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Addressing Access

Addressing Access: Widening Participation and the Arts and Humanities

Wednesday 11 April | 0900-1700 | Open University, Camden

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This doctoral training event seeks to promote the value of Widening Participation in the Arts and Humanities for PhD students. It will take into consideration the recent changes to higher education and current Widening Participation strategies. The event will bring together a range of organisations and individuals who are dedicated to developing new initiatives for increasing access to higher education, with a view to sharing best practice and encouraging greater PhD student involvement in outreach activities. By showcasing exciting new strategies in the Arts and Humanities across higher education institutions and non-higher education institutions we hope to facilitate discussions about the challenges involved in, and the continuing value of, Widening Participation.

The benefits for participating PhD students will include the development of the engagement, influence and impact dimensions of their research: PhD students will have the opportunity to make connections with and design collaborative projects with non-HEIs and with each other; they will consider teaching strategies tailored to the retention of low-participation groups studying the Arts and Humanities at university; and they will be provided with the opportunity to develop strategies for the dissemination and communication of their research in a form that will inspire low-participation groups to study the Arts and Humanities. Learning about the importance of WP as part of a career in the Arts and Humanities, and about WP careers outside of the academy, will play a crucial role in the professional and career development of PhD students. Through a focus on creative problem-solving in light of the recent changes to HE, the workshop sessions will develop the personal and intellectual abilities of participants.

Please use the form at the bottom of this page to register


+ Speakers

Dr Akile Ahmet, Lecturer in Sociology of Race, University of Middlesex Akile leads, with Dr Caroline Howarth, the Race in the Academy Project at LSE, which examines the experiences of black and ethnic minority academics and postgraduate students. Akile’s PhD was on mixed race masculinities and experiences of ‘home’. Since completing her PhD Akile has worked on a number of research projects with a focus on HE, race, ethnicity, inequality and families. In 2009 she worked alongside a team of researchers at Goldsmiths, examining ‘Diversity and Progression of Social Work Students’, she then went onto help develop a series of on-line ‘toolkits‘ from this project.

Dr Steven Colburn, Placements and Partnerships, CHASE DTP Steven is responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships with non-Higher Education organisations, such as the BBC, the British Library, and the British Film Institute. He arranges for these organisations to provide placements for CHASE students. He also develops training opportunities for doctoral students. Steven received a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Sussex in 2013. While studying for his PhD, Steven worked for the University of Sussex’s Careers and Employability Centre as the Placements and Work Experience Officer.

Rachael Curzons, Chief Operating Officer, Fearless Futures Rachael has been a teacher and school leader in London, and was the Teaching and Learning Director at the Brilliant Club where she oversaw the training of hundreds of PhD researchers to work with young people in schools. Now COO of Fearless Futures, Rachael works with vulnerable young women across the country to understand and challenge the root causes of inequality across all intersections. Rachael graduated from King's College, London with a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Education. She also holds a Master of Studies in Literature and Arts from the University of Oxford.

Dr Denise deCaires Narain, Reader, University of Sussex and CHASE DTP Director Denise teaches on postcolonial writing with an emphasis on the Caribbean and on women’s writing and postcolonial feminisms. She is currently working on a monograph on the relationship between ‘maids and madams’ in a selection of contemporary postcolonial women’s texts. She has published widely on Caribbean women’s writing, including two monographs, Caribbean Women’s Party: Making Style and Olive Senior in the ‘Writers and their Work’ series. She is Reviews Editor for Contemporary Women’s Writing and one of the editors for Palgrave Studies in Contemporary Women’s Writing. This Spring, she is a Research Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

Dr Katie Faulkner, Visiting Lecturer and Academic Coordinator for Widening Participation, Courtauld Institute of Art Katie is also Associate Lecturer at Arcadia University's London Centre, the History of Art Section Editor for the Open Library of Humanities, and has edited teachers' resources for art exhibitions at the Courtauld Gallery. Katie’s PhD focused on the work of five British sculptors associated with the New Sculpture movement and their interest in fashion, dress and drapery.

Dr Andy Fleming, Regional Manager, Brilliant Club Andy received his D.Phil in History from St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford in 2014. His thesis, ‘The Cult of St Thomas Cantilupe and the Politics of Remembrance’, looked at sainthood and politics in medieval England. Andy is currently the Regional Manager for East London and Kent at The Brilliant Club.

Gino Graziano, Joint Head of Widening Participation, University of Sussex Gino has been working in WP for over 13 years. After completing a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London, he began his career at the LSE, where he coordinated Saturday and Summer Schools, the student ambassador scheme and Aiming for a College Education. After LSE, Gino worked as WP Outreach Manager at the University of Brighton, where he worked with learners in primary schools to mature students on the Access to HE programme. Gino is a firm believer in collaborative working across all stages of the student lifecycle, between internal departments and HEIs. He also has a keen interest in developing approaches to WP that involve the audience as researchers and practitioners, as well as participants.

Gary Haines, Archivist, V &A Museum of Childhood Gary is involved in outreach work as part of his role with the Museum of Childhood. During his postgraduate studies he worked with the homeless charity Crisis delivering seminars in Art History to inspire participants to pursue further education. Gary’s research focuses on cultural depictions of the blind British soldiers of World War One in arts and literature of the period 1915–1939.

Dr Mary Henes, Commercial and Development Leader, Abianda Mary recently began working for Abianda, a social enterprise which works with gang-affected young women. Mary was formerly Area Director for The Brilliant Club, having first joined the charity as a PhD tutor while undertaking her thesis on British travellers in Iran in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at King’s College London. In her role at the charity, Mary delivered training to PhD tutors, particularly in designing literature programmes and facilitating academic discussions with primary and secondary school pupils. Since completing her PhD in 2012, Mary has had two academic articles published, as well as a joint edited collection with Palgrave Macmillan

Anthony Hudson, PhD student, University of East London Anthony is also the Research Manager of Continuum (the Centre for Widening Participation Policy Studies at UEL). His current work focuses on widening participation to PG study and access pathways to HE. His doctoral research focuses on the academic identity and learning careers of Access HE tutors. Anthony also developed and taught on New Beginnings, EUL's fast track HE access programme.

Dr Nick Neasom, Programme Officer, Sutton Trust Nick recently completed a PhD in Linguistics at UCL. His thesis investigates the phenomenon of synchronic chain shifting, arguing that it does not exist in any meaningful sense. After completing his PhD, Nick took up an internship with the Sutton Trust’s Programmes Team. In his current role at the Trust, he works on a wide range of social mobility programmes for young people.

Dr Graeme Pedlingham, Convenor of Foundation Years, University of Sussex Graeme leads the Foundation Years programme at the University of Sussex across Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; Business, Management & Economics; Psychology. This highly interdisciplinary initiative encompasses nine Schools of Study at the University. One of the aims of this programme is to enhance access to HE at a leading, research-intensive HEI. Graeme also oversees student support (as Director of Student Experience), and admissions/recruitment (as Admissions Tutor). Graeme’s research is focused on interdisciplinarity and educational institutions; HE Pedagogy and University transitions; Late-Victorian and Edwardian Gothic; the Gothic in popular culture generally (particularly visual culture and video games), often informed by medical humanities contexts.

Dr Lisa Stead, Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Exeter Lisa is also Deputy Admissions Officer for English in the College of Humanities. Lisa’s research primarily focuses on the relationships between literature, gender and audiences in the early and interwar periods, looking at intermedial exchanges between women's film and print culture. She is also a specialist in archival film and literary studies. A current strand of Lisa’s research includes histories of location filming in rural spaces, and the use of archival actuality footage in researching Deaf histories in the South West of England. Lisa’s work often involves collaboration and outreach projects, for example with the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, a project with Deaf communities in Bristol, Widening Participation with local secondary schools, and the Exeter Progression Scheme.

Rob Witts, CHASE DTP Manager Rob is the Manager of the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership, a consortium of nine university institutions working together to support doctoral researchers in arts and humanities. In this role he works closely with the Director to oversee the governance of the DTP, including recruitment and selection process for studentship funding. He has worked in a range of roles in higher education administration for 12 years, and is interested in issues of access and fairness in higher education.

+ Student Speakers

To be confirmed

Please see call for papers here

Deadline to apply Tuesday 20 February

+ Sessions

1) The importance of Widening Participation in academic careers

Considering the increased awareness of progression and retention issues among under-represented groups within higher education, this session will focus on the importance of WP as part of an academic career. This session will include presentations from academics who are actively involved in WP initiatives.

Confirmed speakers: Dr Katie Faulkner, Dr Lisa Stead, Dr Graeme Pedlingham.

2) Widening Participation initiatives/outreach activities during your PhD

Aiming to encourage PhD students to consider the broader relevance of their work, the first session will focus on the value of involvement in WP initiatives or outreach activities during doctoral study. The workshop section of this session will provide a platform for PhD students to present case studies of their outreach activities and help those attending the event develop their own initiatives.

Confirmed speakers: Dr Steven Colburn, Rachael Curzons, Dr Andrew Fleming, Gino Graziano, Gary Haines, (student speakers tbc)

3) Widening Participation at postgraduate level

This session will seek to develop strategies for engaging more traditionally underrepresented students at both MA and PhD level in the Arts and Humanities. Issues around funding, the culture of learning at university and the diversification of curriculums will all be addressed in order to consider the retainment of underrepresented students at postgraduate level.

Confirmed speakers: to Dr Akile Ahmet, Dr Denise deCaires Narain, Anthony Hudson, Rob Witts.

4) Careers in Widening Participation outside of academia

In response to a growing concern among PhD students about future careers in the Arts and Humanities, the final session will be devoted to promoting careers in WP outside of HEIs. Individuals working in the sector will give presentations about their career trajectories and current roles, which will be followed by a Q+A session.

Confirmed speakers: Rachael Curzons, Dr Andrew Fleming, Gary Haines, Dr Mary Henes, Dr Nick Neasom.

+ Schedule

0900-0920 Registration

0920-0930 Introduction

0930-1030 Session 1

1130-1045 Coffee Break

1045-1315 Session 2

1315-1400 Lunch

1400-1530 Session 3

1530-1545 Coffee break

1545-1645 Session 4

1645-1700 Closing remarks


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