Friday, 13 July 2018

Encountering Emotions in Academia

Convenors: Dr Donna Poade – Business School, Management Studies, University of Exeter and Prof. Craig Young – Human Geography, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Participate in a day of exploring and engaging emotionally with the effects of researching and teaching sensitive issues.

Moving away from traditional academic formats, this one-day event will feature a mixture of talks intended to provoke discussion and interaction, and a ‘mushaira-style’ lunch session led by poet Anjum Malik. Malik’s food-inspired poetry will accompany nourishing soul food provided by student-led social enterprise MetMUnch. Founded by Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences Haleh Moravej, MetMUnch provide a bespoke food experience encouraging social eating.

Despite the growth in publications focusing on the role of emotion in different contexts (including academia) this research is under developed across a range of disciplines. More importantly there is a lack of practical consistent responses to the impacts of researching and teaching of sensitive issues which we aim to address as a collective. This is an opportunity to co-create and shape responses to the opportunities and challenges that researching and teaching sensitive issues present. Our aim is to offer a safe space in which to share our experiences, where emotions can be encountered, discussed and shared, all while recognising the difficulties around debating the personal impacts of engaging in emotional work.

The day will end with an optional session of activities designed to ensure attendees leave feeling nourished and nurtured, including a relaxing gong-bath and a badge-making session.

The event is supported by Manchester Met’s Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences (RCASS) and School of Science and the Environment

Event programme:

10.00 Welcome (refreshments and registration)
10.20 Event opening by Prof. Sharon Handley, Prof. Craig Young and Dr. Donna Poade plus mindful activity
10.40 Key Contribution: Dr Donna Poade, University of Exeter
Encountering Emotions in Academia: Reflections on Dark Tourism Research
11.10 Key contribution: Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam, University of London
“Maybe, Always: What I do with what I don’t know.”
Examples of ‘empirical performance’ from on-going work on diasporic dying in the UK.
11.50 Discussions and reflections
12.05 Refreshment break
12.20 Group activity - facilitated space to talk about impacts and effects connected to academic practices.
13.00 Anjum Malik: scriptwriter, poet and performer leading a 'Mushaira style' lunch with poetry related activities
14.00 Key Contribution: Dr Claire Moon, Associate Professor in Human Rights, Sociology, London School of Economics
'What should an ethics of care look like in research and teaching spaces’?
14.20 Key Contribution: Ms Zivana Murphy, Hull York Medical School
A social science researcher’s emotional performance in encountering the dead within anatomy units.
14.40 Discussions and reflections
15.00 Refreshment break
15.10 Group activity - facilitated space to talk about tools and resources to support the emotional effects in academia.
15.40 Open forum
16.00 Key Contribution: Dr Thomas Wimark, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.
Emotions in research drawing on recent work
16.30 Group reflections on the day – led by Dr Thomas Wimark
17.00 Event close
17.00 Wellbeing activities: creative mindful activities and ‘Gong bath’


Professor Sharon Handley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Introduction to event

Contribution: Sharon will open this very special event and introduce our contributions from our speakers alongside our planned activities.

Bio: Sharon Handley is Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. She has substantial experience of management and leadership in HE, including Head of Department, Dean of Faculty and Director of Routes into Languages North West, a Consortium of eleven universities across the North West. This was part of the Government funded Routes into Languages project toaddress the decline in languages in schools and Higher Education. The North West Consortium developed strategies to raise the profile of languages, including community languages in that remit. The Consortium created outreach projects such as Mother Tongue Other Tongue, which was rolled out across the UK, and used foreign language films to support the teaching of languages in schools thus promoting intercultural understanding through language teaching. As Director of the Consortium, Sharon worked with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Languages to campaign for a wider range of languages to be taught in schools. As Pro VC, she is working to foster greater diversity within the faculty and to create an inclusive environment, which reaches out to our partners and communities.

Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam – Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London,

Contribution: “Maybe, Always: What I do with what I don’t know.”

Summary: My contribution will be based on examples of ‘empirical performance’ from on-going work on diasporic dying in the UK, which has been concerned with engaging care professionals and publics with social pain: the hurt and injuries of living with inequality and injustice. I would like to think about how performed stories can provide a means to convey ambiguities and the chronopolitics of social pain, how it can accrue and be scattered over a life time, sometimes intermingling with diseased biochemistry to rearrange bodies, feelings, time and space. I will also discuss empirical performance with regard to the racialised and migrant feminist researcher and with a broader attunement to decolonialising imperatives.

Bio: Yasmin Gunaratnam teaches in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths and is interested in life's threshold moments and transitions. Her books include Researching Race and Ethnicity: methods, knowledge and power (2003, Sage), Death and the Migrant (2013, Bloomsbury Academic) and Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies (2017, Manchester University Press). Yasmin has edited nine collections including ‘A Jar of Wild Flowers: Essays in Celebration of John Berger’ (2016, Zed). She is an editor of Feminist Review and Media Diversified.

Dr Claire Moon – Associate Professor in Human Rights, Sociology, LSE,

Contribution: 'What should an ethics of care look like in research and teaching spaces’?

Summary: Claire will reflect on her experience of research and teaching to discuss and highlight how the emotional aspects of her work is integral to her practice. She will also reflect on the (lack of) provision of support for researchers in order to provoke discussion about what kind of support services and procedures should be developed.

Bio: Dr Claire Moon is Associate Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, where she is also a member of LSE Human Rights and the Latin America and Caribbean Centre. She has degrees in Literature, International Relations and Politics. Claire has published widely on such topics as transitional justice, political forgiveness, reparations, war trauma, humanitarianism, human rights, and forensic investigations of atrocity. She currently holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award for her project ‘Human Rights, Human Remains: Forensic Humanitarianism and the Politics of the Grave’ (2018-2021), and is also researching the denial of atrocities in Mexico. Claire is on the international advisory board of a citizen-led forensics organisation of families of ‘the disappeared’ in Mexico.

Ms. Zivarna Murphy – PhD Candidate, Hull York Medical School,

Contribution: “A social science researcher’s emotional performance in encountering the dead within anatomy units.”

Summary: Zivarna will discuss her personal emotional performance in encountering the dead within anatomy units as a social science researcher. Her PhD aims to understand the work that Medical School Anatomy Unit staff (AUS) do with the families of those who have donated their bodies for medical education. Whilst researching this she found herself frequently encountering cadavers. This was unexpected because she is specifically looking at the work that AUS do with families, not the donors themselves. However, encountering cadavers became an integral part of her data collection as it allowed her to witness the process of body donation first-hand, understand the staff, develop rapport, and empathise with them. She has encountered the dead in many different guises within her previous studies and research, but these were the first medical cadavers. She will run through her most prominent encounters with cadavers and highlight the various coping strategies and processes that she went through which were remarkably similar to those of her participants. She will also discuss the lack of recognition and support for such researchers as this was not recognised in her ethical approval.

Bio: Zivarna Murphy is a postgraduate research student within the Primary Care and Palliative Care (PCPC) research group at the Hull York Medical School. She is currently exploring body donation for medical education with a focus on identifying good practice in the interactions between Medical School Anatomy Unit staff (AUS) and families. She gained an integrated masters degree (MAnth) in Biological Anthropology from Durham University. Her dissertation and masters theses concerned public engagement with the dead in public contexts. Within her PhD thesis Zivarna is especially interested in the emotional labour that AUS perform with the families of donors throughout the body donation process. She has found that this work is hidden and there is a lack of recognition, support and training for this. Zivarna is also interested in emotional performances in academia as she has completed much emotional labour in her own research around sensitive topics and encountering the dead. Similar to the AUS she is researching there is a lack of recognition and support for these researchers too.

Anjum Malik - Scriptwriter, poet and performer

Contribution: Lunch will also be organised around a 'mushaira-style' event led by Anjum Malik who will read her food related poetry to facilitate this interaction.

Bio: Anjum has written several much-acclaimed original plays for BBC, ITV and theatre in UK. She is a regular creative writing tutor for leading literary organisations in UK and overseas. She is also a lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK. Anjum specialises in fact to fiction. Her scripts, poems and writing are based on true stories and real people. Over 70 of her scripts have been produced, transmitted or preformed so far. Her previous jobs include police officer, interpreter, sales person, business owner and classical Indian Kathak dancer. She was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived in Pakistan as well several cities in England. Anjum is multi lingual and currently based in Manchester, UK.

Haleh Moravej, MetMunch, Manchester Metropolitan University

Contribution: Lunch will be provided by the student-led social enterprise ManMetMunch supporting the co-creation of meaning around food, eating, people and emotions through themes of health, balance and nutrition led by MMU academic Haleh Moravej. MetMUnch is a global award-winning, student-led social enterprise based at Manchester Metropolitan University. At their heart is a passion for sustainable and nutritious food.

Bio: Haleh Moravej is a senior lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to teaching, Haleh was a commercial entrepreneur with her own nutrition clinic. She has always had a passion for learning, and in the university environment, she found a place of great thinking. As an entrepreneur, she brings innovation, exploration and sustainability to everything she does. This approach is best exemplified in her award-winning MetMUnch, a student-led programme that sets the standard for sustainability, nutrition and entrepreneurship across Manchester Met.
Haleh empowers both students and colleagues to approach their work in a different way; a way that takes in real life experience, champions public engagement and emphasises global impact. She strives for learning to be a practical experience – in ingenious ways: an insect sushi bar in a museum, summer picnics exploring how food can connect with people, architecture students creating sculptures with sustainable food. Through all this Haleh shares her creativity, giving students the platform to build on what they’ve experienced with their own creativity and ideas.

Dr Donna Poade – School of Management, University of Exeter,

Contribution: Encountering Emotions in Academia: Reflections on Dark Tourism Research

Summary: Donna will share her experiences and reflections associated with her research journey in dark tourism research. She will highlight the emotional highs and lows of the research and the impact this had on her both personally and professionally. Her contribution aims to raise awareness of the importance of wellbeing for all people connected to a research process including researchers and supervisory and support teams. She emphasizes the need to incorporate a wellbeing philosophy into institutional and ethical frameworks.

Bio: Donna has a special academic expertise in dark tourism, the phenomenon of travel to visitor sites associated with death and suffering alongside a keen interest in research methods and methodology, specifically when researching sensitive issues. Donna also has a background in industry and is an advocate of ethical business practices within tourism related enterprises. She enjoys travelling and lived in Canada for many years working in the tourism industry. Donna can often be found reading, particularly by the sea in her home coastal town.

Dr Thomas Wimark – Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University,

Contribution: Emotions in research – recent experiences from the field

Summary: Thomas will reflect on his recent writings on the subject of fieldwork, the life course and emotions, and then fulfil the role of 'discussant', bringing together reflections on the day's themes.

Bio: A researcher experienced in using mixed geographical methods and handling different datasets as well as register-based individual data. Known by peers to have an aptitude for both quantitative and qualitative methods as well as a creative writing style. Working with an ambition to highlight social exclusion of marginalized groups in society.

Event contact Andy Turbine ·

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