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Oxford Brookes lecturers to convene 2017 British Academy Conference

Carrying child news sizeAn interdisciplinary team of lecturers from the Department of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University has been selected to convene one of the prestigious British Academy Conferences, to take place in London in 2017. The theme of the conference will be ‘Vulnerability and the Politics of Care’, a subject that has broad academic and public appeal.

Over the course of the two-day conference speakers will present research and engage in discussions about vulnerability in contexts ranging from eldercare to the war on terror, from epigenetics to phenomenology.

The organisers are Doerthe Rosenow (Senior Lecturer, International Relations), Victoria Browne (Lecturer, Politics), Tina Managhan (Senior Lecturer, International Relations), and Jason Danely (Senior Lecturer, Anthropology) – all of whom are first-time applicants to organise the event. They decided to move forward with their British Academy proposal after a successful two-day workshop on the same topic held at Oxford Brookes University in January 2016, which included participants from across the UK and Italy.

For the British Academy Conference, the four organisers have built upon the success of January’s event and invited even more world-class speakers – not only from the UK, but also the US, Germany, Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Lebanon. One highlight of the conference will be a talk by Professor Judith Butler (University of California Berkeley), widely recognized as one of the most influential voices in contemporary social theory today. Butler, who is best known for her work on politics, gender and queer theory, has been at the center of developing a politics of vulnerability over the past decade, and was a key supporter of the conference proposal. More information on the conference will be available later in the year.

Oxford Brookes University to host the 6th annual National Student Conference for the Royal Anthropological Institute!

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The Oxford Brookes Anthropology Society will be hosting the 6th annual National Student Conference for the Royal Anthropological Institute on Wednesday 18 May.

The annual conference is open to all students nationwide, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Tickets are available here, with the £10 attendance fee including refreshments for the day. The day will begin at 9am for registration, ready for a 10am start in the Union Hall.

The theme for the conference is ‘Anthropology in the 21st Century’, a broad theme that will display the broad range of research being conducted in the field. It will be a fantastic opportunity for students to present their work in the form of papers and posters. The day will finish with a keynote speaker (TBC) and a wine reception.

For more information, contact obanthropology@gmail.com

 

 

School of Law hosts ‘Rights of the Child’ conference

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Better Late than Never, a one-day symposium held in January at Oxford Brookes University, marked the 25th Anniversary of the UK Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Organised by Dr Brigitte Clark and Dr Mariya Ali of the School of Law, participating speakers, as well as delegates, included representatives from government, the judiciary, academia, and from NGOs. Professor Janet Beer opened the conference, the last of her tenure as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

The morning session began with The Right Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice of Court of Appeal, discussing UK case law in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court and illustrated the gradual recognition of the Convention on Children’s Rights.. Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England then discussed the significance of the ratification in 1991. Sixteen-year-old Eshe Barzey, Child Advocate, from Ashcroft Academy, spoke on behalf of Shaftesbury young people as their child advocate and about what the CRC means to her. Emeritus Professor Michael Freeman, of University College London, discussed the ‘superficially simple’ Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Emeritus Professor Jane Fortin, of Sussex University, then referred to the fact that there was a deep ambivalence over the UK’s fulfilment of many of its obligations under the Convention.

In the afternoon, Louise King of Save the Children examined the General Measures of Implementation (GMI) in relation to the UK, and Anna Edmundson from Children’s Rights Alliance then gave a fascinating account of the rights of children in custody. In the last session of the day Ms Naomi Danquah, addressed the gap between ratification and practice in the work of UNICEF with Local Authorities and a fifteen-year-old boy spoke of his harrowing experiences in care and also of the hopes he now has for his future.

Since many of the issues raised at this conference need further discussion and examination, the organisers, in collaboration with EU experts from Oxford Brookes School of Law and immigration lawyers, are planning a follow up conference in October to discuss particularly the impact of the Family Migration Rules on children, young people and families and in particular on the enjoyment by children of their rights under the CRC.

Local teachers and students discuss behaviour management in schools

IMG_4138 editedOver 100 teachers and students recently attended a ‘Perspectives on Behaviour’ conference at the School of Education. The conference was led by teachers Andy Lole and Julia Sealby from Mulberry Bush School, a specialist residential school for traumatised children who discussed new ways of managing behaviour and how OfSTED judge behaviour in schools.

Behaviour management presents challenges for both students and experienced teachers and has been a topic high on the Ofsted agenda in recent years. In relation to understanding behaviour, the conference discussions centred around three core themes:

  • Relationships from a psycho-dynamic perspective;
  • Reflective practice and having protected time for ALL adults supporting children to engage in this process;
  • Shared understandingsof the whole school community in relation to expectations, routines, consistency of approaches etc.

A refreshing aspect of this conference was the focus on adults rather than children and whole school and individual aspects rather than strategies and interventions.

As a practising OfSTED inspector Andy was able to share examples of how schools demonstrate outstanding practice with regards to behaviour. He spent time discussing current concerns with regards to low-level disruption in classrooms and suggested that this can be minimised by ensuring that all children feel safe within their learning environment, feel that their learning is valued and that they are all able to succeed to a high standard.

As a previous behaviour support teacher who now provides outreach support for schools across the county, Julia provided specific case study examples of how schools that have experienced difficulties in relation to behaviour were able to resolve these difficulties.

Debbie Bowers, School Direct Lead for Oxford Brookes, said:

I felt that Andy and Julia brought a new perspective to the whole area of Behaviour Management, which allowed teachers and students to reflect on their own practice in the classroom especially around the statement that behaviour is a pupil’s way of communicating an unmet emotional need.

Due to the high demand for places, Brookes will be repeating the conference on Wednesday 4 March 2015. For more information on how to book, click here.

Jon Reid, Joint Subject Coordinator for Education Studies and ITE ‘Advocate for Behaviour’, added:

Highlights of the conference for me included ideas which really help one to step back and consider the complexity of pupil behaviour in educational contexts. The conference was a great opportunity to consider future collaboration between the School of Education and the Mulberry Bush School and I know that the next run of this conference will be equally popular.

If you would like to read more of the ‘Perspectives on Behaviour’ highlights, search for #OBUBSN where conference attendees were encouraged to Tweet thoughts, ideas and suggestions during and after the event.

Dr Hannah Russ to present findings at 46th Seminar for Arabian Studies in London

7981117Dr Hannah Russ is due to present her research entitled Turtles as a dietary resource? Evidence from Rubayqa, northern Qatar, and a review of turtle exploitation in Eastern Arabia at the 46th Seminar for Arabian Studies, to be held at the British Museum, London, 26-28 July 2013.

OBAH’s Dr Mike Morley presented research at annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology

Dr Mike Morley recently presented his research at the 78th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, held in Honolulu, Hawaii (3-7 April 2013).

His presentation was entitled Late Pleistocene fluvial dynamics in Lesotho: Implications for climatic variability, landscape viability and site visibility.

HOPE researchers present paper at confence in Berlin

Dr Sam Smith and Zoe Robinson are attending the 12th International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan: Transparent Borders, Berlin.

Their talk is entitled Homing in on households? Single context archaeology and the interpretation of social organisations at Early Neolithic WF16, southern Jordan is to be presented on Tuesday 7th.

Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference 2012

Over 30 undergraduate students took part in the Undergraduate Research Conference on a sunny spring day in March, in Headington Hill Hall’s beautiful Music Room and Green Room.
Students displayed posters describing research they are undertaking in subjects ranging from  attitudes to mental illness in the USA, to the history of medical research on human cadavers in the medieval England, to the psychology of conspiracy theorist, David Icke.
Several students presented research inspired by a trip to India and looked at issues such as the changing attitudes and behaviour of the British Raj, female sexuality in India and beliefs around figures from the Hindu pantheon such as Ganesh and Hanuman.
Associate Dean for the Student Experience, Dr Brian Marshall, commended all the students for the high quality of the work, and the fact that many had chosen to present work beyond their dissertations and taught modules. He said he was particularly impressed with how well the students spoke about their research as people came round and visited their displays. The university aims for all students to develop research literacies during their time at Brookes, and the conference gave ample evidence that many are taking this up alongside other skills in presentation and personal development.
The winner of the prize for the best poster was Grace Loydon whose display on trafficking of women was an excellent stand-alone source of information on the topic. The winner of the oral presentations was Sarah Conder, who gave a polished and expert talk on the New Growth and the social development of South Africa.
The Conference was organised by Dr Alysa Levene, Reader in History and Principal Lecturer in the Student Experience. Thank you to all the students and staff who supported the event.

Oxford Brookes Undergraduates Attend Prestigious Research Conference

Tara Bentley, third year historian, reports on her visit to the British Conference on Undergraduate Research

On 19 March a group of Oxford Brookes students attended the British Conference of Undergraduate Research hosted by Warwick University. Over two days this academic conference showcased the very latest research being undertaken by graduates from across England through spoken papers, lectures and poster presentations. This is only the second year this conference has been running for but it has been hugely successful and a great opportunity for students to share their experiences and encourage undergraduate research to be accepted as work of scholarly value.

On arrival we were all whisked into the first lecture where keynote speaker, Professor Gillian Hundt, gave an insightful and inspiring talk about her own experience as a social science researcher. Her tales of living amongst the barge communities on the canals in France and her work on women and families in the Middle East conveyed important issues researchers may face in the field. After a buffet lunch we all took part in a speed-networking session which, similar to speed-dating format, encouraged us all to talk to lots of people about our research in an allotted time. It was useful in helping us define our research and listen to others as well as breaking down some nerves before the paper sessions. I met some very interesting students, one researching the behaviour of Giraffes in enclosures and another on the support nurses get in dealing with patient deaths and palliative care, all making me feel really part of an inclusive research community.

Finally the time came for me to deliver my paper. I was nervous but soon got into the swing of it and although I ran over time I got a good reaction to my paper based on my dissertation research on the voluntary hospital’s coordination efforts in the later inter-war period. It was a great opportunity for me to practise my presentation skills and public speaking and I learnt a lot from the day. Next year the conference will be hosted by Plymouth University and if you are interested in taking part, then please visit www.bcur.org for more details.

Sign up now for the Undergraduate Student Research Conference 2012

A showcase for undergraduate research across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Conference is an informal marketplace for undergraduate students to give short oral presentations or present posters, websites and DVDs of their research for academic modules or extra-curricular work.

How will you benefit from taking part?

  • Being involved in the conference will enrich your CV and develop invaluable skills
  • Share your work with peers and academic staff
  • Learn from personal feedback and discussion, and gain multi-disciplinary skills in summarising your research
  • Develop and improve your communication, presentation and digital media skills
  • Find out more about publishing your work online or in print

Harcourt Hill: Wednesday 28th March 2012 14.00-16.00. Glasgow Room

Headington: Thursday 29th March 10.30-12.30. Headington Hill Hall

For further information contact Dr Alysa Levene, alevene@brookes.ac.uk

Or go to https://wiki.brookes.ac.uk/display/hssurc/Home to register.