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Next Generation: Arts & Social Sciences Lecture Series

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 13:00 to 20:00
Thursday, June 20, 2024 - 13:00 to 20:00
Thursday, June 27, 2024 - 13:00 to 20:00
Thursday, July 4, 2024 - 13:00 to 20:00

Next generation lecture series banner

The Open University is pleased to announce a new series of free online talks showcasing the ground-breaking research being carried out by PhD students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

From nineteenth century literature to nuclear activism in 1980s Wales, from English Literature to Criminology, for fascinating talks join us every Thursday at 1pm and 7pm, from 13 June – 4 July.

About the talks

The 30-minute talks delivered by current PhD students in the faculty, plus Q&A, will be held online and are open to everyone. Sign up through the links provided below. We look forward to seeing you there!

Time Title Speaker

Nation of Peace: Nuclear activism and Welsh political identity, 1979-1990

Between the unsuccessful referendum of 1979 and the creation of the National Assembly in 1999, support for Welsh devolution more than doubled. Reflecting greater understanding between the nation’s divided political traditions, this change coincided with a wave of radical activism against industrial decline, social repression, and the nuclear state.

This talk explores the groups working against nuclear arms and nuclear power in Wales during the 1980s as an example of how these campaigns promoted cooperation, and created the space for a shared political identity.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Gareth Bryant

Healthy Inside and Out: Thinking Critically about Prison Yoga Teaching

The health benefits and improved well-being for people who take part in prison yoga classes are well-documented, but what harms might arise if custodial establishments adopt prison yoga as part of rehabilitation agendas? Prison Yoga Teachers (PYTs) are motivated by values of kindness, compassion, and non-judgement but could their actions prove unhealthy for the very people they seek to assist?

This talk will discuss some of the key findings from Rose’s doctoral research, which seeks to discover the extent to which PYTs are working towards social justice, and prison abolition movements.

Due to unforeseen ​circumstances, this session has been cancelled.

Rose Parkes
Time Title Speaker

Filipina Migrant Workers (Manufacturing) and Digital Hybridity

Women from the Philippines, or Filipinas, who are hired en-masse to work for tech factories in Taiwan’s manufacturing hubs are turning to the digital as a primary resource in their journey of employment as migrant workers (OFWs). Critical ethnographic research in the speaker’s PhD studies show that their access and utilisation of ‘the digital’ allow them to become mediators and augmenters, maximising their agency, essential in adapting and finding solutions to thrive in a foreign country.

This lecture will present the fundamental results related to ‘digital hybridity’ and the highlights of the study results so far.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Xenia Jones

‘A Monkish, bookish person’: Interpreting the Significance of Thomas Innes

18th-century Scotland was a hotbed of cultural change, shifting identities, and flexible loyalties, and it also produced some of the greatest intellectual figures of the era. These figures were members of the Scottish Enlightenment, but modern scholars focusing on this movement often lose sight of the marginalized peoples of Early Modern Scotland, and their contributions to Scottish intellectual culture.

This lecture will explore the life of one such figure - Thomas Innes, a Catholic monk, Jacobite, and historian whose ideas give us a window into a more radical, and international, Scottish Enlightenment.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Dylan Fowler
Time Title Speaker

Diasporas in the age of methodological nationalism

Methodological nationalism is ‘the assumption that the nation/state/society is the natural social and political form of the modern world’ (Wimmers and Glick Schiller, 2002). This approach tends to blind us to the limitations of the nation-state, and to the nature of the phenomena that transcend it.

Diasporas, in particular, are too often studied from the perspective of the national societies where they live, rather than on their own terms. This lecture will review the critique of methodological nationalism and some of its implication for the study of diasporas.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Nicolas Tavitian

Sexual Violence against Women in Sierra Leone: Judicial Interpretation of consent in sexual violence cases

Sierra Leone is signatory to most laws that protect women against sexual violence (Irish Working Group, 2018). Yet in 2019, President Bio declared sexual violence against women a national emergency.

This then raises questions about the practical utility of the criminal law in ending sexual violence. The purpose of these laws generally is to give women greater legal protection, as research indicates that women in countries with sexual violence laws have a lower chance of experiencing violence. However, for Sierra Leone, arguably, this does not apply.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Janice Knox-Goba
Time Title Speaker

‘The dust of ages must be swept away': Women's novels of reform in late nineteenth century India

Anita's talk will focus on the novels of Krupabai Satthianadhan (1862-94) and Shevantibai Nikambe (1865-19?). Born into Indian Christian families, they both established schools for girls and women, and were known for their social work as well as their writing. The genre of the English language novel provided an opportunity for these two writers to explore women’s diverse experiences of reform, and to recount the responses of the people who observe, or instigate, the growing consciousness of the protagonists, compelled to negotiate competing demands of transformation and tradition.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Anita Schwartz

Housing First: Analysing the First International Approach to Ending Homelessness

The Housing First programme developed as the first international response to ending homeless through its transplantation and adaption between countries. Originating in New York in the early 1990s, this novel approach to providing housing as a starting point for wider support to a recipient gained international attention for its departure from traditional linear models of providing housing. This lecture examines the ways in which Housing First has been developed and transplanted internationally with a specific focus on Scotland and Finland, examining the implementation through the lens of international policy comparison.

Sign up for this talk via Microsoft Teams

Andrew Sproul

Joining the talks

These talks will be held on MS Teams, and are best viewed on a desktop or laptop PC, where you can join through your usual browser without creating a Teams account. To join through a mobile phone or tablet you will need to download Teams. Your camera and mic will be off for the duration of the talk, which will be recorded. You will be able to ask questions through a chat bar. For more information on joining an MS Teams call without an account, visit the Microsoft support website.

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