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ESRC Festival of Social Science

Society from your sofa (picture of a sofa) and ESRC Festival Logo

Digital First Event 7-15 Nov 2020

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is back and online for 2020! This festival showcases the best of social science from universities around the country. You can view the full programme online here or select the headings below to explore the events happening each day run by University of Warwick.

Warwick Events

Saturday 7 November
Women's suffrage and me: mapping women's activism in local communities - Opening Webinar

Saturday 7 November, 7pm-8pm, Online

Mapping Women's Suffrage is a community project mapping as many early twentieth-century British women's suffrage activists as possible on to an interactive map. The series of events will launch with a live webinar focusing on researching the suffrage past of your family or neighbourhood.

The webinar will be followed by daily multi-media releases on a variety of themes. These will include music and women’s suffrage; suffrage walks and digital mapping; Kent: a local case study; the 1911 census and the suffrage movement; sexual violence and women’s activism. Speakers will include professional historians, independent researchers, representatives from the National Archives, the National Trust and Coventry Digital (part of Coventry City of Culture).

A final webinar later in the week will consider the legacy of the suffrage movement; its resonance for contemporary activism such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter; and how an understanding of a community’s suffrage past might lead to re-interpretations of established local histories. Our keynote speaker for this event is the women’s activist and writer, Helen Pankhurst, the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Opening Webinar: Researching your suffrage history

This first live webinar will bring together local history and family researchers, Clare Wichbold and Margaret Scott who take us on an inspiring journey through useful suffrage resources for local and family research from Northumberland, to Herefordshire, to Lewisham, as well as revealing some of their fabulous new suffrage findings. They will be joined by Mapping Women’s Suffrage project co-ordinator and researcher, Tara Morton, and the event will be chaired by expert on women and political culture Professor Sarah Richardson, University of Warwick.

Book your place - Opening Webinar

Follow the daily multi-media releases

Book your place - Closing Webinar

Mental Health and Philosophy: The Disquieted Life Podcast Series

Saturday 7 November, Available all week, Online

The Disquieted Life Podcast Series. 'Disquieted Life' is a British Academy funded podcast series exploring ideas about philosophy and mental health. The podcasts will be freely available online at the start of the festival. Episodes feature conversations on mental health with leading thinkers from the worlds of philosophy, literature and the arts. Later in the week, a workshop will engage with young people, who will be invited to share their views and questions on the themes raised in the podcasts. Their reflections will be posted to the podcast webpage at the end of the week.

Listen to the Disquieted Life podcasts anytime from Saturday 7th November

Cracking: an audio play on fathers' mental health - Listen-remotely-together event

Saturday 7 November, 8pm-9pm, Online

Cracking is a new play created by the award-winning arts organisation ‘Alright Mate?’. It tells the story of new parents unfolding on the counselling couch where the father is afraid of his own vulnerabilities triggered by new parenthood. It is inspired by the lived experience of couples who’ve been through postnatal illness.

The piece has been reimagined as a three-part audio play which will debut at this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Audiences will have online access to the episodes during the Festival, beginning with a listen-remotely-together debut of episode 1, and then join a live panel discussion on father’s perinatal mental health and the culture(s) that surround it later in the week. The panel will include the play’s writer and sound designer, peer support workers, experts by experience, innovators in the field and academic researchers from the University of Warwick.

Book your place - Listen-remotely-together

Listen to the 3 part audio drama any time from 8pm Saturday November 7 2020

Book your place - Panel discussion

Sunday 8 November
Global challenges require global collaboration

Sunday 8 November, 5pm-6pm, Online

Some of the biggest challenges we currently face, especially those involving the environment and sustainability, require action on a global scale. How can we cooperate and coordinate across nations? How can social sciences help improve patterns of human interactions and behaviour that are adversely affecting the environment? What role can we all take in changing policy and addressing climate change? A panel of international researchers will explore these questions and more from a range of different perspectives and disciplines.

Book your place

Monday 9 November
Rescuing a 'sick' labour market: The economic impacts of Covid-19

Monday 9 November 2020, 12pm-1pm, Online

How fast will economic activity rebound and have some types of work suffered a permanent reduction? To what extent will remote working practices continue? In this webinar, join Professor Mirko Draca (CAGE director, Department of Economics, University of Warwick) as he reports on new research using 'real-time' data that looks at the economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis in the UK. Using daily online job vacancy data to measure the state of the labour market as well as structural changes in the nature of jobs, our analysis of real-time data allows us to address these questions with a specific focus on conditions around Coventry and the West Midlands.

Book your place

Tuesday 10 November
What matters more for recovery: Innovation or entrepreneurship?

Tuesday 4 November, 4pm-4:45pm, Online

Prof Mark Hart (Aston University) and Prof Stephen Roper (University of Warwick) debate what will matter most as the economy seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis? Will recovery depend more strongly on entrepreneurship and new firms? Or, will it be innovation which drives new growth and productivity. Join this lively debate and take part in the discussion.

Book your place

Wednesday 11 November
‘Deprescribing’ medicines in people with intellectual disabilities

Wednesday 11 November, 11:30am-12:30pm, Online

Many people with intellectual (learning) disabilities are prescribed psychotropic medicines to manage behaviours that may be challenging - but many of these people do not have a mental health condition. These medicines have side effects, some of which may be serious and can have an added effect on health inequalities. Doctors, pharmacists and nurses therefore need to check regularly that these medicines are still needed and give information on how to reduce the risk of side effects. Stopping and reducing medicines is called deprescribing and needs to be carefully managed to keep people well. This event will explore some of the issues around deprescribing and how health care professionals can consult and make joint decisions with service users.

Book your place

I:DNA Online

Wednesday 11 November, 4pm-5pm, Online

I:DNA is an immersive art installation, developed between social scientist Professor Felicity Boardman (WMS) and STAMP Theatre and Media Productions CIC . It explores the social and ethical implications of genomic medicine from the perspectives of people with genetic conditions, using their own words. It is intended to spark reflections on the ever-expanding capabilities of genomic medicine, at a time of its increasing relevance to the whole of society, and its integration into NHS care. This special online edition of the work will include audio recordings, videos, a live Q&A with Professor Boardman, and a digital game.

Book your place online

Thursday 12 November
A Disquieted Life - Podcasts, Philosophy and Mental Health

Thursday 12 November, 1:30pm - 2:30pm

'Disquieted Life' is a British Academy funded podcast series exploring ideas about philosophy and mental health. The podcasts will be freely available online at the start of the festival. Episodes feature conversations on mental health with leading thinkers from the worlds of philosophy, literature and the arts. Later in the week, a workshop will engage with young people, who will be invited to share their views and questions on the themes raised in the podcasts. Their reflections will be posted to the podcast webpage at the end of the week.

Listen to the Disquieted Life podcasts anytime from Saturday 7th November

After Bletchley Park: global tech and trusted devices in Cold War espionage

Thursday 12 November, 5pm - 6pm, Online

This panel investigates the ‘missing link’ in the history of codebreaking and cipher machines, typified by the famous German ‘Enigma’. It connects the period of Bletchley Park with the Internet era. It seeks to explore cryptography in the latter decades of the twentieth century, arguing that technical processes of interference in trusted devices produced a significant flow of intelligence, mostly from countries in the global south. It draws on new documents released in Europe and the USA, expanding our comprehension of technical co-operation between United States, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, focusing on the control of technology corporations. It showcases the latest published work by Warwick early career researchers supported by the Warwick Cyber GRP. The talk will be historical, but will inform current debates over trusted devices, supply chain security and 5G.

Book your place

Cracking: a panel discussion on fathers' mental health - Panel Discussion

Thursday 12 November, 7:30pm-9:30pm, Online

Cracking is a new play created by the award-winning arts organisation ‘Alright Mate?’. It tells the story of new parents unfolding on the counselling couch where the father is afraid of his own vulnerabilities triggered by new parenthood. It is inspired by the lived experience of couples who’ve been through postnatal illness.

The piece has been reimagined as a three-part audio play which will debut at this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Audiences will have online access to the episodes during the Festival, beginning with a listen-remotely-together debut of episode 1, and then join a live panel discussion on father’s perinatal mental health and the culture(s) that surround it later in the week.

The panel will include the play’s writer and sound designer, peer support workers, experts by experience, innovators in the field and academic researchers from the University of Warwick.

Confirmed panellists:

  • Cally Hayes (Cracking writer)
  • Hugh McCann (Alright Mate? CIC)
  • Julian Bose (DadPad)
  • Luke Burgon (expert by experience)
  • Amelie Foster (expert by experience)
  • Nikhwat Marawat (The Delicate Mind CIC)
  • Dr Emma Langley (University of Warwick)
  • Jodie Dowse (Bluebell Care)
  • Dr Mark Pulsford (University of Warwick, panel Chair)

Book your place - Panel discussion

Listen to the 3 part audio drama any time from 8pm Saturday 7 November 2020

Book your place - Listen-remotely-together(Takes place Saturday 7 November)

Friday 13 November
Seeing through other eyes: the enduring value of town and city twinning

Friday 13 November, 2pm-3pm, Online

Born out a desire to promote reconciliation and peace, Coventry was a pioneer in twinning and went on to become twinned with 26 towns and cities around the world. Towns and cities in UK have twinned with other cities for four key reasons:

  • to break down barriers and misunderstanding (e.g. several cities in England became twinned with cities in Eastern Europe after the second world war)
  • to express a sense of solidarity (e.g. the active seeking of ties with cities in the global south)
  • to promote economic ties (e.g. new links with cities in China and Japan)
  • to strengthen already close ties (e.g. links between cities in EU countries).

Our project was particularly interested in schools and here twinning has encouraged sporting, drama and other cultural exchanges as well as collaboration on curriculum projects. Projects have sometimes been supported for trusts and philanthropic grants, and in Europe by EU funding.

Coventry has a rich and particular tradition of twinning and this talk will explore this history. We will illustrate our story with pictures of artefacts including: a tablecloth signed by women in Coventry as a fund raiser for the besieged people of Stalingrad in the Second World War; the Stalingrad Madonna that hangs in the city cathedral; and a cover of a programme for a pantomime put on by Coventry students in Jinan in the 1980s. We will suggest that twinning is worthwhile but requires planning and the active participation of participants.

For more about our project on twinning visit our website.

Book your place

Coventry Creates: Artistic and Academic Collaborations in a City of Culture

Friday 13 November, 5pm-6pm, Online

In response to the global pandemic, Coventry and Warwick universities joined together to launch 'Coventry Creates' a project to support the local arts and cultural sector whilst also providing researchers with the opportunity to explore their work through an artistic lens. This culminated in an online digital exhibition showcasing both the research and the artistic responses. This event will discuss how these collaborations worked, the benefits to those involved and the lessons learned for closer collaboration between universities and their local communities.

View the digital exhibition

Book your place

Saturday 14 November
A tale of 2 global pandemics: Covid-19 and race / racism

Saturday 14 November, 6pm-7pm

The year 2020 has seen us having to deal with both a rise in racism (and a concurrent increase in anti-racist activism) but also the unexpected and novel challenges of a global pandemic. But how have these twin pandemics impacted on the way we see ourselves?

Join us for an interactive and participatory workshop in which we will explore how our identities have been affected over the last 11 months. We will be discussing topics including race, family, LGBTQ identity, health and wellbeing, isolation, identity and support networks.

And we want to hear from you! Through taking part in a ‘show and tell’, we invite you to present an object(s) that symbolises your experience under lockdown, related to Covid 19 and race/ racism. Through sharing stories and experiences we will build up an autoethnographic picture of life under lockdown.

There will also be the opportunity to take a screen shot of the attendees with their objects to capture, as a piece of artwork and in a socially distanced way, the relationship between faces, objects and people coming together in a virtual space.

Please note: participation in the screenshot is optional and not mandatory. You are in control of the extent to which you participate. To this end, you are welcome to turn off your camera or anonymise your name (to for example a pseudonym). Those people captured in the screenshot will be asked to consent to their participation in the screenshot as a piece of artwork. However, if you change your mind at a later date, please email the organiser requesting removal.”

Book your place

Women's suffrage and me: mapping women's activism in local communities - Closing Event

Saturday 14 November, 7pm-8pm, Online

Mapping Women's Suffrage is a community project mapping as many early twentieth-century British women's suffrage activists as possible on to an interactive map. This webinar is the final event in a series which has included a webinar focusing on researching the suffrage past of your family or neighbourhood and daily multi-media releases on a variety of themes. The daily releases which are still available included presentations on music and women’s suffrage; suffrage walks and digital mapping; Kent: a local case study; the 1911 census and the suffrage movement; sexual violence and women’s activism.

Webinar: Legacies of the Suffrage Movement

This final webinar will consider the legacy of the suffrage movement; its resonance for contemporary activism such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter; and how an understanding of a community’s suffrage past might lead to re-interpretations of established local histories. Our keynote speaker for this event is the women’s activist and writer, Helen Pankhurst, the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Book your place - Closing Webinar

Follow the daily multi-media releases

Book your place - Opening Webinar(takes place on Saturday 7 November)

You can get involved with the conversation on Twitter by using #ESRCFestival and following us @WarwickEngages

Missed an event? Catch up on our YouTube channel

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is funded by UKRI and partner institutions. Find out more on their websiteUKRI ESRC logo