News and Events 2017

Performing the Victim Label:
Trafficked Women, Resilience and the Spaces of German Criminal Law

Monday 27th November 2017,
Ground floor, Main Building,
Aston University

Performing 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.

Researching and Making an Impact with ‘Hard to Reach’ Groups 

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: k.pilcher@aston.ac.uk ASAP.

Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium

8th - 9th December 2017,
Aston University

Flyer for Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium Event

The dementia and cultural narrative symposium will explore the growing body of cultural representations of dementia across a range of texts and contexts. The symposium’s contributions reflect the developing research culture that explores, interrogates, and evaluates the ways in which forms of dementia are being used in media such as TV, film, literature, the visual arts and theatre. The symposium will bring together scholars and other professionals from a variety of fields to discuss the implications of the narrativisation of dementia.

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

Please direct any questions to the event organisers Raquel Medina and Sarah Falcus: dementia.and.culture.network@gmail.com

The Supressed Stories of Myanmar: in Conversation with Letyar Tun Screening

Thursday 9th November 2017,
18:00 – 20:00,
Room MB552,
Fifth Floor, Main building,
Aston University

The Supressed Stories of Myanmar

Film Screening and Panel Discussion “Violent Borders”

Tuesday 10th October 2017,
18:00 – 20:00,
Room G 11,
Ground Floor, Main building,
Aston University

Violent Borders

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.

Integrating English 2017 Conference

Friday 3rd November,
930am - 500pm
Aston University
Integrating English 2017
This conference is suitable for secondary teachers teaching English at any key stage, and particularly suitable for those wishing to develop integrated language and literature work in the classroom. The day will include talks and workshops from leading international academics on research in language and literature that can be translated into classroom practice and will provide plenty of opportunities for reflection and collaboration. You can register free of charge for this event here but places are limited.

Download the programme here.

Aston University and Örebro University Joint Event

Integrating refugees moving beyond the migration crisis: Are we building a new society?

Monday, 22 May 2017
Room MB375

9:30 am - Welcome by the Vice Chancellor of Aston University
Public Lecture by Dr. Emma Arneback, Örebro University
Anti-Racist Education in a time of Migration

10.00-10.30 - Public Lecture by Amanda Russell Beattie, Aston University
Families, Children & Mobility Politics:
Attending to child voice in the 2012 Family Immigration Rules (UK)

10.30-11.00 - Questions and Answers

11.00-13.00 - Roundtable: the View from Practitioners
Helen Clare, City of Sanctuary Committee
Lea Fanara, Support Worker, Ashley Community & Housing
Shari Brown, Project Coordinator, Restore Project, Birmingham
David Hirst, Refugee and Migrant Support Practitioner, Birmingham Community Housing Network
Haliima Ali, Ashley Community and Housing

13.00 -14.00 - Buffet lunch for all participants

All welcome.
Please contact lss_researchsupport@aston.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

CCISC Event: Researching the Church of England

Researching the Church of England

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 (d.jones4@aston.ac.uk) to reserve your place.

Click here to download the event flyer PDF.

Turkey and the EU: Great Promises, Lost Chances

Venue: Aston University, Main Building, Room: MB552 

30 March 2017 16.30-18.00

Turkey and the EU



● 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. 

The event is free to attend but places are limited. Please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-approaches-to-discourse-across-disciplines-tickets-29276391475 

Dr Demelza Jones contributes to BBC documentary

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


Dr Chrissie Rogers to deliver a Keynote address: ‘Re-humanising education and intellectual disability: a care-full proposal?’

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.

Language, Literacy and Identity: Your Thoughts

The blog for the recent Language, Literacy and Identity International Conference that was held on 1st - 2nd July 2016 can be found here.

Religion, Gender and Sexualities One-Day Conference

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.

Problematising Citizenship: Protest and the Contested Civic Sphere

CCISC Seminar. 29th June, 13.00-17.00

In the wake of a series of major terrorist attacks and the post-2008 crisis of late capitalism, western liberal democratic states have increasingly sought to redefine the nature and conditions of inclusion and participation in the civic sphere. This seminar discusses how social movement campaigns have sought to challenge and re-articulate this reduction of democratic space, and problematizes the development of discourses of citizenship, and the meanings, ideas and boundary-marking practices that underpin them.

In the first session, we discuss the articulation of citizenship within the 'movements of the squares' in southern Europe. The political economy of fiscal austerity has not only radically reduced the public sphere through the 'structural reform' of public services and welfare regimes, but further entrenched the 'post-democratic' dynamic of European representative democracies which privileges corporate power over collective public participation in decision-making. In this context, we discuss how the notion of the 'citizen' has developed as a central figure in indignados movements, and what it means for the potential of a new democratic settlement.

In the second session, we examine spaces, modes and practices of contestation over the boundaries of civic membership. Recent studies have problematized the binary definition of citizenship and noncitizenship, suggesting that such a definition between citizenship (as inclusion) and noncitizenship (as simply the negation of citizenship) fails to capture the complex contours of inclusion and exclusion which shape contemporary societies. This session draws on this work to raise critical questions for how we understand the practice of political participation in relation to those excluded or marginalised by regimes of citizenship.
Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives from migration studies, social movement studies, critical policy studies and political theory, the seminar aims to explore how categories of citizenship are constructed and operationalised, and how dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, citizenship and noncitizenship, create spaces and silences of political participation.

To read the full programme for this event, please click the expandable panel below.

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.

Call for Papers: Religion, Gender and Sexualities One-Day Conference

Friday 1st July 2016, 10.00-16.30

Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Guest speaker:
Dr Kristin Aune, Senior Research Fellow, Coventry University: “Feminist Spirituality as Lived Religion: How UK Feminists forge Religio-spiritual Lives”

To celebrate the formation of the Gender, Sexualities and the Body and the Religion, Ethnicity and Nationhood research streams within the Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture at Aston University, we are hosting a joint inaugural event. Entitled ‘Religion, Gender and Sexualities’, this one-day conference will explore the intersection of religion, gender and sexualities within everyday contexts. Scholarship has started to unpack these multi-faceted relationships, but this is still an emerging research area which requires further study and exploration. We welcome abstracts which address any element of this relationship and could include (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Sexual practices and negotiations within religious environments
  • LGBTQIA experiences and religion
  • Sexuality support networks within religious communities
  • Singleness; celibacy
  • Gendered power negotiations in intimate relationships
  • Marital experiences
  • Commitment ceremonies (e.g. civil partnerships, marriage)
  • Parenthood/non-parenthood
  • Virginity
  • Monogamy/Polygamy/Polyamory
  • Embodiment and religion
  • Gender, sexual and religious identities in different contexts (e.g. the workplace, leisure)
  • Religious ritual, gender and sexuality

There will be no charge for speakers to attend this one-day event. Refreshments and lunch will be provided on the day. For delegates wishing to attend but not present, there will be a small charge for refreshments and lunch (£12).

Deadline for abstracts: May 27th 2016. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dr Sarah-Jane Page (s.page1@aston.ac.uk) and Dr Katy Pilcher (k.pilcher@aston.ac.uk).

Professional Development with Dr Anne Marie Trester

On 1 March 2016, Dr Anne Marie Trester will hold two interactive workshops:

  • Life After a Linguistics Degree: Career Paths and Professional Development (MB 549, 1-2pm)
  • The Language of LinkedIn: Interactional Sociolinguistics and Social Networking (MB 549, 3-4pm

See more here.

Linguistics Beyond Academia

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. 

Midlands Youth Labour Market Forum

This event follows the first meeting of MYLMF at the University of Warwick in November 2015. The second meeting at Aston will bring together regional policy-makers, employers and representatives of organisations that work with and for young people and who are concerned about their transitions from education to employment.

Rethinking migration for a good society

Dr Katherine Tonkiss was invited to write a report for Compass, a left-leaning national think tank, on migration rights and social justice. Read it here.

‘Crevices Exposed: Blind Spots in Galician Textuality’

Dr Olga Castro has guest-edited the special issue ‘Crevices Exposed: Blind Spots in Galician Textuality’, together with Dr Maria Linheira, for the journal ‘Abriu: Estudos de textualidade de Galicia, Brasil e Portugal.’ Find it here.

Join the conversation - Syrian refugees

Dr Katherine Tonkiss, Dr Amanda Beattie and Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik will be hosting an event on the refugee crisis on 21 October. The discussion will ask whether or not the UK should be accepting more refugees from war-torn Syria. Further details can be found here.

French in Multilingual Urban Centres Conference at Aston University (Friday 12th – 13th June)

Emmanuelle Labeau is organising a two-day conference which will conclude a pilot study, French as Spoken in Brussels, funded by the British Academy. Click here to read more.

Professor Judith Baxter is giving a presentation entitled: ‘The Language of Women Leaders’ on Monday 16th March for the Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Women in Business Conference. Click here to read more.

Erika Darics and Stephen Pihlaja are organising a networking event for PhD Students and early career researchers. Click here to read more.

Dr Katy Pilcher and Dr Olga Castro are welcoming all to join them for an informal discussion around the topic of: ‘Feminism in the Media and Media Sexism’. Click here to read more.

 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.

This event is being run by CCISC in partnership with the European Commission. The aim of the project is to engage young people from the Birmingham community using performances and open discussions to look at issues which affect them, primarily focusing on the impact of the European Union on their life chances. Click here to read more.

The global human capital research and advisory firm Cape Group are currently gathering input from leading practitioners and academics on cutting edge thinking and best practice in creating a more inclusive working environment for all employees. Click here to read more.

This seminar led by Dr. Urszula Clark, draws upon recent, Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC) funded research into the relationship between English and social, regional and national identities. Click here to read more.

This expert workshop marks the offical launch of the British Academy Project 'French as spoken in Brussels', led by Dr Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston) in collaboration with Dr Anne Dister (unversite St Louis, Brussels), and Prof. Florence Lefeubvre (Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle). Click here to read more.

Launch of major EU Research Project investigating Social Innovation and Young People

CCISC, the Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture, invites you to the launch of CITISPYCE by Professor  Dame Julia King, Vice Chancellor, Aston University, a  major EU research project into the changing terrain of social inequalities, and the existence of social innovation among young people in cities across Europe. Click here to read more.

Your Europe? Your Future?

CCISC, in partnership with the European Commission, launched the first in a series of 5 events entitled ‘Your Europe? Your Future?’ The event focused on unemployment in the EU and the prospects for new graduates in the labour market. Click here to read more.

How do local people feel about their neighbourhood, the city and changes faced by Birmingham? What do people think about poverty in the city and are we missing key issues by using mainstream definitions of deprivation? 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.

Why women's jokes fall flat in the boardroom

Professor Judith Baxter's research featured in the Guardian. Click here to read more.

By'eck, accents are thriving: Regional dialects are getting stronger as people aim to retain a sense of identity

Aston research featured in the Daily Mail. Click here to read more.