Participatory Workshops, Panels, Film Sessions and Visual Displays

Hands-on participatory activities: Interactive workshops

Format: Hands-on participatory activities
Facilitators: Alke Gröppel-Wegener and Katy Vigurs
Title: Make Your Own Sociological Research Game
Abstract: What’s your favourite board game? Monopoly? Risk? The Game of Life? Snakes and Ladders? Most board games can be looked at from a sociological perspective – and can be used to teach something about the society they are describing, whether directly or indirectly.

This workshop practically explores the board game format to visualise specific processes by creating our own board games that illustrate the process of designing and conducting a social research project.

Using as a basis your knowledge of a specific social study, we will explore three building blocks in putting a board game together: visualisation of processes (for example the flow chart or timeline), visual metaphors to reflect an appropriate context in an illustrative way, as well as the everyday concept of board games we are all familiar with (simple game mechanics, such as random events happening).

This workshop is for people who are conducting social research projects themselves or who are teaching how to conduct them to novices. If you are at the research preparation stage, this will help you think about your planning in a visual way and assist you in organising your thoughts. If you are in the middle of carrying out your project, this will help you keep track of what you have already done, and what is still to do. If you have completed a project, this can become a document that will help with the dissemination of the project – a fun way of sharing the process with outsiders.

No matter what stage of the research project you are at, designing your own board game themed around this process will help you to think about the different steps that comprise the research process and to identify both your strengths as a social scientist and the issues you currently find challenging.

This workshop is being co-facilitated by Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener and Dr Katy Vigurs, who have bonded over their passion for making academic practice both visible and accessible, and have come together to adapt and join some of their previous works specifically for social researchers at the Sociological Review Conference. After a brief introduction to ‘Tactile Academia’, Alke’s approach to visualising hidden academic practices by using creative processes, we will go through the stages of visualising processes, creating visual metaphors and designing game mechanics in order to arrive at our own board game prototypes. We will use ‘The Boardgame Blueprint’, one of Alke’s teaching resources as an example of this process. At the end we will discuss the prototype board games created, thinking more deeply about their value for making visible the sometimes hidden processes of sociological research and how this can be creatively communicated with others.

Format: Hands-on participatory activities: Art and performance
Facilitators: Sara Ismail and Emilia Robinson
Title: Undisciplining the Habitual: A Practice for Getting Comfortable in Public Space
Abstract: This workshop combines approaches from performance and sociology to explore and challenge how social discipline is embodied in public spaces.

Social discipline is embodied as a limitation of one’s movement choices in public spaces, especially if such space is one of an academic conference. Through a corporeal, feminist, practice-based research framework, the workshop explores the idea of being comfortable and ‘undisciplined’ as an act of resistance within social spaces. The core objective of this workshop is to create an explorative environment in which participants are invited to reflect, challenge and unpack shared understanding of how self and social-discipline is embodied.  

Participants will be guided through a somatic process of ‘tuning-in’ and ‘body-scanning’ as a tool for being comfortable and cultivating sense-perception, before carrying this experience into the public conference space. Whilst observing the negotiation between their own comfort and the unspoken rules of space, we will ask: how is your comfort limited and how can you subvert that within the soma? The workshop will conclude with a creative reflective process and group discussion.

Whilst offering an epistemological strategy, the workshop also aims to open up an interdisciplinary dialogue and encourage an exchange between sociological perspectives and embodied praxis.

Sara Ismail is a performance maker, Feldenkrais Method practitioner-in-training and a PhD researcher in Drama and Sociology at Goldsmiths, UoL. Emilia Robinson is a dance artist, teacher and PhD researcher in Drama, Theatre and Dance at Royal Holloway, UoL, supported by TECHNE (AHRC). Their previous collaborative performance and research projects sit within notions of phenomenological experience and perception of self, always in relation to another.  

Performances and installations

Format: literary performance
Facilitator: Janna Klostermann
Title: HOW TO RECOVER FROM CARE!
Abstract: My Mom’s debilitating sense of justice was a hard thing to shake. So were her altruistic ideals about care. Blending comedic one-liners and philosophical insights, this literary performance engages the everyday politics and poetics of the care crisis, while challenging normative, well-meaning efforts to value and improve care. Telling stories from the ass end of the care crisis, I report on my experiences recovering from care work, recovering from open heart surgery, and recovering from seeing care as a lone, moral practice (not a social or political one). I tell awkward stories about the classed politics of care, about the complexity of ethical and political action, and about growing up in a clown car in central Ontario Canada. Through this, I contribute to ongoing feminist efforts to politicize care work. I lift up the work of feminist care scholars who argue vulnerability is central to the human condition and care is central to political life. Raising them one, I inject some comedy and theatricality into the assertion that care is vital and necessary and our flourishing depends on it. I go for broke, second-guessing the utility of kindness and clearing space for participants to write, doodle or contemplate how (or whether or not) framing care as a virtuous, moral practice pins some people (and not others) in place.

Short interventions

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Des Fitzgerald, Amy Hinterberger, John Narayan, Ros Williams and Jenny Reardon
Title: Diagnosis Brexit: Health, justice, and the biopolitics of revanchism
Abstract: Since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, a range of analyses have tried to figure this phenomenon, and the revanchist urges that underpin it, via the politics of poverty and class (Goodwin and Heath, 2016), ethnicity and ‘race’ (Uberoi, 2016), nation and region (Armstrong, 2016), gender and sexuality (Guerrina et al., 2016), and more. Less discussed, however, is the relationship between Brexit and the politics of health. This is striking. As Danny Dorling (2016) has pointed out: ONS figures released on the same day as the referendum, suggested an unprecedented country-wide rise in mortality, showing that the UK will be the first EU state for many years to see overall falls in its life expectancy – figures directly linked to austerity. Meanwhile, the promise of an additional £350 million for the NHS post-Brexit – though banal in its untruth – drew momentum from old but never-fully-forgotten nationalist, biological and xenophobic sentiments about who belongs, and who is entitled to receive tge provisions of justice, including access to health-care and medicine (Williams and Hinterberger 2016). And immediately after the vote, the Government published its life sciences industrial strategy, focusing, inter alia, on support for biomedical innovation in the NHS, and the ongoing recruitment of works form the EU and beyond (Bell, 2017). Albeit in very different ways, these examples offer an opportunity for sociologists to consider how the politics of health is central to moments political transformation, and not a peripheral or marginal concern (Fitzgerald, 2017).

In this workshop, we draw on such developments to re-situate sociological analyses of Brexit, and related phenomena. We ask: how might the politics of Brexit might be understood – at least in part – as a politics of health? How could sociological attention to the life sciences unravel some of the ways in which life, in its turn, is coming to matter in these debates? What would we gain, analytically, by foregrounding biopolitics in sociological accounts of the present, and in thereby developing new intersections between sociology, health research, science and technology studies, and related areas? And finally: how might such a biopolitical focus help us to connect Brexit to related international developments, including the election of Donald Trump, whose campaign leaned heavily on his own sense of genetic vitality, and the presumed ill-health of his opponent (see Giraud, 2017).

The workshop will feature short (<10 minute) interventions from four speakers, with a discussant, before opening into a wider discussion, and inviting contributions and debate from attendees. Confirmed participants are all sociologist of science and medicine, who have worked to connect their core research to contemporary political developments. Participants are (in alphabetical order): Des Fitzgerald (Cardiff); Amy Hinterberger (Warwick); John Narayan (Birmingham City); Ros Williams (Sheffield). Jenny Reardon (UC Santa Cruz) will act as Chair and discussant.

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Stephen Crossley, Becky Clarke, Kayleigh Garthwaite, Dan Silver and Patrick Williams
Title: From the sociological imagination to the democratic imagination
Abstract: In recent times, and for various reasons, there has been a renewed focus on the role of social science outside of the academy. Some of this focus has come from the impact agenda which critics argue advances a highly individualised and instrumental approach to social scientific research. Arguments for other forms of critically engaged scholarship have come from other areas, with sociologists proposing approaches such as public sociology, live sociology, punk sociology, and DIY sociology.

This workshop aims to contribute to and develop these debates, by adopting a slightly different perspective, which aims to articulate and develop a more connected practice for public sociology, moving beyond an, at times, narrow focus on transmitting ideas more effectively to a non-tangible ‘public’. The workshop will feature a short introduction to the session and the concept of ‘the democratic imagination’ and four brief presentations which highlight ongoing and emerging practice which we hope will open up new avenues for discussion and challenge, both during and after the workshop:

  • Becky Clarke and Patrick Williams (Manchester Metropolitan University) will discuss their work with the ‘Sites of Resistance’ collective, that has worked with a number of justice campaigns, arguing that research should be interventionist, and that knowledge must be active in seeking to not only expose, but also to disrupt.
  • Kayleigh Garthwaite (University of Birmingham) will discuss her time spent volunteering in a food bank, her work with a number of different publics, and her developing interest in participant led walking methodologies
  • Stephen Crossley (Northumbria University) will discuss his work in talking about theory with practitioners, and the role that alliances with practitioners can play in muckraking sociology
  • Dan Silver (Manchester University) will discuss his PhD research which re-positions ideas of public sociology and policy science to develop a radical democratic approach to evaluation, based on an open and dialogic research orientation that brings together everyday and theoretical knowledge to support evidence-based democratic innovation

We intend to structure the debate by asking delegates, in small groups and using participatory methods, to consider and discuss:

  • Their own work, and ways in which it contributes to ‘the democratic imagination’.
  • Challenges to the approaches set out in the presentations
  • Gaps between what is being done and what could be done
  • Where do we go from here?

There will be no PowerPoints, panel discussion or traditional ‘Q & A’ and feedback session. We will make the room a democratic space with no ‘front’ or ‘back’. We are conscious that in proposing radical new practices, we should not be doing this using traditional techniques. We will produce a creative report of the conversation held at the workshop to be published in digital longform (which could be hosted on the Sociological Review website) to help sustain and develop the conversation after the conference.

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Anna Bull and Tiffany Page
Title: ‘The Girls Get Younger Every Year’. Theorising staff sexual misconduct in higher education
Abstract: Sexual misconduct perpetrated by university staff towards students and junior colleagues has been an open secret in academia for decades. This includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, forms of grooming, sexual invitations, and use of power to gain sexual access. Despite this awareness, there is very little empirical research in this area, particularly in the UK. As a result, it can be difficult to name staff sexual misconduct when it occurs, to make it visible, and to instigate and improve institutional responses to it. In addition, researching in this area leads to a tension between activism and a wider theoretical understanding; sector organisations want speedy solutions but providing these can mean avoiding asking the difficult questions that this issue raises.

This workshop draws on a fictional account of staff sexual misconduct as well as empirical data from three recent quantitative and qualitative research projects in this area (examining policies, experiences and institutional responses to sexual misconduct) to discuss how we should theorise sexual misconduct in higher education in ways that allow this issue to be named, recognised, and acted on.

At the beginning of the conference, before the workshop, we will recruit participants for a play reading of Phil Thomas’ short play about staff sexual misconduct in higher education, The Girls Get Younger Every Year, and will hold a rehearsal. The workshop itself will start by suggesting a set of ground rules for the session, leading into the play reading and a 15 minute introduction to the current landscape and ongoing research in this area from the workshop facilitators. We will introduce three concepts for discussion: vulnerability, institutional sexism, and embodied authority.

In groups of 4-6 people, workshop participants will then be given data excerpts or publicly available data to discuss (in line with ethical approval for each project and with explicit permission from participants for the qualitative data excerpts). We will invite each group to answer the question, ‘What is going on here?’ in the data they have been given, using the concepts introduced earlier, or other concepts that they may wish to introduce themselves. The workshop will finish with groups sharing their ideas and a discussion of theoretical and practical ways forward on this issue.

The workshop is run by two co-founders of The 1752 Group, a research and lobby organisation working to address sexual misconduct in higher education the UK. We regret that this workshop will not be able to provide a safe space for people to share experiences of sexual misconduct. For confidential, anonymous support and advice we suggest calling Rape Crisis (freephone 0808 802 9999) and looking at resources on our website http://www.1752group.com.

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Jana Bacevic, Sarah Amsler, Sinead D’Silva, Cesar Guzman-Concha and Richard Hall
Title: Undisciplining: thinking knowledge production without the university
Abstract: The consensus in humanities and social sciences today seems to be that the university is in deep crisis. The causes of this crisis are located within the shift in knowledge-ownership from public to private, and the associated measuring of the value of education in economic or monetary terms, reflected not only in rising tuition fees and student debt, but also in growing precarization of academic workforce and increased pressure on institutions and people to conform to a competitive, market-oriented model and ethos of knowledge production. These trends have been associated with neoliberalism, and analysed in terms of quantification, commodification, financialisation and performativity.

Our workshop starts from the assumption that, instead of contributing to the already existing analyses, we need to start rethinking knowledge production without the university. Alternatives to current models of knowledge production more often than not rely on universities for recognition, labour force, or infrastructure, inadvertently reaffirming – if not reproducing – their privileged position in the context of knowledge production. The crisis of the university, in this sense, seems also to be a crisis of the imagination: it appears almost impossible to imagine a world in which universities do not play a role.

This workshop aims to provide collaborative spaces to develop ideas about such a world. It does so informed by the belief that the role of universities in the history of capitalist modernity means that thinking about alternatives to current modes of knowledge production cannot proceed without attempting to dislodge the university from its central position. Rather than delving into ever-more-intricate diagnoses of what is wrong with universities, it aims to kick off discussions around the following issues:

(1)   How can we conceive of learning/epistemologies that decentre the university? (Sarah Amsler, University of Nottingham)

(2)   What kind of writing/publishing practices can support knowledge generation outside of the university? (Jana Bacevic, University of Cambridge)

(3) Are there elements of universities worth salvaging/appropriating? (Richard Hall, De Montfort University)

(4) What organizational forms could work for knowledge production without the university? (César Guzman-Concha, independent researcher); How can we confront organizational issues related to working outside/on the boundaries of universities? (Sinéad D’Silva, University of Leeds)

The session moderators will start a public discussion/collaborative blog to discuss these topics leading up to the conference, which will continue after it. The session itself will be comprised of short introductions/provocations, after which participants are invited to join breakout sessions with moderators to discuss ideas on these topics. In the final bit, moderators will present summaries of discussions on each topic, leading to concrete proposals about alternatives to knowledge production without the university.

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Heather Mew and Tracey Herrington and Thrive volunteers
Title: ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us, is For Us: collaborative research and practical solutions for Universal Credit’
Abstract: Full rollout of Universal Credit is expected to be completed by December 2018 and the IFS (2016) have calculated that approximately 2.1 million working families will face reductions in their entitlements by £1600 on average.  Furthermore, Universal Credit will introduce conditionality on those already in employment, arguably as part of the continued attempt to convert “the welfare benefits system into a lever for changing behaviour” (Rodger, 2008: 87).  With this in mind, it is essential that academics, researchers and charities work collaboratively to mitigate these impacts.  This short intervention seeks to get us thinking about what we can do to work collaboratively, to centre the voices of those affected by Universal Credit, and to effect real positive change.

We will first consider what truly collaborative research looks like.  How can we ensure that research relationships with the third sector are reciprocal and beneficial to both parties?  Who owns the research and gets to make claims to its findings?  And how can we move our research outcomes beyond academic publishing, with a full and genuine commitment to disseminating results in a way which benefits the communities being researched?  Next we will turn our attentions to the lived impacts of Universal Credit.  We seek to challenge dominant hierarchies between the researcher and the researched, by re-centring the voices of those who are at the receiving end of Universal Credit as the experts by experience.  The workshop will then break into groups, each one facilitated by one of our Universal Credit experts, and consider what practical and achievable things we can do as a research community to work collaboratively on Universal Credit.  

It is our belief that sociological research is not only enriched by collaborative research which centres the voices of those with lived experience, but that to not do so is our failing as a researcher.  The emphasis of this workshop, therefore, is to develop practical steps which we can take to ensure that our future research and dissemination is beneficial for the communities who we are working alongside.  It is our hope that the group discussion will provide some practical ideas about how we can move forward with Universal Credit, not only as individuals but also as a wider research community.  

This workshop will be delivered by Heather Mew, a PhD student at Newcastle University, and Tracey Herrington, the manager of Thrive – a Stockton-on-Tees based charity which works to empower those living in poverty.  Four individual experts with experience of Universal Credit will also give their testimonies and help facilitate group discussion.  

Browne, J., Hood, A. and Joyce, R. (2016) Universal credit cuts support for working families, but helps make work pay where current system creates worst problems. Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Rodger, J. (2008) Criminalising Social Policy: Anti-social behaviour and welfare in a decivilized society. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Format: Short intervention
Facilitators: Ruth Pearce, Sally Hines, Ruari McAlister, Michael Toze and Francis Ray White
Title: Transgender Parenthood, Reproductive Futures
Abstract: Changing social and cultural attitudes about gender and sexual diversity, along with legal and scientific advances, have enabled the recognition of numerous new forms of reproduction and parenthood in recent decades. Assistive technologies such as IVF and same-sex parenting practices have received increasing social and cultural visibility, and emerged as central sites of enquiry within sociological studies of gender, sexuality, intimacy, kinship and personal life.

Transgender practices of reproduction and parenting have, however, received much less attention. Moreover, trans people wishing to form families continue to face a range of social, legal and medical barriers to parenthood. This workshop will comprise three short interventions and a facilitated debate involving scholars and artists working in the emerging field of trans parenthood, who will reflect on current challenges and opportunities for trans reproduction.

Michael Toze will critically analyse UK medical practice and the law with regards to trans fertility and parenthood. In April 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that compulsory sterilisation of trans people was a breach of human rights. Sterilisation is a legal requirement in multiple EU countries, but has never formally been mandated in the UK. However, UK legislative frameworks do not clearly address the parental status of trans people who have children post-transition, and UK medical guidelines actively encourage some sterilising interventions (notably hysterectomy), despite clinical evidence being weak. At the same time, guidance for trans people on preventing pregnancy through contraception has been unavailable until very recently. Toze will analyse this apparent contradiction from a feminist stance, arguing that while the UK has never explicitly prohibited trans reproduction, legislative and social structures have tended to disregard and exclude it.

Members of the Trans Pregnancy Project will draw on initial data from ESRC-funded research to consider the ways in which transmasculine practices of pregnancy and birth bring new meanings to the gendered nature of parenting. Using case studies from in-depth interviews with trans men and non-binary individuals who have become pregnant and given birth after beginning a gender transition, the researchers will explore how issues surrounding parenting identity are experienced through pregnancy and birth.

Ruari McAlister will explore how new assistive reproductive technologies could offer trans individuals opportunities that until now have been beyond their reach. Both current and future developments, such as womb transplantation and artificial gametes, could significantly improve the lives of trans individuals. In particular, they could offer many trans individuals the chance to experience gestation and reproduction in ways that, until now, have been impossible. McAlister will argue that, should current barriers be removed or overcome, the future for trans individuals is bright.

This workshop will affirm the right to bodily integrity and autonomy for trans people. Attendees will be encouraged to consider and discuss: the relationship between the gendered body and cultural discourses of pregnancy and birth; how current assumptions and practices shape the support provided to trans people regarding their bodies and reproductive options; and how medical and legal frameworks might be developed to better take account of diverse needs.

Panels

Format: Panel
Facilitators: Saskia Papadakis, Chantelle Lewis and Tissot Regis
Title: Surviving Society: Podcasting to get through your PhD
Abstract: Welcome to Surviving Society, a political podcast from a sociological perspective.

We are Chantelle, Saskia and Tissot, and we are three PhD students living in London. We started this podcast in September 2017, and every episode we each pick a topic that has exercised us and examine it sociologically.

We propose a panel discussion on the value of podcasts as:

  • Public sociology. By making private troubles into public issues, we aim to bring sociological problems into the public sphere and the struggles of daily life into the university.
  • A platform for us to challenge the entrenched inequalities in the university, particularly around ‘race’, gender, class and privilege. As minorities in academia, we see our podcasts as a form of activism and solidarity, a space where we can critique the whiteness of the university and common-sense understandings of ‘race’ and ethnicity.
  • A way of managing loneliness that can be part of PhD research. We use our podcasts to vent frustration, play with, share and develop ideas, and to support each other in our research.
  • Self-care. All of us struggle with various mental illnesses, and the structure of fortnightly recordings is critical to maintaining hope and self-worth in our daily lives.
  • Preparation for an academic career. Articulating our thoughts, connecting with other researchers, and promoting our work are all skills and experiences that we will need when working in universities in the future.

Format: Panel
Facilitators: Dave O’Brien Orian, Brook Linda, Neil Griffiths and young people project participants
Title: From social mobility to social justice: Reflections on Panic 2018- Its an Arts Emergency
Abstract: This workshop brings together academics, third sector, and campaigning organisations, along with young people to discuss the current state of sociological thinking on social mobility, with a particular focus on artistic and cultural occupations. The discussion opens with some reflections from two academics who have worked on these questions, to contextualise then foreground the interventions from the non-academic partners. Following this, the workshop turns to the lived experience of addressing and transforming the lack of mobility demonstrated by sociological research. Arts Emergency and Create London will both discuss their work on social justice and social class in the arts; Create focused on an artistic commission and series of events in Spring 2018; Arts Emergency focused on a project by young people into the perceptions of arts and humanities degrees and careers for young people, and what/who their main influencers are.

By foregrounding these perspectives, the workshop aims to show how arts organisations might better organise with researchers to raise public consciousness of these issues; the successes of campaigning on inequality; and, most crucially, how the lived experience of young people might open new directions and new ideas for the sociology of social mobility.

Films

Session:  Migration, work and multi-culture

Format: Short films
Facilitators:  Ben Rogaly and Jay Gearing
Title: Workers
Abstract: This series of ten short films (3-5 minutes each) offer a bottom-up critique of the degradation of employment conditions in the food production, packing and retail distribution sectors in and around the city of Peterborough, England.  The films also draw attention to the everyday creativity of factory and warehouse workers outside the workplace that is often unnoticed or undervalued yet is part of what makes Peterborough such a vibrant city. A diverse range of people from all backgrounds are involved as subjects of the films, including recent international migrants and white and BAME British people. The films refute stereotypes about workers and about migrants. Moreover, the people who appear in the films have been involved as much as possible in the creative process of making them. We have worked together to explore people’s creativity in making intensive work manageable, or at least bearable, for example through humour, forming friendships across ethnic or national social boundaries, or getting one over on the boss. The films are a collaboration between an academic geographer, who since October 2016 has been Writer-in-Residence at MetalPeterborough, and Peterborough-born award-winning film-maker and former factory and warehouse worker Jay Gearing of Paper Rhino Films. They are part of the AHRC-funded Creative Interruptions project (creativeinterruptions.com).

Format: Short film
Facilitator: Bethan Harries
Title: The Barber Shop
Abstract:The Barber Shop ca ptures the genteel everyday convivialities of life in a male hairdressers in Rusholme, Manchester. Focusing on a single working day in ‘Sharp Scissors’, the film explores the ordinary routines and interactions of the barbers and their clients.

Rusholme is a multicultural neighbourhood in south Manchester and is perhaps best known for its ‘curry mile’. As such it has often found itself at the centre of questions about how we live together, typically through a lens that problematises difference. This film steps away from engaging with these questions and focuses instead on the intimacies between barbers and clients developed during and alongside their haircare and personal grooming regimens. Yet in doing so, it disrupts many of the well-worn tropes around race, religion and gender and gives a light-hearted glance at friendship and alternative masculinities.

Session: Art and Activism

Format: Short film
Facilitators: Ala Sirriyeh, Set Hernandez, Ju Hong, Claudia Ron Gkilyo, Suarez and Bo Thai
Title: Coming out of the shadows: undocumented youth, art and activism in the US
Abstract: Coming out of the shadows: undocumented youth, art and activism in the US

The panel will showcase films and artwork by four undocumented young organisers who are artists/filmmakers (California). Each contribution explores what it is like to live in the US as a young undocumented immigrant. There are 2.2 million undocumented children and young people who arrived in the US as minors. In the 2000s the undocumented youth movement emerged onto the political scene through a campaign for the federal DREAM Act which, had it been passed, would have provided a pathway to citizenship for many of these young people. Since then, the movement has continued to grow and is once again in the media spotlight following the targeting of the undocumented population by the Trump administration. While the dominant image of these young people has been that of the undocumented college-bound, often Mexican, ‘all American Dreamer’, the films and artwork in this panel highlight the heterogeneity of the undocumented community. Three of the participants will also attend via Skype for a Q&A session after the film screenings. In the Q&A we will consider the emergence and growth of ‘artivism’ in the undocumented youth movement and the potential of this mode of expression and activism for centring stories and voices that have been marginalized in wider US society, but also within the migrant rights movement. Films: Halmoni (2016 Director: Anna Oh, Cast: Ju Hong), Metamorphosis (Claudia Suarez 2017), Where is My Education? (Claudia Suarez 2017), Story of Self (Set Hernandez Rongkilyo 2015). Art: (B) C(O)NSCIOUS – An Immigrant Journey (Bo Thai 2017). As all the Q&A contributors are based in California, it would be helpful if the session could be scheduled for late afternoon (GMT).

Session: Visualising post-industrial landscapes

Format: Short films
Facilitator: Michael Pattison
Title: Lea River Bridges
Abstract: Lea River Bridges is what P. Sitney Adams calls a structural film, which takes its primary meaning from the totality of its aesthetic and narrative structure. Documenting a single psychogeographic dérive through East London, from Waltham Abbey to the River Thames, the film takes the many overhead viaducts spanning an 18-mile stretch of the River Lea and Lee Navigation as its structuring principle. Michael Sorkin said the walk is a sequential form that lends itself to narrative thinking; by filming the bridges in sequence and by limiting its variables (shots are more or less identical in composition and duration), the film asks us to renegotiate our mode of engagement: trained toward the peripheries of frame, and increasingly aware of a shifting soundscape, we encounter — and come to consciously anticipate — the dramatic fluctuations that unfold across these everyday urban ecologies. This is a study of London from one of its key ‘edgelands’, capturing a landscape defined in turn by industry, marshland, gentrification; by motorways, railways, canal boats; by joggers, dogwalkers, cyclists; and by, somewhere in the near distance, generator hums, police sirens, church bells.

Format: Short films
Facilitator: David Bates
Title: Here But Not Here – Lost Histories of the Tees
Abstract: Contemporary discussions of ‘Brexit’ in politics, journalism and academia have often focused on the role played by the marginalised ‘white working class’ in once heavily industrial areas like the North East of England.  Middlesbrough, for example, once a centre of world steel-making, was home to the council ward with the highest proportion of ‘Leave’ voters in the UK; mediated images of such places and their inhabitants have typically focused on dereliction, deprivation and desperation in their link between ‘Brexit’ and a supposedly impoverished, insular and conservative working class.  This short film challenges such representations by adopting a visual and narrative style influenced by the work of architect and film-maker Patrick Keiller, wherein an assemblage of filmed images is interwoven with personal, political and historical commentary which explores the politics of the English landscape.  Here, the banks of the modern-day River Tees are documented from Teesmouth, on the North East coast, upriver towards Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, with image, sound and narrative voiceover used to chart the emergence of local working class cultures and radical political currents down the centuries.  The film draws on EP Thompson’s appreciation of ‘class’ as fluent, dynamic and relational, and with its invocation of Teesside’s radical ironstone miners, Chartist agitators and suffragette militants, Here But Not Here takes particular inspiration from Thompson’s call to rescue working class cultural history from the ‘enormous condescension of posterity’.  It also shows the Teesside working class as ‘present at their own making’.  A trailer is available at: https://vimeo.com/244556859        

Session: Undisciplining with visual methods

Format: Short films
Facilitator: Helena Holgersson
Title: The Mental States of Gothenburg/Sweden: Sociological Interviews as Drama
Abstract: At this screening, I will show a film with selected scenes from the stage plays The Mental State of Gothenburg (2006, Angeredsteatern, Gothenburg) and The Mental State of Sweden (2013, Dramaten, Stockholm) by dramatist Mattias Andersson. In both these plays the manuscripts were based on transcribed interviews made by sociologists (me included), in the first play with young people around the city, and in the second with people all over the country. In the end both the interviewees and ”the sociologist” ended up on stage. The later as a somewhat morally ambiguous character.

After the film I will present a paper that I am writing on similarities and differences in how sociologists and dramatists tell about society (cf. Becker 2007). Focus will be on what I have learned about my sociological practice by collaborating with an artist – and seeing “myself” on stage. Watching how my interviewees became characters clarified for me that I as well create portraits. This was not how I was taught to think about my trade, but academic writing of course involves dramaturgy too (cf. Back & Duneier 2006). I will also discuss what  parts of the interviews that caught Andersson’s attention, what it meant for him to use documentary material collected by researchers, and how the experience of having ”your story” told by actors on stage compares to having it analysed by a sociologist and published as research.

Format: Short films
Facilitator: Clare Butler
Title: Embarrassment disciplines. Retrospectively. Prospectively. Individually. Collectively.
Abstract: In the conventional use of the term, embarrassment follows the violation of a social convention. It is often considered to be bestowed by others, requiring an embarrassed and embarrassor(s), and with the embarrassor being ascribed greater authority. Yet, embarrassment can take on other forms. Vicarious embarrassment – being embarrassed on behalf of someone else – differs in its ascription and appears to play by, and respond to, different rules. It is the employment of the rule-ambiguity that surrounds embarrassment and vicarious embarrassment that this submission seeks to tease out.

The submission will be a Powerpoint presentation in mp4 video format. It will be simple. Basic. Devoid of imagination, creativity, inventiveness – it will be everyday. The presentation will pose a range of questions, including: ought I to be embarrassed by this output? Are you embarrassed for me? Does it matter who I am? (a somebody, a nobody?) Should the conference’s organising committee be embarrassed for selecting it? Does it matter who they are? (somebodies, nobodies?) When does embarrassment strike? Why? Where? Who says?

The presentation will close by introducing the author using a range of personas; it will ask the audience if they experience something of an embarrassment shift, depending on the author? Does it make them think? If so, then has the presentation ‘worked’? Was the potential for embarrassment worthwhile? If not, then …

Format: Short films
Facilitator: Fay Dennis
Title: (Un)drawing drug-using bodies
Abstract: My visual intervention will take the mode of a looping slide show of images with narration and sound (music, soundscape), adding depth and life to the images. It will present approximately thirty body-maps collected from my research with people who inject heroin in London, UK. I employed body-mapping rather conventionally as a way of aiding participants’ communication, but much more than this, they became a way of unthinking or undisciplining the body, as drug-using bodies (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) made themselves known in new and exciting ways, resisting the usual boundaries associated with ‘the body’ – inner/outer, human/nonhuman, mind/body. Drug-using bodies were drawn or rather undrawn and redrawn, including an array of bodies, forces and technologies, such as, substances, ‘dealers’, ‘paraphernalia’, knowledge-systems and legal-bodies.

Format: Short films
Facilitators: Magali Peyrefitte
Title: Rhythms of Soho and the Phenomenological Knowing of Place: the photographer/ethnographer engaging in a live sociology.
Abstract: I am proposing to present an audio-visual slideshow combining photographs and sounds of Soho (London). The photographs in this series were taken as part of a larger multi-sensory and multi-media ethnography of Soho (London) with the Baseline Project and as a final project for an MA in Photography pursued in order to complement my academic practice.

Soho is undergoing a rapid process of sanitisation through a hegemonic form of gentrification (Sanders-Mcdonagh, Peyrefitte and Ryalls, 2016). Attentive to its different rhythms, I have photographed and recorded sounds at different times of day and night over two years. The combination of the two media responds to the necessity of investigating the rhythms of the city (Lefevbre, 2004) by moving through and sensing place (Lyon, 2016). The acts of photographing and recording sounds consolidate this embodied experience. Reflecting on my position as a photographer as well as an ethnographer in the field has been central in considering the phenomenological processes of knowing Soho as place as well as in engaging in a ‘live sociology’ (Back, 2012).

In this exploration at the inter-disciplinary boundary of photography and ethnography, I have also paid particular attention to the lights of Soho (natural but mostly electric) as they reveal its multi-faceted nature in times of change. In this composition, the poetics of a place in flux are translated through a metaphorical use of light and by extension the reflection of light: the connected electric hues forming its pictorial syntax.

Session: Ways of Seeing

Format:
Short films
Facilitator: Chrissie Rogers
Title: Necessary connections: ‘feelings photographs’ as a tool in visual criminology
Abstract: ‘Undisciplining: Conversations from the edges’ as a conference title speaks to my current research, both substantively and methodologically. Certainly, as prisons and their inmates are commonly reported in the news media with stories about riots, squalor, drugs, self-harm and suicide hit the headlines. Prisoners’ families are left to worry about the implications of such events on their kin, while those less able to understand social cues, norms and rules are left vulnerable to deteriorating mental health at best, to die at worst. This presentation of photographs and narratives, taken by offenders and prisoner mothers is part of my research funded by The Leverhulme Trust. I asked participants to take photographs between life story interviews to help articulate their feelings. As it is, seeing (and imagining) is often how we make an immediate connection to something or someone, such that images can shape the way people think and behave – indeed, feel about things. I have for example, photographs that tell stories about, ‘horror’, being ‘shattered’, having ‘tunnel vision’ and ‘hope’. Images and representations ought to be taken seriously in researching social life, as how we interpret photographs, stories and film is always based on our own imaginings, biography, culture and history. How participants and I make meaning of photographs taken in storying their feelings, is both unique and insightful and we sometimes had different readings. I wanted to enable my participants to make and create their own stories via these pictures rather than have their lives completely interpreted via me.

Format: Photographic Display and Discussion
Facilitator: Helen Tracey
Title: Other ways of seeing: visual research with older unemployed working-class men
Abstract: Burawoy (1979; 12), in his seminal study of manufacturing, noted that where a framework takes capitalism for granted there are questions that cannot even be posed, let alone answered. Even though the North East of England retains the highest level of manufacturing jobs in the UK, many businesses like that in Burawoy’s study have disappeared. Yet today’s questions are not about structural unemployment, but about coping with unemployment, individual employability and remoulding oneself to market requirements. That older unemployed men (aged over 50 years) have worked for decades only to have their job taken away at a day’s notice (field notes), is seemingly forgotten. The unemployed are constructed wholly as ‘lack’ (Bradley, 2014). This is compounded by individualisation and the perceived irrelevance of social class (Beck, 2007). Middle Class subjectivity is privileged, and Working-Class employment is dismissed as part of a nostalgic past (Lawler, 2014). Those older unemployed men who are still attached to this identity are described as being dragged by the Welfare State, like dogs who don’t want to chase a new ball (field notes).

Visual media, such as photography and film, is a key method for not only engaging with marginalised people, but for revealing and presenting other ways of seeing. I will display photographs taken by older unemployed men living in Newcastle as part of a wider critical ethnography (PhD) project that aims to uncover the human side of being working class and living with unemployment.

Format: Photographic Display and Discussion
Facilitator: James Pattison
Title: Precarity, stigma and austerity: Economic and social change in the ‘Sports Direct’ town.
Abstract: This visual intervention will feature selected photography produced as part of a 14-month ethnographic community study of Shirebrook, Derbyshire. Shirebrook is a former colliery village and is now the home to Sports Direct’s national headquarters and warehouse, which was developed as part of a regeneration scheme intended to relieve the impact of the colliery’s closure in 1993. Renowned for its poor working conditions, Sports Direct is arguably emblematic of contemporary precarious work, with the majority of its 3,000 workforce employed at Shirebrook on low-waged temporary agency contracts, with few guaranteed hours. Shirebrook has a long history of class based territorial stigmatisation (Wacquant 2008), which has intensified over recent years due to the migration status of a large majority of Sports Direct’s agency workers who live in the town. Local authorities introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order in 2015 with the aim of combatting anti-social behaviour problematically attributed to Polish migrants, and in 2017 successfully bid for funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government to manage the impact of migration. These measures overlook structural issues and instead focus on the alleged behaviour of a fraction of the town’s residents, intensifying the notion that Shirebrook is a problem place inhabited by problem people, and deepening already existing divisions along axes of class and migration status. This intervention will feature up to 8 photographs produced by researcher and participants accompanied by a short textual analysis that illustrate everyday life in former industrial communities in the context of deindustrialisation, austerity and precarity.

Format: Photographic Display and Discussion
Facilitator: Kate Haddow
Title: From Infant Hercules to Chernobyl
Abstract: Middlesbrough is a unique place situated in the North East of England, made infamous because of its huge success and catastrophic downfall in such a short period of time.  Today the wards of Middlesbrough make up some of the most deprived areas of the UK (IMD, 2015), child poverty is a staggering 60% in some areas of the town (Middlesbrough Council, 2013).  In September 2016 it was named by a national newspaper as the worst place to be girl, in 2007 the town was publically shamed as being the worst place to live in the UK by the television programme Location, Location, Location, a label that the town has struggled to shed since.

What about the people behind these figures and statistics, what is life like for those living amongst these social problems?  What is it like to live in the most deprived areas of the UK? When reading about poverty we rarely hear the voices of those directly affected by it (Lister, 2004) this is a gap that this research will address.  By the use of visual methods this presentation will give an opportunity for those below breadline to show what life is like on a daily basis and to promote the voices of those excluded from society.  As well as photo diaries, this presentation will use images to explore the town of Middlesbrough as it is today, to highlight the importance of place in this research.

Art work, poster, photography or other graphic submission

Format: multimedia film installation
Facilitator: Emma Jackson and Andy Lee
Title: ‘Bowling Together?’
Abstract: The proposed work ‘Bowling Together?’ is a multimedia film installation comprising one traditional short film, to be played on a laptop with headphones, and 3 virtual reality headsets linked to iPods (the VR equipment will be provided by the research team). The VR headsets allow participants to navigate a London bowling alley from three different perspectives during a weekly bowling league night, while the more traditional film brings together the voices and experiences of the league members. The work stems from the project ‘The Choreography of Everyday Multiculture: bowling together?’, a multimethod and visual ethnography of a bowling alley. The work is the product of a collaboration between Andy Lee, who works in fashion film production and digital media at the University of the Arts, and Emma Jackson, a sociologist, and so speaks to the ‘Undiscipling’ theme. It probes questions of space, embodiment and practices of belonging as well as representing an innovative way of presenting sociological stories.

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Lisa Kalayji
Title: The Textuality of Affective Experience: Uniting Sociology & Cultural Studies in Affect Theory
Abstract: The relationship between affect, cultural meaning, and the social subject is a complex puzzle which has long frustrated theorists. The sociology of emotions has tended to view culture as a system of signifiers viewed by agents from a disembodied distance, implying a chasm between affect and meaning. Cultural theorists have acknowledged corporeality more robustly through process ontologies, but have understated the role of conscious awareness and reasoning in affective experience. Affect theorists from sociology and social psychology have debated the proposition that affective experience is extra-discursive, with meanings being inscribed on affective sensations only after they arise. This array of disciplinary approaches has thus far struggled to provide an account which adequately reflects the way that affective experience is constituted in the reflexive, culturally embedded sense-making of feeling agents navigating complex and multiple systems of value and meaning. This poster represents a theoretical intervention which addresses the key conceptual issues of temporality and agency. It argues that the agency-centred iterative relationship between affective experience and cultural meaning can be explained by postulating the social world itself as a type of lived text. In order to make tangible this abstract claim, the poster offers an affective experience: a series of small, scented objects are hung from the face of the poster. Readers are invited to smell these and reflect upon what their olfactory experiences might signify – and how they might feel emotionally – in various social scenario.

Format: Graphic Essay
Facilitator: Kate Carruthers Thomas
Title: My Brilliant Career?
Abstract: My Brilliant Career? is a graphic essay presenting emerging findings from an ongoing interdisciplinary research project (Gender(s) At Work).  The research investigates the implications of gendered, lived experiences within the higher education working environment for gender-neutral and linear career metaphors.  This submission experiments with a performative practice – textual and visual distillation – as a means of publishing academic research.  It is an approach influenced by the developing practice of graphic social science (Carrigan 2017, Vigurs 2016) as a means to ‘transform  attitudes, awareness and behaviour around social issues’ (Priego, 2016).  The lengthy creative process also provides an opportunity to intensively reflect on data, meaning and emotion; comics creation as a ‘way of thinking’ (Sousanis 2015).

My Brilliant Career? draws on multiple narratives of work and career in a UK university, collected from female and male staff occupying a range of roles and grades within the organisation.  The essay selects and restories these accounts, framing them within three archetypal (and architectural) phenomena which frequently characterise academic and popular discussions of career obstacles, risks, constraints and privileges i.e.: the glass ceiling, the glass escalator and the glass cliff (Bruckmüller et al 2014; Williams 2013; Ryan and Haslam 2007; 2005; Budig 2002 inter alia).  The essay integrates these distinctive metaphorical structures into an analysis of gender as a ‘geography of power’ operating within the university, positioning members of staff and enabling/constraining the ways in which they position themselves, in relation to career.  

Format: Photographs
Facilitator: Helen Tracey
Title: Other ways of seeing: visual research with older unemployed working-class men
Abstract: Burawoy (1979; 12), in his seminal study of manufacturing, noted that where a framework takes capitalism for granted there are questions that cannot even be posed, let alone answered. Even though the North East of England retains the highest level of manufacturing jobs in the UK, many businesses like that in Burawoy’s study have disappeared. Yet today’s questions are not about structural unemployment, but about coping with unemployment, individual employability and remoulding oneself to market requirements. That older unemployed men (aged over 50 years) have worked for decades only to have their job taken away at a day’s notice (field notes), is seemingly forgotten. The unemployed are constructed wholly as ‘lack’ (Bradley, 2014). This is compounded by individualisation and the perceived irrelevance of social class (Beck, 2007). Middle Class subjectivity is privileged, and Working Class employment is dismissed as part of a nostalgic past (Lawler, 2014). Those older unemployed men who are still attached to this identity are described as being dragged by the Welfare State, like dogs who don’t want to chase a new ball (field notes).

Visual media, such as photography and film, is a key method for not only engaging with marginalised people, but for revealing and presenting other ways of seeing. I will display photographs taken by older unemployed men living in Newcastle as part of a wider critical ethnography (PhD) project that aims to uncover the human side of being working class and living with unemployment.

Format: Photographs
Facilitator: Marta Gasparin
Title: Matters of aesthetic in the creative economy in South East Asia.
Abstract: This photography was taken in the summer 2017 during a field study in Vietnam and Thailand in the creative industries. From a preliminary analysis, it emerged an interesting relationship between space, creativity, and identity of Vietnamese cultural and creative activities at the time of globalisation and digital transformation in a transactional economy.

Creative spaces and creative hubs seem becoming sites not only of production and consumption of art and creative outputs, but also of speculative engagement with neglected things and concepts, provoking reflections in the realm of matters of care (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017). Using Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble, I will would like to reflect on how art and the space in which is produced becomes a contested actor in a time of capitalist logic concerned predominantly with money-making. Instead of using a reductionist or pessimist approach, Haraway proposes a third way of engaging with the nature. In my research, I would like speculatively engage with space and creativity and matters of aesthetic to propose adoption of a third way of think-with societal issues. Since the literature in STS has investigated matters of facts, matters of concerns and matters of care, I will explore if we could treat matters of fact, matters of care and sociotechnical assemblages in the arts as matters of aesthetics.

Format: Photographs
Facilitator: James Pattison
Title: Precarity, stigma and austerity: Economic and social change in the ‘Sports Direct’ town.
Abstract: This visual intervention will feature selected photography produced as part of a 14-month ethnographic community study of Shirebrook, Derbyshire. Shirebrook is a former colliery village and is now the home to Sports Direct’s national headquarters and warehouse, which was developed as part of a regeneration scheme intended to relieve the impact of the colliery’s closure in 1993. Renowned for its poor working conditions, Sports Direct is arguably emblematic of contemporary precarious work, with the majority of its 3,000 workforce employed at Shirebrook on low-waged temporary agency contracts, with few guaranteed hours. Shirebrook has a long history of class based territorial stigmatisation (Wacquant 2008), which has intensified over recent years due to the migration status of a large majority of Sports Direct’s agency workers who live in the town. Local authorities introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order in 2015 with the aim of combatting anti-social behaviour problematically attributed to Polish migrants, and in 2017 successfully bid for funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government to manage the impact of migration. These measures overlook structural issues and instead focus on the alleged behaviour of a fraction of the town’s residents, intensifying the notion that Shirebrook is a problem place inhabited by problem people, and deepening already existing divisions along axes of class and migration status. This intervention will feature up to 8 photographs produced by researcher and participants accompanied by a short textual analysis that illustrate everyday life in former industrial communities in the context of deindustrialisation, austerity and precarity.

Format: Photographs
Facilitator: Ala Sirriyeh
Title: Coming out of the shadows: undocumented youth, art and activism in the US
AbstractThe panel (please note that this is for the artowork) will showcase films and artwork by four undocumented young organisers who are artists/filmmakers (California). Each contribution explores what it is like to live in the US as a young undocumented immigrant. There are 2.2 million undocumented children and young people who arrived in the US as minors. In the 2000s the undocumented youth movement emerged onto the political scene through a campaign for the federal DREAM Act which, had it been passed, would have provided a pathway to citizenship for many of these young people. Since then, the movement has continued to grow and is once again in the media spotlight following the targeting of the undocumented population by the Trump administration. While the dominant image of these young people has been that of the undocumented college-bound, often Mexican, ‘all American Dreamer’, the films and artwork in this panel highlight the heterogeneity of the undocumented community. Three of the participants will also attend via Skype for a Q&A session after the film screenings. In the Q&A we will consider the emergence and growth of ‘artivism’ in the undocumented youth movement and the potential of this mode of expression and activism for centring stories and voices that have been marginalized in wider US society, but also within the migrant rights movement. Films: Halmoni (2016 Director: Anna Oh, Cast: Ju Hong), Metamorphosis (Claudia Suarez 2017), Where is My Education? (Claudia Suarez 2017), Story of Self (Set Hernandez Rongkilyo 2015). Art: (B) C(O)NSCIOUS – An Immigrant Journey (Bo Thai 2017). As all the Q&A contributors are based in California, it would be helpful if the session could be scheduled for late afternoon (GMT).

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Nicky Stubbs
Title: Beyond de-industrialisation: class politics and the transformation of socio-political identities in South Yorkshire
Abstract: De-industrialisation has undoubtedly destabilised many working-class communities, stimulating unprecedented social change that has implications far beyond the notion of work. The implications of closure and the subsequent rebuilding of local economies on terms more profitable to capital can be analysed in a variety of ways and have given rise to new sociological concepts, such as the precariat (Standing 2011; 2014), with all its related implications for pertinent issues such as race, gender and class. In the context of the result of Britain’s European Union referendum and the election of Donald Trump, both of which post-industrial communities played an instrumental role in, questions over the seismic political shifts in the West and their link to the socio-political processes associated with de-industrialisation remain largely unanswered.

This research uses the case study of Barnsley, a former mining town in South Yorkshire, and reaffirms a commitment to analysing these concepts in the context of a specific cultural group: the white-working class. Utilising ethnographic techniques, it focuses on the accounts of former industrial workers and their families, call-centre and distribution centre workers, migrant workers and trade union representatives seeking to organise in increasingly fragmented and diverse communities. So far, many sociological accounts of de-industrialisation have failed to take account of the cultural remnants of the histories of post-industrial communities. I argue that in order to fully comprehend the social and political processes underpinning societal change, we must take to establish the present within the context of the its historical foundation.

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Catherine Price
Title: Genetically Modified (GM) Food: A Recipe for Disaster or a Recipe for Success?
Abstract: Based on my PhD research, which focuses on science communication and with a specific emphasis on GM food, this poster will examine the difference between two models, public understanding of science and public engagement with science. The variation will be explained in the form of a recipe using GM food as an illustration and from a UK perspective. The recipe will use the actors involved with genetic modification as ingredients, and will demonstrate how these models operate with the addition or omission of key ingredients. By using GM food as an example, this will show how taste can play a role in knowledge as well as sensation. It will explore how the two models can be interpreted through the use of the senses, how they can be seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted.

The first part of the recipe will examine the public understanding of science, and the actors for this include the European Union, UK Government, biotechnology companies, universities and scientists. The result of this recipe is that the media, activists and consumers/citizens have to eat what is produced. The second part of the recipe examines public engagement with science. By adding three further ingredients, namely the media, activists, and consumers/citizens, the recipe is completely transformed. They are no longer only eating the food, but also contributing to making it. How does amending the recipe alter the senses? This poster will explore these aspects.

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Fabienne Emmerich
Title: Poster title:  ‘Rebel girls’: prison escape, violence and play
Abstract: In July 1976 four women of the Red Army Faction (RAF) and June 2nd Movement (J2M) escaped from the women’s prison in West Berlin, Germany. This poster explores the gendering of resistance practices, in particular political resistance in prison, through the women’s narrative experiences of this exceptional event.

The moment of the women’s escape is a transgression of both the prison walls and gender normative expectations, in which women are contradictorily produced as both sexually dependent on a violent man and especially dangerous, masculine women who are biologically and socially aberrant (Corcoran, 2006; Melzer, 2015). Their revolutionary (violent) womanhood is ignored.

Through the women’s stories the poster reveals how women political prisoners’ resistance practices are produced through gendered power relations within the context of the hypermasculine jailbreak. As parody of the gendered, rebel theme the analysis reveals the multilayered subversions of gender normative expectations (Butler, [1990] 2007, [1993] 2011). The poster demonstrates how the women co-opted what were considered masculine strengths through wit, ingenuity, resourcefulness, creativity and courage. To see the women’s vanishing act as play and laughter, is to recognize rebel girls as subjects (Cixous, 1975; Suleiman, 1990).

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Laurie Hanquinet
Title: Feeling European in a globalized world and the role of mobility, networks and consumption. A comparative approach to British exceptionalism.
Abstract: Our poster rethinks European and global self-identification after the 2008 crash and the rise of populism and nationalism in Europe. Relying on the EUCROSS survey in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, and the UK in 2012, we demonstrate the role of mobility, networks and consumption practices on these identities. Rather than interpreting the Brexit result as a simple ‘nationalist’ response, we show that it is actually related to distinctive pattern of transnational practices. Using visual graphs from a multinomial logistic regression, our poster shows that Britain follows similar trends as other European countries but is distinctive in two ways. First, transnational networking and consumption practices make a greater difference among British citizens in predisposing them to have supranational identities, compared to the other countries investigated. Second, Britain sees clearer differentiation between the forces of globalization and Europeanization. For instance, European-centred activities, such as listening to traditional European music, are associated with greater European feelings. Similarly, relationships to parts of the world outside the EU (through, for instance, having friends or making trips outside the EU) seem to matter more for the UK than for other countries. Therefore, the British are not, in any obvious ways, more nationalist than other nations but they do feel much lesser linked to a larger entity than their own country. When they do express supranational feelings, these feelings can be influenced by their specific global connections, including those of empire, that can lead to a more singular kind of cosmopolitan, and possibly anti-European, attitude.

Format: Poster
Facilitator: Victoria Allen
Title: North(East)ern Narratives: Representations of Northernness in the North-East of England today.
Abstract: Taking the form of a Pop-Cultural-Portfolio, this project analyses contemporary culturally produced popular materials currently consumed in, and reflecting, the North-East of England in combination with texts produced in sociological narrative interviews. Here, the theoretical framework of cultural representation (Hall, Foucault) is expanded with reflections on collective and cultural memory (Halbwachs, Assmann, Whitehead, Bal) and the implications of this for myth-making (Roland Barthes).

As indicated in the title, the project focuses on the North-East region in a cultural capacity. For this reason, the conference being held at the Baltic – a symbol of the recent cultural regeneration work on Tyneside – would resonate on an additional level to the concept of edges you refer to in the conference description. In cultural production, it has been argued that the North-East is on a double periphery. This being the north-south divide with London as the political power capital, and Manchester the recently emerged capital of the north especially in terms of media-cultural production (see Vall, Green and Pollard) which has socio-economic and political implications for the region.