2018/19 funded projects

The ‘Representations of Class Intersectionality’ seminar took place at the American Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Meeting at Georgetown University, Washington, DC (March 7th-10th, 2019). https://www.acla.org/

It brought together academics, researchers and scholars working on a range of interests in literature and culture with an emphasis on the relationship between class and other aspects of cultural politics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. The aim of the seminar was to examine and interrogate representations of class intersectionality across a variety of cultural productions and there was work that focused on a range of locales and periods.

The seminar was organized by Dr Nick Bentley (Keele University) and Dr Simon Lee (University of Riverside, California) and was part-funded by The Keele Institute for Social Inclusion. https://www.keele.ac.uk/socialinclusion/

The seminar took place over two days and included research papers by both established academics, early career researchers and graduate students. It provided an important opportunity for people to share their research in an international context. Contributors to the seminar were: 

  • Nick Bentley, Keele University
  • Liza Betts, University of the Arts, London
  • Adam Heidebrink-Bruno, Lehigh University
  • Micah Del Rosario, University of Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth Floyd, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Molly Freitas, United States Military Academy, West Point
  • Simon Lee, University of California, Riverside
  • Patricia McManus, University of Brighton
  • Molly Slavin, Georgia Institute of Technology

The connections and networks established at the seminar will form an important part of wider discussions and future network events focused on working-class writing and culture, for the local area around Keele, and in the national and international context.

For more information about the seminar please contact Dr Nick Bentley n.bentley@keele.ac.uk.

This one-day conference will explore how understandings of human rights law and particularly disability rights, can help improve and shape better care and social inclusion for people who have dementia. The provisional line up of speakers include practitioners and academics involved in working with people with dementia in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing or care homes, and hospices, as well as legal experts in the field of disability rights, mental capacity law, and adult safeguarding. For more information, or to register your interest, please contact Dr Laura Pritchard-Jones: l.g.pritchard-jones@keele.ac.uk

Part funded by KISI and organised by Nick Garnett. Restoke are an arts organisation based in Stoke-on-Trent. They work with people from all walks of life to co-create performances addressing social issues and reimagining community venues. Their latest performance – Man UP! – involved 21 men who came together over 12 months to explore mental health and masculinity through conversation and creativity. This experiential workshop will allow you to take part in the types of activities which the UpMEN! engaged in as part of the ManUP! programme including dancing, movement, and bonding promoting activities.

KISI members at Keele will be hosting a series of joint practitioner/academic workshops to explore the challenges faced by our partner organisations who are attempting to engage with and support individuals and groups that could be conceived of as 'vulnerable'.  These workshops will look at the challenges associated with trying to engage with various forms of vulnerability both in terms of multi-agency partnership approaches, but also in terms of improved sharing of knowledge, information and learning between agencies and between academic and non-academic partners. Over the course of 2019 Keele academics from a range of specialisms will be working with external partners to strategically define, engage and operationalise proactive approaches to support for vulnerable people in a range of operational/organisational contexts."

Project lead:  Tony Kearon

This project, led by Dr Cora Lingling Xu, explores in-depth the experiences and challenges of study-to-work transition of British-educated Chinese students. The project team consists of members from Keele, Oxford, Lancaster, UCL, Hiroshima universities and East China University of Science and Technology. A one-day workshop was held on 3 July 2018 to discuss preliminary findings and future funding application plans. For more details of the project, please visit here.

This project brings together Keele academics from English and Medicine, in collaboration with the Potteries Museum and Gallery and Poetry on Loan West Midlands, to develop a day of workshop activities for local students. Students will consider the acts of selection, interpretation, and creation that underpin museum exhibits and their labels, and will be invited to work behind the scenes to create and recreate exhibits and labels. The project situates students as active stakeholders in the museum by encouraging them to participate in the creation of meaning within local institutions.

For further information contact Jordan Kistler

In this pilot project, academics from a range of social science disciplines (consumer behaviour, social psychology and sociology) are working with Foodcycle to improve understanding of the community meal experiences they offer.  We will be considering the perspectives of both their guests as well as their volunteers and will also be joined on the project by New Vic Borderlines and North Staffordshire Community Food Network. Our aim is to explore the role that organisations like Foodcycle can play in addressing the high levels of loneliness that is currently experienced by all age groups across the UK. 

For further information please contact:  Emma Surman

This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration that will build towards the development a Working-Class Writing Network (WCWN). It will bring together academics, writers and other creative practitioners in order to study writing that engages with issues of class. WCWN aims to provide a space to discuss, examine and interrogate issues related to working-class culture and experience as expressed in writing and to interrogate theories related to working-class studies. Two events are planned for 2018-19:

  • A seminar of nine papers entitled ‘Representations of Class Intersectionality’ at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting at Georgetown University, Washington DC in March 2019.
  • A one-day symposium at Keele University in June 2019.

Both these events will focus on prominent issues, themes and stylistic techniques in working-class writing in a national and international context and will include research papers by senior and early career academics, and postgraduate students. The project is coordinated by Dr Nick Bentley (English, Keele), Martin Goodhead (English, Keele), Dr Mark Featherstone (Sociology, Keele), Dr Anita Mangan (Management, Keele), and Dr Simon Lee, (English, University of California, Riverside).

For further information please contact Dr Nick Bentley

Green space is an essential resource for all. However, it is not necessarily accessible or inclusive to everyone across the life course or with special needs. This project is a collaboration with a newly established membership charity that has involved a range of communication and information gathering strategies to design and make 'fit for purpose' a small pocket park. It has involved a wide range of partners, stakeholders and volunteers to ensure that the delivery of an inclusive park takes account of the needs adn wishes of all sections of the community. This project traces and celebrates a successful example of community engagement with long term befits and impacts.

Please contact Dr Andy Zieleniec for further information.

This project aims to build and consolidate collaborations with local and international partners around the topic of charitable donations of musical instruments. It addresses how those rich in resource (i.e. existing owners of musical instruments) and those responsible for transferring the resource (charity directors and others involved in instrument donation schemes) manage the process of transferring it to those less able to access the resource, picking up issues of class. The research will test innovative ways of exploring donors’ motivations in two different settings, one local, one international, and the effects of donation on their sense of identity and wellbeing. We will visit an international charity and workshops where instruments are repaired, and conduct pilot work with previous donors to an international scheme, as well as connecting local partners with interests in setting up a Staffordshire programme. The work picks up themes of cultural regeneration and community building via interdisciplinary research by Dr Alex Lamont (Psychology Keele) and Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Music and Music Technology Keele).

During the school summer holiday 2018, an estimated three million children in the UK were at risk of going hungry (Burns: 2018) with some families unable to financially cover additional food costs incurred. KISI funds have been awarded to a team of cross-institutional, inter-disciplinary researchers, in collaboration with local business, to analyse the social and educational value of holiday hunger provision across the city of Stoke on Trent.

The Social Value of out-of-school provisions Summary report

For further information please contact Dr Sian Edwards.

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