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Faculty of Social Sciences

Events: Faculty of Social Sciences

Stories of Change: Early career digital skills training and public event

8 January 2015 (17:30 - 19:00)

Pervasive Media Studio,

Falling in the first days of Bristol's year as the inaugural Green Capital, two experts in the field of digital media will ask: Can digital and interactive media (help to) save the world?

First up is Mandy Rose - Thinking through Climate Change

In a world where media is everywhere, and media making no longer the preserve of professionals, there is an expanded opportunity for documentary storytelling that reflects and challenges the conditions of our shared world. Looking at a number of innovative and award-winning interactive documentary projects - Word Without Oil, Collapsus, Waterlife, Sandy Storyline - Mandy will explore how documentary makers are taking advantage of interactive storytelling to address issues of environmental crisis and sustainability. While pointing to the challenges involved in demonstrating the impact of media work, she will make a case for the importance of documentary storytelling as a resource for thinking through climate change.

Next we hear from Bill Thompson on The Magic is In Your Head.

A good story, well told, is the nearest thing to magic we know. It can change the way the world is perceived, transform our understanding of a situation, turn inertia into action and optimism into despair. It can make you love, or hate, or change from one to another.

We always use the latest technologies to tell the oldest stories, from cave painting to television to Popcorn-based interactive documentaries and Vine. Bill Thompson will ask whether we can use the newest tools for good or whether, like writing, they are more likely to limit our imagination and turn us into 'hearers of many things' who learn nothing.

Stories of Change is supported by a Connected Communities grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Related links

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Book launch: Migration, space and transnational identities

23 January 2015 (18:00 - 20:00)

Room 2, The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent,

This timely text explores the lives, histories and identities of white British-born immigrants in South Africa, twenty years after the post-apartheid Government took office. Drawing on over sixty in depth biographical interviews and ethnographic work in Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town, Daniel Conway and Pauline Leonard analyse how British immigrants' relate to, participate in and embody South Africa's complex racial and political history. Through their everyday lives, political and social attitudes, relationships with the places and spaces of South Africa, as well as their expectations of the future, the complexities of their transnational, raced and classed identities and senses of belonging are revealed. Migration, Space and Transnational Identities makes an important contribution to sociological, geographical, political and anthropological debates on transnational migration, whiteness, Britishness and lifestyle, tourism and labour migration.

This event will explore the issues tackled in the book.

Confirmed speakers will be, in addition to the authors (Daniel Conway and Pauline Leonard):

Prof Robin Cohen (Emeritus Professor and Former Director of the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford. Co-Editor of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship Series, Palgrave Macmillan)

Prof Karen O'Reilly, Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and author of International Migration and Social Theory (Palgrave).

Prof Melissa Steyn, South African Research Chair (National Research Foundation) in Critical Diversity Studies and Director of the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand


Advancing Image-Elicitation Methods in the Social Sciences

23 January 2015


Would you like to know more about how to use and theorise image-based methods in your research?

The Open University is offering free, ESRC-funded, on-line advanced training on image elicitation methods.

Aimed at PhD, early career researchers and those seeking to develop their methodological expertise, this on-line training offers a flexible way to enhance understanding of these important social science methods.

The training, delivered in three short modules, will provide opportunities for participants to share their research and explore case studies from contemporary social science research in small groups, facilitated by experienced visual researchers.

Module one: Researching visually with 'vulnerable' participants: Will critically explore concepts of voice, marginality and inclusivity, interrogating current approaches to ethics, representation and anonymity.

Module two: You will participate!: Will complicate the rhetoric of participation, critically addressing the claim that visual research methods inherently facilitate collaborative working by inviting participants to consider the wider political and cultural context of participation.

Module three: The future of image elicitation: Will explore how visual research methods may develop in the future, given the pervasiveness of digital technology by both researchers and their research project participants.

Synchronous and asynchronous on-line communication will enable participants to work through theoretical and practical problems inherent in working visually in order to enhance their practice and contribution to this important field.

Module one will run from Monday, 23rd February 2015 to Friday, 6th March 2015. Module two will run Monday, 20th April 2015 to Friday, 1st May 2015, and Module three will run Monday, 15th June 2015 to Friday, 26th June 2015. Each two-week module requires 10 hours of study. The programme will also be offered in 2016 and 2017.

Please indicate your interest by completing the pre-registration proforma. The closing dates for applications are:

Module 1 - Friday, 23rd January 2015

Module 2 - Friday, 20th March 2015

Module 3 - Friday, 15th May 2015

Places are limited and we will contact you to confirm whether you have a place or not no later than one week after registration closes. You will need to have access to a good broadband connection and ideally have a headset with earphones and a microphone. Modules will be presented in English and all times are UK GMT/BST.

For the duration of the module you will be bound by The Open University's Computing Code of Conduct.

There is no formal assessment.


Towards a caring economy - Celebrating Sue Himmelweit's research on care and gender equality

27 January 2015 (11:00)

The Open University - 1-11 Hawley Crescent,

For more than forty years, Sue Himmelweit has been researching the politics and economics of care and gender inequalities. She has tirelessly worked towards 'making visible the hidden economy' of women's contributions to the national good. From refining Marxist and feminist theories to arguing for gender budgeting, from unpacking intra-household inequalities to examining trends in policy-making about care, her multidisciplinary research has opened many avenues for improving policy-making and achieving a more gender equal and caring world.

Throughout these years she has worked with talented and passionate colleagues and friends who will be presenting her major contributions to knowledge, reflecting on the progress so far and the challenges remaining.

Related links

Link Full Event Details




Student Connections Online Conference

24 March 2015 - 26 March 2015


The Student Connections Conference 2015 is for students with interest in social sciences; however, it is open to all and is entirely free, and all you need to take part is log on via any web browser.

This is a unique opportunity to connect with other students in the Social Sciences and enjoy a real conference experience from your home.

Detailed programme and resgistration details will be posted on the conference website soon:

If you have any questions, please send them to:

Related links

Link Conference website


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