View the latest news from departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences below.
Dr Kieran File considers how the government’s messaging choices and strategies may have contributed to loosening of the public's collective will to stay in lockdown in a piece for the University of Warwick's Knowledge Centre.
Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production: Contesting Concepts at Conferences Book Launch
Education Studies, University of Warwick – Book Launch/Webinar Invitation
Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production: Contesting Concepts at Conferences (Routledge, 2020)
by Emily F. Henderson
16th July 2020, 10:00-12:00 UK time (GMT+1), on Teams (here)
You are cordially invited to the book/launch webinar.
About the book: Gender, Definitional Politics and ‘Live’ Knowledge Production
Waking up to the reactivity of concepts, to their myriad possibilities for signification, to the range and strength of affective responses they provoke, can happen at any time, in any place. Conceptual contestations shake up the comfortably consolidated foundations of sociological knowledge production, but they also have consequences for the ways in which lives are understood, researched and legislated for. This book is dedicated to exploring the definitional politics which surround the concept of gender in ‘live’ knowledge production. While conferences remain an under-researched phenomenon, this volume places conference knowledge production under the spotlight; conferences, in particular national women’s studies association conferences in the UK, the US and India, are explored as sites where definitional politics play out. The cumulative theorisation of ‘live’ conceptual knowledge production that is developed throughout the book draws on established constructs such as performativity, citationality, intersectionality, materiality and events, but works with them in combination in a new, unique way. The book as a whole calls for more attention to be paid to conceptual knowledge production, so as to make more space for potentially transformative conceptual change.
Emma Langley awarded ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
Dr Emma Langley of the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to continue her work on the psychological wellbeing of fathers of children with Intellectual Disability (ID). The one-year fellowship will begin in October 2019 and will build on her doctoral research in Education and Psychology which explored the psychological wellbeing of family members of children with ID and/or autism.
ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowships aim to provide researchers in the postdoctoral stage of their career the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, networks, and their research and professional skills. The scheme is very competitive, with 7 funded fellowships available across six universities in the Midlands Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).
During the fellowship Emma will analyse large-scale longitudinal data to investigate how paternal wellbeing affects the outcomes of children with ID. She will also be collaborating with a small group of fathers of children with ID to disseminate research findings and co-produce a practical guide for fathers based on their experiences.
“I am extremely grateful to the ESRC for this invaluable opportunity which provides me with the time to focus on my research activities and develop as an early career academic. More importantly, it allows me to continue to explore the psychological wellbeing of fathers of children with ID to be able to better understand their needs.”
Professor David Stark (CIM) and Professor Nick Chater (WBS) Event
In the spirit of Adult Learners' Week 2020, we'd like to showcase some of our students who have returned to study.
- Jules Sparkle, student on the BA in Social Studies [2+2 degree pathway], applied for the degree after she was unsuccessful in a job application for not having a degree. Jules is now nearing the end of her time as a student at CLL and will be going onto further study at the University of East London. Read Jules' story here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/yourwarwick/studentstories/jules/
- Alana Wileman, student on the Foundation degree in Early Childhood, was always passionate about working with young children. Alana gave up her job in retail to work as a teaching assistant at her sons' school and then attended an open evening to find out more about the Early Childhood course and here she is now two years into the course. Read Alana's story here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/yourwarwick/studentstories/alana/
- Karen Burns, Full-time Social Studies student who had always thought of returning to study but found a reason to put it off. This all changed when an advert for our Gateway to HE course popped up on her Facebook. Now not only has she completed Gateway, she is coming to the end of her second year. Read Karen's story here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/yourwarwick/studentstories/karen/
- Clare Holland, student on the Career Development and Coaching Studies course, rekindled a desire to return to higher education when her teenage children were applying to university. It presented an opportunity for her to consolidate her personal development and guidance experience with a specific vocational qualification. Read Clare's story here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/yourwarwick/studentstories/clareh/
- Jim McGeoghegan, Teaching Fellow at CLL, began his CLL journey years ago when he studied the BA in Social Studies [ 2+2 degree pathway]. Now not only is he teaching on the Social Work programme here at CLL but his son is also a student on our Gateway to He course. Read about Jim's journey here: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/yourwarwick/studentstories/jim/
Tributes pour in for Professor Ben Knight
Tributes have been made to Ben Knight, Professor of Practice and Associate Professor of Economics, who has sadly passed away at the age of 78.
Professor Ben Knight spent most of his 53 years at the University of Warwick teaching in the Department of Economics before moving to Warwick Business School (WBS) as a Professor of Practice in 2012.
In 2018, Professor Knight was diagnosed with kidney cancer but kept working until shortly before his death at the end of June. He was known as a passionate educator and researcher and made a significant contribution to teaching and research in the Department of Economics. He was a much-loved faculty member and a popular lecturer, and will be greatly missed by staff and students alike.
Professor Ben Knight published papers in the areas of Macroeconomics, Labour Economics and Industrial Relations and wrote an influential book on unemployment. As a lecturer, he was committed to delivering an innovative and engaging teaching experience and led on first and second year Macroeconomics modules, primarily aimed at students on joint degree study programmes such as Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Economics, Politics and International Studies (EPAIS).
He also taught on third year undergraduate and MSc Labour Economics modules and played a major role working with academic colleagues at the University to set up a joint degree programme in Italian and Economics. Beyond Warwick, Professor Knight taught innovative and highly regarded courses to civil servants to HM Treasury and other Government departments.
Reza Moghadam did his PhD under the supervision of Professor Ben Knight before going on to play a leading role at the International Monetary Fund for 20 years. He is now Vice-Chairman for Global Capital Markets at investment bank Morgan Stanley.
He said: “Ben was a great supervisor not just because he was an amazing source of ideas and a sounding board, but because he cared for us as individuals,” said Reza. “Doing a PhD is often a lonely business but not so with Ben. He constantly reached out, not just to push along the thesis, but to support and encourage. He started as a supervisor but remained a friend. Ben took huge pride in what Warwick had achieved as an institution during his tenure. But he took equal pride in what each of his students like me achieved at Warwick and beyond. This is why his passing is a devastating blow to each of us.”
Barry Reilly, now Professor of Econometrics at the University of Sussex, completed his PhD under Professor Ben Knight's supervision. He was saddened to hear of his passing: "I first met Ben in 1984 when I arrived at the University of Warwick to study for what was then the MA in Economics. Ben taught on the Labour Economics module and was an effective, popular and empathetic teacher who helped ignite and inspire my interest in this area of economics.
Professor Barry Reilly went on to say: "I remained at Warwick to undertake a PhD in labour economics with Ben appointed as one of my supervisors. I benefitted immensely from his scholarship, knowledge and guidance throughout this time. I always found Ben an approachable and down-to-earth individual with a very good sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all those, like myself, touched by his warmth and decency."
Robin Naylor, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick remembers Professor Ben Knight as a remarkable mentor to both students and junior colleagues. He said: “Ben was a phenomenon: one of the warmest, kindest and most supportive of teachers and colleagues one could wish for. Combined with his dedication to the subject matter of economics, his passionate determination to convey knowledge and understanding to his students and his charismatic style of lecturing, Ben inspired countless numbers of students in the department of economics.
"Of course, this also made him an impossible act to follow. (I always made sure I taught in term one in all the many modules we shared together over the many years). Ben sparkled in the lecture theatre: a natural performer, energy and electricity seemed to burst from him – but it was the substance of his material that mattered most to him and that grabbed his students’ attention and inspired them to their best work. Ben cared.”
Emeritus Professor Mark Stewart a friend and former colleague recalls his first encounter with him: "I regard it as a privilege to have known Ben as a colleague and friend over the years. I still remember with great gratitude how friendly and welcoming he was when I first arrived at Warwick and how helpful he was to this know-nothing new lecturer. I learned a lot from him. He was a brilliant teacher and outstanding communicator with students. Unsurprisingly he won numerous teaching awards."
"He had a great gift for finding inventive hooks on which to hang new ideas and facts. Sometimes with a different angle from which to view an issue, sometimes with a flash of humour or an obscure piece of cockney rhyming slang. Students greatly appreciated his outstanding communication skills and his enthusiasm for economics and the uses to which it could be put. He was always a really hard act to follow in joint teaching. He genuinely relished discussing economics with students and they could see this and reciprocated with enthusiasm. Successive generations of students and colleagues owe him a huge debt of gratitude".
Wiji Arulampalam, Professor of Economics, who shared PhD supervision with Professor Knight and a friend of the family said: "Ben was a wonderful friend and a colleague. Ben, his wife Cynthia, and few of our colleagues and partners, used to meet up socially at each other’s houses and always had a lovely memorable and enjoyable time. I still remember those evenings with fondness. Ben was a dedicated and committed teacher and the students loved him".
"Although I never shared any teaching with him, I have shared PhD supervisions with him. He always had good intuition for the subject and it was a privilege to have learnt economics from him during these supervisory meetings. He will be very sadly missed. My heartfelt condolences to Cynthia and to his daughters Sally and Rosie."
Professor Dick Sargent, a founding member of the Economics Department at the University of Warwick, said: “Ben was an early member of the department, and became very much a stalwart of it. He was one of those unexcitable people who could always be relied on to get on with whatever required doing, and at the same time to have a joke or some perceptive observation to share with one. My condolences and best wishes go to his family.”
An online book of condolences will be launched by the Department of Economics in memory of Professor Ben Knight. If you would like to submit a message, please click here.
Professor Knight's wife and family are raising money for The Myton Hospices which cared for him at home and whose funding is under threat. Please click here to donate.
If you knew Ben and are affected by this news, there is a range of University support available to all staff and students. The Wellbeing Support Services website gives more details about support available, or you can contact the team on 024 76 575570, ext. 75570.
The University of Warwick ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) is pleased to invite applications for its first Postdoctoral Innovation Fellowship.
Warwick is one of 26 UK universities receiving funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which supports engagement activities with non-academic stakeholders such as policymakers, NGOs, businesses and public beneficiaries to enable the conversion of established research into impact.
As part of this programme, the ESRC IAA will fund four fellowships (one per academic year) to support students towards the end of their PhD to think about how their research could be applied to the needs and challenges of organisations across different sectors, and to develop proposals to put this into practice.
The Fellowship will be awarded for up to three months or part-time equivalent. Projects can commence any time from 14 October 2019, but must be complete by 31 March 2020.
This opportunity is open to applicants who will have submitted their PhD thesis for examination before their proposed Fellowship start date (the Fellowship can commence whilst awaiting viva) OR who will be within one year of having been awarded their PhD at the proposed start date. The PhD must be in a social science discipline and have been undertaken at the University of Warwick.
Those with a full-time, permanent, academic post are not eligible to apply.
For further information and details on how to apply please visit: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/impact/iaa/innovationfellow
Industrie 4.0 Policy brief published
Beyond 4.0 is a Horizon 2020 project examining the future of work and welfare in Europe.
Chris Warhurst of IER and Steve Dhondt of the Dutch innovation organisation TNO have just published a Policy brief outlining the opportunities and challenges with Industrie 4.0 as part of the project.
Congratulations to Warwick Politics Society for being voted Academic Society of the Year 2019/20 in the Warwick Students’ Union Awards, under Student voice and Impact.
We are delighted to hear of their well-deserved success. Congratulations to the Exec and to all the members who make Pol Soc so great.
Bryony Jenner, President of the Politics Society, commented:
‘This award reflects the diverse and wide range of events we have held in 19/20, and our turnout figures (with often 100+ members at social and academic events). We have also raised around £2,500 in charity funds (for Mind and Movember), which is a large increase on last year. The Politics Society annual ball was one of the largest, most affordable formal events on offer to students this year, with 200 attendees. Finally, we hosted our first ever Perspectives Awards, albeit virtually, to celebrate our excellent writers, and have had at least 1500 print magazines in circulation’.
The PAIS Department look forward to continuing to work with Pol Soc in the 20/21 academic year!
Dr James Openshaw to Join Department of Philosophy as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Autumn 2020
We are delighted to announce that James Openshaw, currently based at The University of Edinburgh, has been awarded an Analysis and Mind Association Studentship, and will join the Department of Philosophy in October 2020 as a Postdoctoral Researcher.
James’s interests range across Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Language and, while at Warwick, he will continue his research on Singular Thought as an epistemic phenomenon.
Are you interested in developing your skills, enhancing the student experience, and being paid in the process?
The Department of Sociology is currently inviting applications from finalist students for a number of 'Student Voice' Ambassador roles. Ambassadors will act as an interface between students and staff, feeding back both ways. The role will include, for example, inputting into departmental discussions on teaching policy and curriculum change.
If you are interested in this role, please send your CV and a supporting statement (of up to 350 words) outlining why you feel you would make a good 'Student Voice' Ambassador to the department’s Director of Student Experience, Dr Andre Celtel (A.Celtel@warwick.ac.uk).
The closing date for applications is 2 pm on Thursday 03 October 2019.