first might be imagined.
James Cornford

References

Cornford, J., Baines, S., & Wilson, R. (2012). Representing the family: how does the state ‘think family’? Policy and Politics, 41(1): 1-18.
DfE (2016). Adoption: A vision for Change (March). London: DfE.
Dickens, J., Beckett, C., & Bailey, S. (2014). Justice, speed and thoroughness in child protection court proceedings: Messages from England, Children and Youth Services Review, 46: 103–111.
Farmer, E., & Dance, C. (2015). Family Finding and Matching in Adoption: What Helps to Make a Good Match? British Journal of Social Work, 46(4): 974-992.
Kirton, D. (2013). ‘Kinship by Design’ in England: reconfiguring adoption from Blair to the Coalition, Child and Family Social Work, 18: 97-106.
Selwyn, J., & Masson, J.M. (2014). Adoption, special guardianship and residence orders: a comparison of disruption rates. Family Law Journal, 44: 1709-1714.
Location: Environment Building (next to Sociology), Lecture Theatre ENV/005

Vigilante Science: Examples, Trends and Causes

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 12.00pm to 1pm

Speaker: Dr Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé (SATSU Visitor)
I employ the term “Vigilante Science” – in analogy with the vigilante heroes in comic books – to describe cases whereby self-appointed individuals policing the claims, methods and governance of the scientific community have not been recognised by its members as legitimate authorities. Recent examples of vigilantism in science have occurred in climate science, social psychology and nutrition science. I will discuss the possibility of interpreting the alleged “Climategate” scandal, the “replication crisis” in psychology and the “sugar conspiracy” as evidence of a wider social trend of public suspicion, if not complete distrust, towards certain scientists. I will outline two historical and sociological causes for this trend: first, the progressive integration, over the last century, of the disputed sciences into government agendas and industries; and second, the expansion of formal education and the consequent emergence of a better-informed and more self-confident citizenry that is suspicious of the declared political autonomy of scientists.
Biography: Dr Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé is The Sociological Review Fellow of 2017. Prior to being awarded this writing fellowship based at Keele University, she was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London. In November 2015 Meritxell obtained a Ph.D. in STS from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis that examined the roles of trust and scepticism in science. Her academic interests are in the sociology of science and research methodology.
Location: Wentworth College W/243

After Prison: Can we leave Imprisonment Behind?

Thursday 11 May 2017, 2.00pm to 17:00

Speaker: various
The UK prison system is under unparalleled strain, and for many, is simply not working. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice (2016) show that in 2014 approximately 56,000 adult offenders were released, of whom 45.5% re-offended within one year. This symposium is a direct response to these challenges. It offers researchers and academics a space to collaborate and reflect on current issues with incarceration in the UK and to consider a future system of punishment that is effective and humane for both the individual and society. We will discuss a diverse range of ideas including alternatives to imprisonment, re-offending rates, desistance, and even abolition.  
This interdisciplinary event is provided free of charge to support the launch of CrimNet at the University of York. 
Location: University of York - ReCCS Training Suite, Room YH/001B 

Inside the Asylum: Material Life in Lunatic Asylums in Victorian and Edwardian England

Wednesday 10 May 2017, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Speaker: Dr Jane Hamlett, Royal Holloway, University of London
This talk will explore the material worlds of 'lunatic asylums' (as they were known to contemporaries) in Victorian and Edwardian England. The asylum often figures in the popular imagination as a dark and forbidding place, in which inmates were incarcerated indefinitely. However, recent research has revised this picture, examining the agenda behind the treatment and care provided for patients. In this talk I will examine the material culture of the asylum – using a survey of surviving archives to show how asylums were built and planned, how they were organised on an everyday basis, and the routines and rituals by which patients lived. While the built environment was used to control patients, it could sometimes allow small freedoms, and material goods such as personal items and clothing might be the means of building or maintaining a sense of self within the institution. 
The talk focuses on six institutions that I studied in depth including three public asylums for pauper patients, Hanwell, Brookwood and Long Grove; institutions for middle and upper-class patients including Ticehurst, Holloway Sanatorium and Bethlem Hospital, as well as the criminal lunatic asylum Broadmoor. The built environment of these institutions were often remarkably different and were shaped by contemporary ideas of class and gender. However, from the mid-century, they were all heavily influenced by prevailing ideas of middle-class domesticity and they developed surprisingly homelike interiors, often decorated in the style of a middle-class parlour or drawing room. While the imposition of domestic life was the ideal in these places, an investigation of their day to day material operations reveals a turbulent, battered and patched material world in which discipline and order often failed. Where possible I will explore patient responses to their environments, and in addition to the records produced by the institutions themselves I will draw on a rare cache of patient letters to show what patients thought and felt about the material worlds that were created for them.
BiographyDr Jane Hamlett is a Reader in Modern British History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her early research explored the material culture of the Victorian middle-class home and was published in her first book Material Relations: Middle-Class Families and Domestic Interiors in England, 1850-1910 (MUP, 2010). She recently led the ESRC-funded At Home in the Institution Project at Royal Holloway, examining the material world of asylums, schools and lodging houses. Her second book At Home in the Institution: Material Life in Asylums, Schools and Lodging Houses in Victorian and Edwardian England came out with Palgrave in 2015. She is currently leading a new AHRC-funded project on 'Pets and Family Life in England and Wales, 1837-1939'. At Royal Holloway she is Deputy Head of Department for History and co-directs the Centre for the Study of the Body and Material Culture. 
Jane Hamlett  Broadmoor Dorm  Holloway Sanatorium
Location: Biology B/B/006 (Was ENV/005)

Curiosity and the City: Mosque Open Days in Sydney and London

Wednesday 3 May 2017, 3.00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker: Professor Richard Phillips, University of Sheffield
Human curiosity - about and with others - has the potential to draw people together, to produce connections within diverse societies. This potential is not always realized though, and curiosity can be risky. One particular risk is associated with the power relations of taking an interest in others, potentially objectifying them as curios. Curious subjects do sometimes lord it over the objects of their curiosity. The asymmetrical power relations of at least some expressions of human curiosity are illustrated in a Human Library scheme, pioneered in Denmark and replicated elsewhere, which invites questions to ‘human books’: Muslims, people living with HIV, and so on. This project is well-meaning and in many ways successful, but it objectifies the human library books, and primarily empowers the ‘readers’. And yet, it is possible to navigate the power relations of curiosity in more emancipatory ways. The ‘Ask Any Question Café’, part of an open day at Gallipoli Mosque in Sydney’s diverse western suburbs, restores some reciprocity to the conversations that follow. This café offered visitors coffee and invited to put questions to their Muslim hosts, who take ownership of the curiosity that is already directed at them. This, and mosque open days elsewhere, encourage and channel versions of curiosity, doing so in accordance with their own agendas and interests, which include challenging stereotypes and prejudices, bridging communities and building solidarities.
Biography:
Richard Phillips’s research spans a series of contrasting yet connected themes:
  • The World after Empire: themes include Muslim geographies and postcolonial cities
  • Sexuality, Space and Power: constructions and contestations of sexual identities
  • Curiosity and Adventure: from children’s books to health and wellbeing policies
Richard is also very interested in geographical education, particularly fieldwork and other forms of curiosity-driven learning, so his research and teaching are closely connected. Richard taught at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Salford and Liverpool before taking up a Chair in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield in 2012.
Richard Phillips
Location: Environment Building/ENV/005

Colonial Genealogies of the Deserving Poor: From Abolition to Brexit

Wednesday 26 April 2017, 3.00pm to 4.00pm

Speaker: Professor Robbie Shilliam
This talk aims to provide a historical context to contemporary debates over the “white working class” by accounting for the development of this constituency through a postcolonial genealogy of British empire. The objective is to account for the racialization of the distinction between deserving and underserving poor, a distinction through which the “white working class” materialises as a constituency, and to chart the consistent shifting of these racialized coordinates across imperial time and space. The aim is to demonstrate that the “white working class” is neither an indigenous constituency, nor its own progenitor, but rather a product of struggles to consolidate and defend British imperial order, which shaped the postcolonial compact of British society. It follows, then, that contemporary retrievals of the white working class as “deserving” of social security follow a deeply entrenched inability to consider social justice outside of the framework of race and empire. As Britain prepares for the first time to carve out a national economy from an imperial, commonwealth and European hinterland, this talk wishes to clarify the stakes at play.
Shilliam
Location: Alcuin AEW/104

Thursday, 30 March 2017


Professor O'Neill of York University's Sociology dept is to have her work screened at a London film festival  


A film developed  from a walk Maggie O'Neill took with professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken, as part of O'Neill's Leverhulme Fellowship, filmed by Nelli Stavropoulou (PhD student supervised by O'Neill) Is shortlisted and will be screened at the London independent film festival Saturday April 15th. http://www.liff.org

From Portland's Walk of the Heroines to London's streets, Professor Maggie O'Neill invites academic and filmmaker Jan Haaken to re-imagine a route from a place she calls home to a new place of belonging and to walk this route across a different geographical, cultural and visual landscape, in London. 

Left to Right:. Jan Haaken, Maggie O'Neill, Nelli Stavropoulou

Drawing on ideas about culture, memory and borders--how human migrations involve seeking out places of familiarity and recognition, the walk opens up a space for dialogue where embodied knowledge, experience and memories can be shared. 

The Walk of the Heroines project re-traced in London's urban landscape tells us something about what a society really values and why there are so few monuments to our heroines. 

Combining archival footage and walking methods, Feminists Walking the City, invites new forms of cinematic storytelling that adopt dialogical practices and encourage interplays between private and public memory, while also exploring the relations between history, belonging and lived experience. 

This short documentary has been funded by The Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow Project: Methods on the Move: Experiencing and Imagining Borders, Risk & Belonging and is supported by the University of York and Portland State University. 

American novelist Alice Walker is quoted on Portland's Walk of the Heroines hardscape - a quote that is as fitting for these London walkers as for those who travel the streets of Portland: 

Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and respect for strength- in search of my mother's garden, I found my own. - Alice Walker, 1974


Monday, 13 March 2017

Ways of Telling: Methods, Narratives and Solidarities in Migration Studies

King’s Manor Huntingdon Suite
University of York 26-27 May 2017

Call for Papers
Writing about the experience of the migrant worker in A Seventh Man, John Berger and his collaborator, the photographer Jean Mohr observed that 

“the migrant is not so much on the margins of modern life, but absolutely central to it”.

In his best known work, Ways of Seeing, Berger wrote “[t]he relation between what we see and what we know is never settled” and this insight is equally relevant to what we say and how we talk about “the migrant experience”. In a 1984 interview with Geoff Dyer, Berger spoke of “a gut solidarity with those without power, with the underprivileged” and it is in this spirit that we have decided to focus the inaugural University of York Migration Network conference on the theme of “Ways of Telling: Methods, Narratives and Solidarities in Migration Studies”.

Paper proposals are invited that deal with the theme of examining the migrant experience from the often neglected perspective of migrants and refugees themselves, while also drawing on the accounts of researchers, activists and practitioners, together with the work of artists and writers and others with an interest in migration and its representations.

Potential topics for papers might include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Children and unaccompanied young asylum seekers
  • the migrant “crisis” in Europe
  • migration and health outcomes
  • migration and education
  • grass roots movements supporting forced migrants
  • migration and “security”
  • borders, risk and belonging
  •  migration, welfare and policy
  • migration and development
  •  migration and humanitarianism
  •  migrant life writing, biography and autobiography
  • representations of migration and exile in the arts and popular culture   

The conference will feature key findings from the recently research project “Precarious Trajectories: Understanding the Human Cost of the Migrant Crisis in the Central Mediterranean” led by Dr Simon Parker and the ongoing Leverhulme Trust project “Methods on the Move: experiencing and imagining borders, risk and belonging” led by Professor Maggie O’Neill. The conference will also include a plenary on the “Arts and Migration” by Counterpoints Arts and findings from the PASAR: Participatory Arts and Social Action in Research led by Dr Umut Erel.

We particularly welcome proposals for papers that discuss new and innovative methods in migration studies.

Abstracts of not more than 150 words should be sent to mignet@york.ac.uk with “Ways of Telling” in the subject line no later than Friday 28 April 2017. A small conference fee of £15 will apply to non-White Rose Network (York, Sheffield and Leeds universities) delegates to cover the cost of registration and refreshments.

Graduate students are also warmly encouraged to send paper proposals to the associated postgraduate conference (with whom we are collaborating): Traversing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Social Research on Wednesday 25 May 2017 http://store.york.ac.uk/product-catalogue/sociology/postgraduate-conference-2017/traversing-boundaries-interdisciplinary-social-research