The Liberal Arts community was shocked and appalled at the abhorrent messages that came out last year, and as a department we wanted to engage meaningfully with the anger and concern expressed by so many staff and students over the past few weeks. We were particularly mindful that these conversations take a toll on all community-members, but especially on the survivors of harassment and assault. Our first commitment was to develop a response that acknowledged and supported the pain of these community-members.
Prof. Cathia Jenainati—in her capacity as Head of School—called a full meeting of staff and students on Monday, 4 February to discuss what the community response should be. We had a productive meeting and really appreciate the insightful comments made by our students. We have also consulted with your Student-Staff Liaison Committee, who have been eager to participate and have been involved at every stage of our discussions.
On the suggestion of our school’s students to craft a considered process, over the next week we will provide an anonymous online portal for all members of our community to share their thoughts in order to help us make a meaningful public statement and propose ideas for longer term institutional reflection and development. We will enact any department-level changes agreed with the student body, and we will bring any wider suggestions or needs to the University. Of course, we also want to look after our students here and now: please do get in touch with your personal tutor if there’s any support you might need.
Looking ahead, we want to play a central role in reshaping the regulations, policies, and culture of our institution. As the Head of Council has indicated, there will be a full review of University disciplinary procedure and we want our students to speak loudly and clearly as part of that process. But change comes through organization, and we want to have clear goals around which we can take collective action.
The behavior expressed in those group chats is antithetical to the values we hold as a department and will not—ever—be permitted. Not as a joke, not as “banter”, not at all. We look forward to working together to making sure that our values are not compromised by process or convenience.
Message sent on behalf of the staff and students of the Liberal Arts division of the School for Cross-Faculty Studies.
A new short podcast mini-series from the School for Cross-fauclty Studies is now available. Featuring staff and students from the School's Global Sustainable Development and Liberal Arts divisions, each episode tackles a testing "global challenge", posing difficult questions and interdisciplinary solutions. Topics include human rights in Latin America, and our fascination with apocalyptic narratives. Three episodes are currently available to stream or download from the School's website via this link.
On 24 October Dr Kirsten Harris spoke at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, as part of their Invisible Histories series.
The Working Class Movement Library houses a rich collection of material relating to Britain’s working classes, telling the fascinating stories of their lives, work and activism.
Having made extensive use of the Working Class Movement Library collections, Kirsten presented her research on Walt Whitman and his impact on British socialism in the nineteenth century. Despite Walt Whitman’s outright refusal to endorse socialist politics, his poetry was read enthusiastically by young socialist activists in Britain and America who believed that it spoke to and for the modern socialist cause.
Dr Gavin Schwartz-Leeper has been appointed as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Senior Fellowships are awarded to recognize leadership and excellence in higher education. The examining panel commented that they were particularly impressed by his "contribution to the development of the department’s distinctive pedagogy of transdisciplinary problem-based learning. His support for colleagues and students has created a strong culture of enquiry, and an environment which supports students as partners in co-developing in the curriculum. Particularly innovative is the way in which he begins to enculturate students before they arrive at Warwick, and mechanisms he has developed to support students as they transition into and through the programme. Evidencing leadership within a flattened hierarchy can be challenging, but it is clear that he has been instrumental in leading iterative change."
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is the national body which champions teaching excellence. They work with governments, ministries, universities and individual academics in the UK, and around the globe. The HEA provides value to the HE sector by focusing on the contribution of teaching as part of the wider student learning experience.
Good luck to our Cross-Faculty students from Global Sustainable Development and Liberal Arts who will be presenting their research on 25th September, 2018 at the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR). The two-day annual forum utilises video technology allowing students to present the very best in undergraduate research to a global audience.
Tuesday 25th Sept
08:00-09:30 (Oculus 1.06) - Nicola Blasetti (GSD) - Climate Action in Europe: the costs of climate change and the necessity for adaptation in the EU Member States
08:00-09:30 (Oculus 1.06) - Constance Frohly (GSD) Understanding inequalities in multicultural cities as a dynamic process
11:30-13:00 - (Oculus 1.09) - Rhys Hillan (GSD) - Demonstrating the correlation between food insecurity and mental health issues and the positive role food sovereignty can play in addressing this
11:30-13:00 - (Oculus 1.01) - Virág Belavarí (Liberal Arts) Understanding Revolution Narratives: The Role of Topophilia and Topophobia
14:00-15:30 - (Oculus 1.06) - Davida Mottram-Epson (Liberal Arts) Iranian Women and the State: exploring stasis-kinesis in the revolution through Iranian Literature
17:30-19:00 - (Oculus 1.01) - Najma Ahmad (Liberal Arts) Using gender quotas to meet Sustainable Development Goal 5, gender inequality: A case study analysis of India, Rwanda and Norway
17:30-19:00 - (Oculus 1.01) - Anna Kindleysides-Seidl (Liberal Arts) Blinded by the light: The Moscow Metro and the political use of prestige projects
We wish you all every success!