The UEL Poetry Reading Club – Sonia Quintero

The Uel Poetry Reading Club will be taking place at University of East London, Docklands campus:
Every Friday from 18th of January 2019
2.30-4pm
Archive room: DL G02
Nearly station: Cyprus DLR station.

 

Open for all the community of UEL and East London.

UEL Archives, Centre for Narrative Research (CNR) and Newham Poetry Group join their inspirations to bring the relaxing pleasure of reading poetry to all – students, Uel staff, and the East London community.

Thanks to the generous donation of a full collection of poetry, as well as fiction, criticism and theory from the estate of the poet and translator Sarah Maguire, UEL archives now have an amazing poetry collection in different languages, styles and publication types.

What to expect:

. We will be reading poetry written by authors from all around the world.

. We will enjoy friendly discussions about related topics (E.g. poetry translation, poetry and narrative, appropriated poetry)

. From time to time, we will have special guests to discuss specific topics.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sonia Quintero, poet, Newham poetry workshop leader, UEL Psychosocial Studies student, and CNR intern

Thanks to UEL Student Union for their help and support.

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Gender-based violence inside refugee and displaced communities, 11.12.18

The Centre for Narrative Research (CNR) and the Centre for Cultural Studies Research (CCSR) with the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB), UEL, present:

 

Gender-based violence inside refugee and displaced communities

A panel discussion

Dr. Nazand Begikhani, University of Bristol, and other speakers, tbc

Chair: Professor Kate Hodgkin, University of East London

Tuesday December 11, 5.30-7.00pm, US2.44UEL University Square Stratford:http://www.universitysquarestratford.ac.uk/find-us.htm

In recent years, war, persecution, poverty and natural disasters have created the biggest refugee and forced displacement crisis in the world. In the Middle East, the war in Iraq, the civil war in Syria and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) led millions of people to flee their home and seek refuge in the neighbouring countries with many of them seeking to reach Europe with disastrous consequences. This process has affected women and men, shifted gender roles, and the representation of masculinity, impacting on gender relations within displaced and refugee communities. Gender-based violence is a growing concern for thousands of women, girls and also men and boys affected by migration and displacement.

The University of Bristol’s Centre for Gender and Violence Research in cooperation with the University of Sulaimani’s Gender and Violence Studies Centre and in partnership with several NGOs has finished a two-year research project into GBV and Displacement in Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the UK. The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council together with the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Global challenges Research Fund. The purpose of the research was to get a better understanding of the process of displacement and its impact on experiences and perceptions of GBV along with the potential for disrupting pathways to perpetration. A team from Bristol and Iraqi Kurdistan Region will present the findings of the research

 

Dr Nazand Begikhani is Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol.  She is part of an ESRC research programme on ‘Gender-based violence and displacement’ at Bristol.  Recent publications include ‘Theorising Women and War in Kurdistan. A feminist and critical perspective (with Wendelmoet Hamelink & Nerina Weiss). Kurdish Studies Journal. Vol: 6, N0 1, pp 1-10. May 2018. 
https://journal.tplondon.com/index.php/ks/article/view/1192

‘Experiences of Honor-based Violence, and Moving Towards Action in Iraqi Kurdistan’ (with Hague). In The Kurdish Question Revisted. by Gareth Stansfield (Editor),‎ Mohammed Shareef (Editor). Oxford University Press. 2017. http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/the-kurdish-question-revisited/. Begikhani is also a poet and literary scholar.

 

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TCRU-CNR graduate seminar, 4.12.18: Researching POPTRANS research

CNR-TCRU Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminars, 2017-2018

Organised by the Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), University of East London

and the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), UCL Institute of Education

Problematizing the production of health knowledge about stigmatized people: POPTRANS research on transsexual women and transvestites

Adriana Prates, Federal University of Bahia

Tuesday 4th December 2018, 5 – 6.30pm

Library, Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27 – 28 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA

All welcome, particularly graduate students.

We are witnessing the increase of voices that were ignored for a long time. Currently, minorities or / and stigmatized groups such as Black people, indigenous people, Women and LGBTQI+ people, among many others, want to talk about their realities, their problems, and so on. And more: they are problematizing the knowledge that is produced without representativeness or representation. In this sense, they are pointing, for example, to the university as a excluding place: misogynist, racist and transphobic, among other things. A place that objectifies dissident bodies in the name of a supposed neutrality of knowledge, with the goal of concentrating power. On one side, unfortunately, we know that is true; but we know that the university has been a ally of minorities, too, acting in defence of humans rights. Principles like neutrality are being questioned at universities, also, but this point of view poses some ethical, political, metodological and theoretical issues to researchers. With all this in mind, the idea came to me to research a research project in the Public Health arena, about trans women’s health, in which I, a cisgender woman, worked as a researcher. The research, called POPTRANS, combined quantitative and qualitative methods and occurred in Salvador-Bahia-Brazil during 2016/2017. The proposal of my study is to make explicit all the processes of doing this research, to discuss the political questions mentioned at the beginning, and to think about contributions that narrative studies can provide to the process of my research, including in relation to the Actor Network Theory approach that I am adopting.

Adriana Prates is a Brazilian sociologist who graduated from the Federal University of Bahia. She has a Masters degree in Sociology and a professional career in psychosocial support services in mental health, especially that related to drug users. She is currently doing a doctorate in Public Health at the same university where she graduated, and is a visitor at CNR for this academic year.. In her professional situation, she is guided by the perspective of harm reduction and psychosocial support, understanding that health is not only about body issues or absence of disease but involves cultural, social and subjective questions.

For further details please contact Corinne Squire at c.squire@uel.ac.uk or Carolina Guttierez Munoz, Thomas Coram Research Unit graduate partner, carolina.gutierrez.16@ucl.ac.uk . Details are also on the CNR blog https://centrefornarrativeresearch.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/cnr-tcru-october-graduate-seminar-emily-le-roux-rutledge-public-narratives-as-symbolic-resources-for-gender-and-development/ and the CNR website

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The ’10 Years After’ austerity audit: Report

via The ’10 Years After’ austerity audit: Report

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by | November 18, 2018 · 11:33 pm

Elizabeth Chappell: What can we learn from talking to hibakusha (survivors of Hiroshima)? Narrative and the ethics of memory in hibakusha life stories.

Chappell

Elizabeth Chappell, 13 November 2018

On Tuesday November 6th, I gave a talk at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, University College, London for TRCU and UEL’s Centre of Narrative Research. The talk was about hibakusha orphans of Hiroshima. In Japanese, hibakusha means ‘atomic bomb person’ and the word for orphan is, child without parents, ryoshin no nai ko.

These were evacuee children from central Hiroshima, who survived the atomic bombing; however, when they returned to Hiroshima, they found their parents had died.

I had encountered Shoso Kawamoto, who was orphaned by the atomic bombing, and is now aged 84, in 2012.

Seventy- eight years old when I interviewed him in 2012, he is one of the few hibakusha storytellers left alive, of those who originally experienced the atomic bomb in 1945.

The hibakusha tell their stories at Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum, which was the brainchild of a hibakusha – Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a protestant minister and one of the protagonists of John Hersey’s book, Hiroshima. By 1948, Tanimoto had become convinced that, as Hersey writes, the ‘collective memory of the hibakusha might be a potent force for peace in the world and that, in Hiroshima, there ought to be a centre where the experience of the bombing could become the focus of international studies of means to ensure that atomic weapons would never be used again.’

The museum is now the source of most hibakusha accounts passed down to us through the media – whether through radio or television.

As a storyteller, Shoso was accustomed to talking about his experience to children and tourists gathered at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Peace memorial museum alongside many other hibakusha colleagues.

The format of such accounts would generally be that hibakusha would present their story as a lecture, standing on a dais in front of their audience in an auditorium. They would also use maps and slides as prompts. Starting with ‘This is my hibakusha experience’ as a way of bracketing off their story from the rest of their lives, they would list facts and numbers about hibakusha woven into their hibakusha experience of what is known in Hiroshima as ‘that day’, ‘ano hi’.

However, this time, I asked Kawamoto to focus his story on something slightly different. I said to him: ‘Could you tell me what your life was like as a child before the atomic bombing?’ Kawamoto paused for a moment, checking that he had understood correctly, with the interpreter Keiko Ogura.

As an interviewer of hibakusha I was helped by the fact I had worked in Japan and run interviews in that context before and that the interpreter for these interviews, was Keiko Ogura. She was the wife of the former director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum, Kaoru Ogura (b.1920 d.1979) and herself a hibakusha. She had lived with her family at Ushita, about 4 kilometres from ground zero — she also remembered ‘that day’ and could relate intimately to hibakusha experiences.

The story that emerged over the following three years came out of my growing rapport with Kawamoto was based on the fact that I had started my interview by asking about his childhood. In my study, ‘The Last Survivors of Hiroshima’, I argue that I could never have forged a rapport with those so different from myself – Japanese hibakusha – and had I not focused my first questions on childhood, and been lucky enough to find hibakusha who responded and warmed to this process of interview when I started out on my research.

Hiroshima.png

A map of the centre of Hiroshima, which was bombed on 6th August 1945, showing the spread of blast and radiation

During follow-up interviews, Kawamoto revealed more and more about his life – about what it felt like to be a child in post-war Hiroshima. Before I met Kawamoto, I had no idea what being an atomic bomb orphan meant: I only had one image of children during the aftermath of the atomic bombing — a single photograph which was on display in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

The image was of a young Japanese boy polishing the shoes of American GIs during the occupation era (1945-52). These were evacuee children from before the bombing, whose parents had stayed in downtown Hiroshima. The parents had been mobilized to clear

Witnessing

A Japanese hibakusha describing his experience to an audience at Friends House in London, October 2016.

away wooden buildings for firebreaks (the men), or they ran neighbourhood associations for rations and collected foodstuffs, since rations were down to the barest minimum (the women). They were under the bomb which had been targeted at the central residential district of Hiroshima, where over 90 percent of the population died within a week of the atomic bombing.

Almost all the parents of the evacuated children died, in addition to the youngest children and teenagers. In general, only 6-11 year olds and the infirm had been evacuated. These orphan children usually lived for six months after the bombing and then died due to lack of food. It was very unusual to find a member of this age group who was alive to tell their story.

Kawamoto had been born on 27 January 1934. He had been brought up in a strict neo-Confucian household, where boys were told to just study and girls were taught to help around the house. His parents were of different classes.

Kawamoto had a samurai mother and a farmer father. He had been evacuated to Miyoshi, a neighbouring prefecture, when the atomic bomb was dropped. His 16-year-old sister Tokie, picked him up the day after the atomic bomb and the pair returned to live in the bombed-out building of Hiroshima station together. Tokie had a job as a caretaker with Japan railways.

In February 1946, Kawamoto’s sister Tokie died. Then, not long afterwards, in March 1946, Kawamoto was adopted by a soy sauce manufacturer, Mr Kawanaka.

I was to find out that Kawamoto wouldn’t talk much about his formative years, between the ages of 12 and 23. When he reached the age of 23, which would have been in 1957 — he had attempted to get married, but his fiance’s family blocked the engagement because he had, by that time, received a hibakusha health certificate.

This proved he had come to Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bomb – when so many hibakusha had also returned to Hiroshima. So many hibakusha hid the fact they had been in the centre of Hiroshima, for fear of discrimination.

Kawamoto’s reticence about this period of his life showed that there was some difficulty and tension – which he wanted to avoid. But the silences as well as the speech, I found, were vital to his overall narrative identity – i.e. to the way he told his story in context.

Why would people discriminate against those who had been in the atomic bombing? asked one graduate participant in the research seminar I gave on Tuesday last.

The answer to that question lies both in the history and culture of Japan. When the atomic bomb was dropped, the Japanese authorities did their best to suppress any news about it: it would lower morale – after all Japan was still at war on 6th August 1945 and the authorities were not admitting defeat despite the desperate state of their empire and their people.

The cabinet – the ‘big six’ as they were known – sent a team to investigate and established, through one of their top physicists, that it was an atomic bomb; then they buried the news. But then Russia invaded the Japanese Empire by way of Manchuria and on August 8th and August 9th, the US dropped another atomic bomb over Nagasaki.

Now, it was impossible to bury the news. Instead, the Japanese used it to their advantage; they explained this was a ‘new type of bomb’ which ‘threatened to destroy civilisation’ – meaning that it was a particularly cruel weapon the enemy had developed, and therefore it offered an honourable way for the Japanese to surrender – for the sake of civilisation itself.

The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their atomic bomb victims became the icons of the ‘sacrifice’ the Japanese had made by surrendering. They were not forgotten — they had a peace memorial ceremony dedicated to the memory of the event every August 6th and 9th; but they were not specially helped either. Then, 12 years after the bomb, in 1957, an atomic bomb survivors’ relief law was passed.

By then, however, discrimination had set in.

What were the strange illnesses from which so many in the two cities had suffered and died? No one knew for certain. No diagnosis was given. Other hibakusha called the diseases ‘bomb disease’, but those who had not been in the bomb tended to use harsher terminology: ‘lazy person’s disease’.

The ‘pika’ was the name given to the bomb. No one mentioned the word ‘atomic bomb’ for years; the word was censored. The post-war memorial in Hiroshima to school-aged teenage children who were mobilized and died under the bomb was simply labelled E=MC2, an oblique reference to atomic energy.

The Allied forces, led by the US Occupying force, General McArthur, had censored all information, including the scientific and literary publications about the bombings – for instance film reels were confiscated, along with scientific specimens and doctors’ records. These were then shipped off to the US. The hibakusha, who were examined medically, for the famous Life Span study (the longest study of radiation effects in existence) were, in general, not interviewed for their experiences, except for a very few psychological studies.

Instead, the hibakusha were the unwelcome reminder of an unknown, unclassifiable event, something so unimaginable society tried to ignore it.

So, they kept quiet, often dying of multiple cancers, giving birth to deformed children, their bodies used for scientific research but not given proper respect. For a long time, until late 1950s, when the hibakusha health relief law was passed, they kept quiet.

Now of course, censorship has been lifted (formally in 1952-3 when the US pulled out of Japan), and so much has been done to publish memoirs and testimonies: meanwhile a genre called ‘atomic bomb culture’ has arisen.

So, it is very understandable that most hibakusha and/or their children do not want to talk about the experience. They have lived and suffered in silence so long.

Following this first interview, I went deeper into the interviewee process with Kawamoto. About six months after the atomic bombing, in August 2013, we re-visited the places Kawamoto had lived, played and studied as a child. The Japan bank, Kawamoto’s primary school, his family’s cemetery, as well as his family home were all within a square kilometre of ground zero – where 90-100 percent of the population had died. These stone buildings had survived the bomb, at least in part, so, working from these buildings outward, we could triangulate the area where Kawamoto had lived as a child.

Kawamoto responded best to my questions about his memories, on the spot, in the places where they had happened. Standing on the site of his former home, names of places from his childhood recurred to him. He remembered the restaurant near his home – it was called the Seiyoken. This was where he had bought a treat called ‘ice candee’; he also recalled the name of his father’s glass shop, the Miyazako.

He recalled his father’s war work was that of a fireman. Kawamoto senior was always on fire duty late at night. This was when the children enjoyed playing games at home, in his absence. They made toy guns and aeroplanes, they chewed up paper pellets to make bullets and shoved them into ‘toy guns’ with chopsticks.

Kawamoto had dreamt of becoming a zero-fighter. It was fun to drill: whenever there was an air-raid warning, children would run to the air-raid shelter, which consisted of a shallow hole dug into the street with room for about ten children.

At that point, a vicious ‘old woman’ had taught the boys how to use bamboo spears made out of laundry poles with which they attacked straw ‘American soldiers’.

There was strafing over the outskirts of the Hiroshima city: for instance, over the naval base of Kure. Kawamoto’s mother had encouraged Kawamoto to train. He would have liked to become a zero-fighter; but, as a child, when you trained for the military, there was no time left over to play games with your friends!

By the end of our walking conversation, Kawamoto looked relaxed and eager to tell me more. On a later occasion we shared lunch together with other hibakusha I had interviewed. All the hibakusha managed to share stories of their childhoods with one another and not only for my benefit. Kawamoto told me he had found his ‘ikigai’, his ‘reason to live’ in telling his story and was eager to go out and tell his story again. He was in high demand from schools far and wide, across Japan.

These interviews are part of many other memory-making practices which continue to this day. Surviving hibakusha in their 70s and 80s, work hard to remember parts of their lives they find it hard to talk about in the hope that it will touch the life of just one person.

Pierre Nora, the French landscape historian, writes of the sites of memory, that ‘there is no spontaneous memory’ (Les Lieux des memoire) and the phenomenologist, De Certeau, writes, ‘Memory is played by circumstances, just as a piano is played by a musician music emerges form it when its keys are touched by the hands. Memory is a sense of the other.’

In my interviews with Kawamoto, there were times when I and the hibakusha interpreter were the piano player, touching the keys, but there were other points when Kawamoto was the piano player. It was our encounter that mattered. By asking questions about Kawamoto’s childhood, I had established a sort of baseline: a common ground of shared experience from which other stories could emerge. As Henry Greenspan, veteran interviewer of holocaust survivors writes, with survivor Agi Rubin: ‘For remembering, I need your questions, the spark of conversation, fully to bring it out. Then memories take their shape and find their words. They emerge between us’. In dialogue, with all its implications of wrong turns and blind alleys — open vistas and shared travel, I was to discover what I could and couldn’t tell – what aspects of Kawamoto’s narrative were necessary for us to find a way to assemble Kawamoto’s narrative identity for this study.

Elizabeth Chappell is a PhD researcher at the Open University writing a PhD tentatively entitled ‘The Last Survivors of Hiroshima’. She has previously published a travel book on Japan https://www.travelbooks.co.uk/shop-online-books/japan

References:

De Certeau M. (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life – Berkeley and Los Angeles – University of California Press 1984, pp86-8

Hersey J. (1985 [1946]) Hiroshima, Penguin, p 136.

Layman, L. (2009) ‘Reticence in Oral History Interviews’, The Oral History Review, Vol 36, 2, pp207-230

Nora, P. (1996) Realms of Memory, Rethinking the French Past under the direction of Pierre Nora: tr. Arthur Goldhammer, Vol 1, Columbia University Press, US.

Rubin A., and Greenspan H. (2006) Poetics Today 27:2, p43

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TCRU-CNR graduate narrative research seminar, November 6, 2018

NR-TCRU Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminars, 2017-2018

Organised by the Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), University of East London

and the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), UCL Institute of Education

 

What can we learn from talking to hibakusha (survivors of Hiroshima)?

Narrative and the ethics of memory in hibakusha life stories

 

Elizabeth Chappell, The Open University

Tuesday 6th November 2018, 5 – 6.30pm

Library, Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27 – 28 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA

All welcome, particularly graduate students.

 ‘Storytelling practices help us define who we are, they refine our moral sensibilities, and open up new possibilities of experience, action and self-inversion […] however, storytelling can also obfuscate, lie and corrupt moral standing.’ (Meretoja, 2018a and b) In developing my three-year iterative interviewing project in Japan with hibakusha, survivors of Hiroshima, I became more and more interested in the ethics of interviewing. For instance, researchers of Holocaust survivors’ interviews questioned the extent to which researchers were driven by guilt, or desire for redemption (Kushner: 279). In terms of cross-cultural research, the motives of early travellers’ accounts of colonial expeditions along with their stories of primitive others have been questioned (Clifford, Marcus et al ed. 2010:1986). Hibakusha have questioned the motives of researchers. An ethical investigation of storytelling promotes the idea that narratives (in this case interviews) allow us to engage with experiences, our own and others. Although some promote the idea that storytelling per se is an agent of morality and pedagogy – i.e. something from which we have something to learn (Nussbaum 1998:96), in this study, I look at the dangers of storytelling as well as its benefits. I look beyond the assumption of ‘value-free’ engagement to view ethics of storytelling as a process of development between the listener/teller and reader/writer. In this talk, I will ask whether the lenses I adopt can shed light on the ethical implications of interviewing for life story.

References

Kushner, T. (2006) Holocaust Testimony, Ethics, and the Problem of Representation, Poetics Today 27:2 doi 10.1215/03335372-2005-004 c 2006 by Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, pp 276

Meretoja, H. (2018a) Keynote speech for Symposium on Storytelling and Ethics at the Centre for Narrative Research, University of London11 May 2018

Meretoja H. and Davis C. eds. (2018b) Storytelling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative, Oxford University Press.

Nussbaum M. (1998) Cultivating Humanity, Harvard University Press

Rosaldo, R. (2010; 1986) ‘From the door of his tent: the use and abuse of ethnographic authority’ in J. Clifford and G. E. Marcus (Eds.) Writing Culture, The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography Berkeley, Calif. ; London : University of California Press, 2010: 79ff

Elizabeth Chappell is an oral historian, writing a PhD entitled The Last Survivors of Hiroshima at the Open University. 

For further details please contact Corinne Squire at c.squire@uel.ac.uk or Carolina Guttierez Munoz, Thomas Coram Research Unit graduate partner, carolina.gutierrez.16@ucl.ac.uk Details are also on the CNR bloghttps://centrefornarrativeresearch.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/cnr-tcru-october-graduate-seminar-emily-le-roux-rutledge-public-narratives-as-symbolic-resources-for-gender-and-development/ and the CNR website

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‘Voices from the ‘Jungle” at Tidelines

Tidelines: Certainly a festival to seek out, in Irvine, in the steps of Robert Burns and – Nicola Sturgeon. Tidelines Book Festival 2018

https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/tidelines-voices-from-the-jungle-harbour-arts-centre-tickets/8467445

Myself and Majid Adin had a great time there.  It was ferociously windy and autumnal would be an understatement.  Beautiful, too. Continue reading

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TCRU-CNR Graduate Seminars, 2018-2019

 

CNR-TCRU Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminars, 2018-2019

Organised by Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), University of East London

and Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), UCL Institute of Education

 

All seminars take place at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27-28 Woburn Square,

London WC1H 0AA, from 5 -6.30pm. All are welcome, particularly graduate students.

 

October 9 Claire Feeley, University of Central Lancashire: Practising ‘outside of the box’ whilst within ‘the system’. A feminist narrative inquiry of NHS midwives facilitating and supporting women’s unconventional birth choices in the UK.

 

November 6 Elizabeth Chappell, The Open University: What can we learn from talking to hibakusha (survivors of Hiroshima)? Narrative and the ethics of memory in hibakusha life stories.

 

December 4 Adriana Prates, Federal University of Bahia Problematizing the production of health knowledge about stigmatized people: POPTRANS research on transsexual women and transvestites

February 12 Carolina Gutierrez, UCL Institute of Education, TCRU: Grandparent care in Chile: experiences of parenting grandparents and their live-in grandchildren

 

March 5 Amneris Puscascu, UCL Institute of Education, TCRU: Title TBA
April 2 Peter Phillips, Cardiff University: Inside stories

 

May 7 Sanny Mulubale, University of East London, CNR: Critical Citizens: Positionality of the ‘Self’ within Stories of Zambian Teachers Living with Human Immune–deficiency Virus (HIV) and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

 

Seminar details are announced on CNR and TCRU mailing lists two weeks before the seminar date. For more details, please contact Corinne Squire, CNR, c.squire@uel.ac.uk or Carolina Guttierez Munoz, Thomas Coram Research Unit graduate partner, carolina.gutierrez.16@ucl.ac.uk

 

Details are also on the CNR blog https://centrefornarrativeresearch.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/tcru-cnr-graduate-research-seminars-2017-2018/ and the CNR website

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TCRU-CNR Graduate Seminar, October 2018

CNR-TCRU Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminars, 2017-2018

Organised by the Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), University of East London

and the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), UCL Institute of Education

 

Practising ‘outside of the box’ whilst within ‘the system’:

A feminist narrative inquiry into NHS midwives facilitating and supporting women’s unconventional birth choices in the UK.

 

Claire Feeley, University of Central Lancashire

Tuesday 9th October 2018, 5 – 6.30pm

Library, Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27 – 28 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA

All welcome, particularly graduate students.

Women’s choices during pregnancy and childbirth is a common rhetoric that is embedded within governmental policies, cultural norms, and women’s expectations. Beyond consumerism, choice is now associated with feminist issues of women’s autonomy, agency, consent and the human rights agenda. However, evidence suggests that women can face opposition, conflict, and reprisals when attempting to exert their agency. This can be more apparent for women who make ‘unconventional birth choices’ which are characterised as birth choices that go outside of national guidelines or when women decline recommended treatment or care. Whilst some studies have explored women’s decision-making and experiences, less is known about the midwives’ experiences of caring for them. My Ph.D. study has collected data in the form of written narratives and interviews of 45 midwives who self-define as facilitative of women’s unconventional birth choices whilst working in the NHS. By collecting professional stories of practice complex, multi-layered and nuanced data has been generated that revealed stories of sense-making in relation to the personal self, professional self, and identity whilst capturing the sociocultural context of what, how and why they did what they did. This presentation will focus on the multi-methods of data collection (written narratives and interviews) to reflexively explore my rationale, experience, and insights of using these methods.

Claire Feeley qualified as a midwife in 2011 at Oxford Brookes University, graduating with a Master’s degree at the University of Central Lancashire in 2015. During this time, she has worked clinically in all areas of midwifery as well as establishing a research career. She is currently enrolled on a Ph.D. Studentship with the University of Central Lancashire. Claire has a passion for women’s health inequalities, namely around the issues of childbirth choice, autonomy, rights and care provision. She has published and presented at several conferences, nationally and internationally.

 

For further details please contact Corinne Squire at c.squire@uel.ac.uk or Carolina Guttierez Munoz, Thomas Coram Research Unit graduate partner, carolina.gutierrez.16@ucl.ac.uk . Details are also on the CNR blog https://centrefornarrativeresearch.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/cnr-tcru-october-graduate-seminar-emily-le-roux-rutledge-public-narratives-as-symbolic-resources-for-gender-and-development/ and the CNR website

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Refugee narrative and other events at UEL – Refugee Week 2018

Come and Celebrate Refugee Week with the University of East London

For details of addresses, locations and transport, see: https://www.uel.ac.uk/about/finding-us

Monday, 18th June 2018, UEL Docklands Campus, 2-4pm:

Voices of London and Calais: Exhibition Launch 2pm – UEL Refugee Council Archives, Docklands Campus Library. With Aura Lounasmaa and Paul Dudman

Exhibition of stories from refugees and asylum seekers living in the Calais ‘Jungle’ and in London

Creating Imagery as a Story-Telling Medium 2.30pm-4pm – UEL Refugee Council Archives, Docklands Campus Library. With Lynda Gilby and Sonia Quintero.

We will be discussing the way in which we interpret photographs and why photography is an important component of social change around forced migration issues.

Wednesday, 20th UEL Stratford Water Lane Campus, 10am-3.15pm:

Conference to Launch the BPS Guidelines on Working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK, 10am-3.15pm – UEL Stratford Water Lane Room CCG.05. With Rachel Tribe, Nimisha Patel, Lord Alf Dubs, and others. For details, please see: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/launch-of-bps-guidelines-working-with-refugees-asylum-seekers-in-the-uk-tickets-4523581754

Thursday, 21st UEL Stratford University Square Campus, 2-8.30pm:

LGBT+ Narratives and Refugee Solidarity 2-3.30pm – UEL Stratford University Square Room USG.17

‘This is who I am’, from Ice and Fire: Performance and discussion about LGBT+ people seeking asylum in the UK (http://iceandfire.co.uk/project/this-is-who-i-am/ )

Refugee Narratives 4.30pm to 5.45pm – UEL Stratford University Square, Room USG.17

Refugee Narratives across Modalities and Contexts with Giorgia Dona, Paul Dudman, Rumana Hashem and Maya Korac,

Building Communities across Borders 6pm – 7.30pm – UEL Stratford University Square Room USG.17

Bridging Theory and Rractice through Practice-Based Internships with Afaf Jabiri and postgraduate students

Launch of UEL Student Action for Refugees, STAR, 7.45pm to 8.30pm – UEL Stratford University Square, Room USG.17 With Becca Olsson

UEL 2018-2019 Article 26 and OLIve fee waivers for asylum seekers and refugees:

UEL for 2018-2019 is giving SIX standalone Foundation program fee waivers, three in Social Sciences and three in Education and Early Childhood. These are for refugees, asylum seekers and people with temporary leave to remain. Please send initial enquiries to Aura Lounasmaa a.lounasmaa@uel.ac.uk

We also have THREE one-year Master’s level fee waivers. Please send initial enquiries to Zeyna Fall z.fall@uel.ac.uk

UEL is also running the OLIve program for refugees and asylum seekers, over 10 Saturdays, to help move people towards higher education. This program’s next cohort starts in September. Please contact Aura Lounasmaa a.lounasmaa@uel.ac.uk for details.

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