Monday 27th November 2017, 17:00G63Ground floor, Main Building,Aston University
ALL WELCOMEPerforming the Victim Label:Trafficked Women, Resilience and the Spaces of German Criminal Law Dr Sharron A. FitzGerald
Abstract: In this paper, I discuss my qualitative study of German law and policy responses to human trafficking and prostitution. The data I present in this article are a subset based on in camera participant observations of judges deposing women who are witnesses in criminal proceedings against their traffickers. I use my analysis to develop and inform an different account of trafficked women’s experiences–one that prioritises the material and discursive insights offered by focusing on their narrative accounts of their ‘lived’ experiences of trafficking. By concentrating upon trafficked women’s words, I contribute to interdisciplinary, feminist work that acknowledges the complex interconnections of vulnerability and agency in their lives but rejects essentialised accounts of their identities as ‘victims’. My approach concentrates on how the criminal law’s construction–and privileging–of gendered notions of ‘real’ and ‘ideal’ victims of trafficking is both a site of trafficked women’s subordination and a source of their agency. Normative discourses about ‘real’ trafficked women created a specific narrative environment shaping how my research participants could speak about their lives. And yet, I argue they did not completely define it. Drawing on Judith Butler’s analysis of the complex transactions between subjectification and subversive agency and emerging debates in the health arena in psychosocial theory on resilience I ask: How do my research participants engage with and manipulate the law’s own institutional gender logic to assume representational authority of their identity? In order to answer this questions, it is necessary to unravel the delicate equilibrium between things they must convey to the judge and those things that must not be spoken before the court if they are to ensure continued state support as victims of trafficking. I argue the process of arranging their performance of self provides an archetype of Butler’s (1993; 1997, 2000) interpretation of assujetissement–the process of becoming subordinated by power and well as the process of becoming a subject. This process illuminate how my research participants construct their narratives in the context of a particular times and places using particular themes and plot lines. I submit the ability to be responsive to the court’s expectations from within its own hegemony is an expression of their agency and developing resilience.
Biography: Dr Sharron A. FitzGerald teaches in gender and migration studies at Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. She is a Research Fellow at the International Victimology Institute at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, including gender, human smuggling and trafficking, prostitution, social justice, neo-liberal governance and securitisation. Sharron is a member of EU funded project ‘ProsPol’ that examines features and effects of prostitution policies at the European, national and local levels.
Wednesday 29th November 2017, 14:00 – 16:00, Cadbury Room,10th Floor, North Wing, Main Building,,Aston University
Places are free but registration is essential
Speakers: Dr Sharron FitzGerald (Distinguished Visitor, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich); Dr Katy Pilcher (Aston University) & Dr Demelza Jones (Aston University)
This workshop will draw from Dr Sharron FitzGerald’s research in which she has interviewed human traffickers, women who have been trafficked, as well as dedicated NGOs, anti-trafficking and prostitution police units, state prosecutors and judges, regarding their approach and understanding of the legal prosecution process in Germany. Dr Katy Pilcher will reflect upon her research with sex workers; performers and spectators in erotic dance venues marketed towards women customers in the UK; and practitioners of ‘orgasmic meditation’ in London and New York. Dr Demelza Jones will speak about her research with migrants and other politically marginalised groups.The workshop will include discussions surrounding issues of access and gatekeeping, the research process, and the ethics and political implications of characterising people as ‘hard to reach’ or ‘vulnerable groups’ in constructing research agendas, during the research process, and in impact and dissemination activities.The workshop is interactive – please come along ready to share insights from your own research or future research ideas.
Places are free but registration is essential as space is limited, please RSVP for a place to Dr Katy Pilcher: firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
8th - 9th December 2017,
Keynotes will be delivered by June Hennell, MBE, advocate for those with dementia, and Dr Aagje Swinnen, co-editor of Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness. There will also be a screening of Piano Lessons by Professor Marlene Goldman, author of the forthcoming Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada.
This symposium is the inaugural event of the new international Dementia and Cultural Narrative network.
This is a FREE event, but we ask all attendees to register by 15thNovember: https://dementia-culture.wixsite.com/network/upcoming-events
Join Stop Charter Flights - End Deportations, STRIKE! Magazine and Aston University’s Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC) for film screenings followed by a panel discussion chaired by Dr Graeme Hayes about borders, migration, and cages.
The event will provide a space to explore how violent borders are affecting communities in the UK and around the world. Featuring the films Violent Borders produced by STRIKE! Magazine and Working Illegally produced by Stand Off film.
This event is free and all are welcome to attend.
Download the programme here.
Aston University's Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture invite you to a half-day symposium 'Researching the Church of England', to be held on Tuesday 25th July at Aston University, Birmingham.
Marking the award of an honorary doctorate by the university to the Bishop of Birmingham, The Right Reverend David Urquhart, the event will showcase the range of work being undertaken by Aston researchers on issues relating to the Church of England. This will include Dr Sarah-Jane Page's (Lecturer in Sociology) work on gender and motherhood in the clergy; a collaborative project between Dr Demelza Jones (Lecturer in Sociology) and Canon Dr Andrew Smith (Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham and Honorary Fellow at the University of Birmingham) on migrant and minority-ethnic congregations' use of Anglican church spaces; and contributions from two of our doctoral students - Celine Benoit on the role of the Church in schools, and George Amakor on the Church in Nigeria.
We are also pleased to announce two eminent guest speakers: Dr Susanna Snyder (Assistant Director of Catherine of Siena College and Tutor in Theology at University of Roehampton; Research Associate at the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regent Park's College, Oxford; and Associate Member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford), who will discuss her research on refugees, arts and the Church of England; and The Right Reverend Dr Nigel Peyton (Bishop of Brechin and Honorary Fellow at Lancaster University) who will talk about his research into clergy's lives. The event will also include a roundtable session, giving attendees and speakers an opportunity to discuss future directions and priorities in research into the Church and related issues.
The symposium is open to academics, students and interested practitioners. It is free to attend and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Places are limited - please contact Dr Demelza Jones (email@example.com) to reserve your place.
Click here to download the event flyer PDF.
30 March 2017 16.30-18.00
● Four disciplines ● One topic ●
The Discourse and Culture Group invite you to a one day colloquium, which explores the different ways in which disciplines – such as linguistics, sociology, politics, management and organizational studies - use discourse analysis in analysing research data. The main purpose of the event is to see whether or not synergies can be found between different methodologies used in the distinct disciplines, and to propose a way forward in developing a new, interdisciplinary perspective.
During the colloquium attendees will have an opportunity to hear our four distinguished speakers’ take on discourse analysis, but also to ‘bring and share’ their own data or research ideas for a discussion about possible methodological approaches.
Dr Demelza Jones was interviewed for a BBC1 documentary about Hinduism in Britain - 'A Tale of Five Temples: The Story of Hinduism in Britain' - and also advised the programme makers on Tamil Hindu traditions and Tamil migration to Britain. It is available for about a month on the I-player http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b081v9dz
The Nordic Centre of Excellence: Justice through education in the Nordic countries at the University of Helsinki has invited Dr Chrissie Rogers to speak as their Keynote address at a conference called Disability and Post-Compulsory Education. Her keynote address is called ‘Re-humanising education and intellectual disability: a care-full proposal?’ and addresses issues relating to social justice, relationality, care, and ethics. She utilises her care ethics model of disability within the school system where ethical and care-full work via emotional, practical and socio-political caring spheres is crucial to effective child development. She will argue that learning – whether formal or informal - within education is potentially full of care-less spaces. Further, the school, as an institution, is a micro social system within the socio-political sphere, where a broader picture of social justice/injustice, exclusion/inclusion, success/failure, and privilege/discrimination can be charted. Dr Rogers advocates that schools must be fully socially inclusive in order to ensure that everyone receives a meaningful and care-full education. Prescriptive curricula, however, work against this aspiration for intellectually disabled children. Consequently, education needs re-humanising. Rather than following a path of blame, whether it is the dysfunctional family, the ‘deficit’ child or the economically deprived nation, she suggests we require ethically just practices and caring as a fundamental part of a re-humanised education.
The blog for the recent Language, Literacy and Identity International Conference that was held on 1st - 2nd July 2016 can be found here.
Friday 1st July 2016, 10.00-16.30, Cadbury Room, Aston University, Birmingham, UK An inaugural event to celebrate the formation of the “Gender, Sexualities and the Body” and “Religion, Ethnicity and Nationhood” research streams. Dr Katy Pilcher and Dr Sarah-Jane Page are excited to announce that the programme has been realised for their one-day conference entitled Religion, Gender and Sexualities, taking place in the Cadbury Room on Friday 1st July. "We were inundated with abstracts, and we have presenters attending from across the UK, as well as further afield. Please see the event’s programme attached – if you would like to come for the full day, we do have a number of places available (lunch and refreshments will be included). Please email Katy and myself by next Wednesday if you would like to join us, letting us know of any dietary requirements. Alternatively, please feel free to dip in and out of any sessions that are of particular interest. We do hope you can join us." Download the full programme HERE.
Refreshments available: 13.00 – 13.30 Session 1: 13.30 - 14.45 Citizenship, and the movements for 'real democracy' in southern Europe Chair: Graeme Hayes (Aston) Paulo Gerbaudo (Kings, London): The Indignant Citizen: From the Politics of Autonomy to the Politics of Radical Citizenship One of the most significant features of Southern European anti-austerity movements of the Indignados in Spain and the Aganaktismenoi in Greece is what has sometimes been described as ‘citizenism’, the radical recuperation of the idea of citizenship as a central feature of movement discourse and claim-making. This trend has been seen in repeated references to the citizens and the citizenry as the subject mobilised in the protest, as well as in demands for a restoration and expansion of citizenship rights put forward by popular assemblies and in the manifestos of key protest organisations. On the one hand, citizenship discourse has acted as a source of collective identity, unifying a variety of economic grievances produced by the financial crisis (indebtedness, unemployment, labour precariety) around the inclusive subject position of the citizen, or better of the ‘aggrieved citizen’, that is, a citizen who feels deprived of citizenship rights. On the other hand, citizenship has provides a unifying framework of claim-making, focusing on the project of ‘opening up’ the State through new forms of direct democracy. Anti-austerity movements have thus departed from both autonomous movements, who wanted to position themselves completely ‘outside and against the state’, and the social democratic tradition that aimed to ‘conquer the state’. Protesters have put forward an anti-oligarchic view of citizenship that aims at re-asserting the power of the dispersed citizens against the concentrated force of economic and political elites, and overcoming the limits of representative democracy through an extension of popular participation in decision-making. Cristina Flesher Fominaya (Aberdeen): We are the 99%? Problematizing the construction of ‘citizen’ as political collective identity The wave of anti-austerity and pro-democracy movements that swept the globe since 2011 have shared a number of key features, among them the tactic of occupation as protest and the framing of the political subject as ‘ordinary citizen’. The frame of ‘ordinary citizen’ (the 99%, the ‘people’ or the ‘pueblo’) as collective political actor has been very effective in calling political and economic elites to account for their policies on behalf of the 1% (or the ‘caste’ in the case of Spain). This frame has been crucial in resignifying the public squares as political agoras and heterotopic spaces that represent a participatory alternative to representative democracy. In this talk I will explore the effectiveness of this framing but also problematize it, drawing on examples from Spain's 15-M movement. Refreshments available 14.45 - 15.00 Session 15.00 – 16.15 Chair: Katie Tonkiss (Aston) Heather Johnson (Queens, Belfast): These Fine Lines: Locating Noncitizenship in Political Protest in Europe Since 2012, refugee protest camps and occupations have been established throughout Europe that contest the exclusion of refugees and asylum seekers, but that also make concrete demands for better living conditions and basic rights. It is a movement that is led by migrants as noncitizens, and so reveals new ways of thinking of the political agency and status of noncitizenship not as simply reactive to an absence of citizenship, but as a powerful and transgressive subjectivity in its own right. This paper argues that we should resist collapsing analysis back into the frameworks of citizenship, and instead be attentive to the politics of presence and solidarity manifest in these protest camps as a way of understanding, and engaging, noncitizen activism. Amanda Beattie (Aston): Mobility Trauma and the 2012 Family Immigration Rules: Attending to the Need for Unorthodox Agency There is, I believe, a trauma that emerges from within the lived experience of mobility politics. The denial of mobility rights, as enshrined in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Protocol No. 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, leading to the separation of families, friends and communities in the most basic iteration of mobility trauma. How might scholars of politics and international relations attend to this experience helping those who experience mobility trauma, especially when it is a traumatic experience prompted by the state and its institutions? This article suggests, and defends the assertion, that in order to attend, and negotiate, this trauma, traditional discourses of moral agency will fail. Cosmopolitan and communitarian iterations of agency, I contend, reinforce situations of partial or full exile instead of helping the disposed and disenfranchised to regain a sense of power and autonomy in the world. I turn to a narrative framing of the political, and mobility politics therein, in order to interrogate this experience. I propose to the reader that within the discourse of psychotherapy, and narrative therapy in particular, there is an alternative mode of being political that can attend to mobility trauma. Round Table 16.15-17.00 ‘Citizenship’: An Outdated or Vital Paradigm? Amanda Beattie, Pablo Calderon-Martinez, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Paulo Gerbaudo, Graeme Hayes, Heather Johnson, Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, and Katie Tonkiss This closing roundtable offers a critical engagement with the concept of citizenship. It debates key questions in the study of spaces and modes of political participation from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, with the aim of problematizing the extent to which the citizenship paradigm captures the lived realities of inclusion and exclusion in contemporary societies.
On 1 March 2016, Dr Anne Marie Trester will hold two interactive workshops:
See more here.
On 3 March 2016, the founder of Career Linguist Dr Anne Marie Trester will speak at Aston University on the application of linguistic knowledge to professional contexts. Read more here.
The joint CCISC/ACE series of events in collaboration with the European Commission launches this week with ‘HEAR ME OUT’ an open-door event for young people. Click here to read more.
Professor Judith Baxter, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Aston University, has joined forces with the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) to launch the online series entitled ‘Using Language Effectively’. Click here to read more.
Regional varieties have become an important contributor to identity construction processes, and an increasingly important issue for the individual and the community in late Modernity: the individual is under constant and increasing pressure to define who s/he is and has to choose from an ever growing pool of possibilities to construct social identity in an increasingly globalized world, which is perceived as incomprehensibly complex. Click here to read more.
Professor Judith Baxter's research featured in the Guardian. Click here to read more.
Aston research featured in the Daily Mail. Click here to read more.