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

Deport Deprive Extradite: State Extremism and Expulsion

Speakers include Arun Kundnani, Rafia Zakaria, Gargi Bhattacharyya, Luke De Noronha, Arzu Merali and Nisha Kapoor.


In the spiralling forms of state-led violence that mark the current moment we are witnessing the intensification of powers to expel people in various ways. We see this through the expansion and routinisation of deportation programmes, through the investments in modes of incarceration and through the retraction and deprivation of citizenships. The legitimation and enhancement of such forms of state violence pivot around the construction of unruly and threatening subjects; racialized bodies that in the context of the War on Terror are fronted through politicized representations of Muslims, blacks, refugees and immigrants as terrorist suspects.

It is arguably in these most extreme cases - of those identified and surveilled as terrorist suspects and foreign criminals - that we see most clearly how state powers are being enhanced. In this workshop we aim to explore and unpack the stories of those who are criminalised and dehumanised through the War on Terror, reflect on the implications of this, consider the processes and techniques that the state is using to expel undesired subjects and what they indicate about the nature of the security state in the current moment

Monday, 6 March 2017

Food is a Feminist Issue: Media, Bodies, Appetites

30 June 2017
University of York, UK

In 1978 Susie Orbach declared fat a feminist issue. This slim volume of writing put forward a radical new understanding of feminine embodiment and the gendered psychology of eating. Taking place almost four decades later, this one-day conference will revisit the terrain explored by Orbach and open out new themes of analysis by examining contemporary feminist perspectives on food. Of particular concern are the ways in which food cultures intersect with or map onto broader social rationalities and political programmatics. These issues have been productively pursued in recent analyses of the shift in dieting discourse from a concern with weight to a preoccupation with health (Cairns & Johnston, 2015), alongside the turn to interiority as part of a more general revaluation of domesticity (Dejmanee, 2015). Yet there remains further work to be done here, particularly in light of changing patterns in the cultural landscape of postfeminism (Gill, 2016; McRobbie, 2015).

This event will bring together scholars from across a range of disciplinary locations — sociology, psychology, media and cultural studies, geography and social policy – to address questions such as: What does the continued stigmatisation of fatness and the heightened stylisation of fitness suggest about contemporary formations of femininity? How do new kinds of cultural intermediaries feed existing moral economies of consumer-citizenship? How can we understand the ubiquity of food-related content on social media? What does it mean for food to be so heavily mediated, and what role does media play in stimulating, curtailing, or managing appetites? How can feminist scholarship resist the tendency to moralise dietary practices while addressing inequalities and violences? How do we complicate logics of personal responsibility even as we strive for environmental sustainability? What might a feminist politics of food look like, and what kinds of tools and resources are needed for this?

We are pleased to confirm that Susie Orbach will open the conference with a keynote address. A round table featuring several leading feminist scholars will conclude the day’s discussions (full list of speakers to be confirmed).


Papers are invited on themes including but not limited to:

- Food work
- Aesthetic labour and beauty politics
- Corporeality and digital culture 
- Healthism and the medicalisation of everyday life 
- Consumption and entrepreneurship
- Bodies of knowledge and knowledge politics
- Dietary regimes and exceptional foodstuffs: ‘5: 2’, ‘clean’, ‘paleo’, ‘superfoods’
- Metrics, quantification, algorithms, apps
- ‘Fitness’ as cultural idiom
- Narcissism and sexual politics
- The economics and politics of austerity
- Hunger

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to: foodisafeministissue@gmail.com

Please also include a short biographical note (50-100 words) with details of main research interests and current academic affiliation, if any.


Deadline for submissions: 14 April 2017