Seminar: Older People, Sexuality & Intimacy, 25th March, Edge Hill University

Seminar: 25th March 2015

Dialogues: Older People, Sexuality & Intimacy: A Chance to Influence a Research Agenda

Institute for Public Policy & Professional Practice (I4P), Older People’s Understandings of Sexuality (OPUS) Research Initiative. In association with the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics (INSEP)

‘Gift’ cards routinely ridicule old people for their putative lack of cognitive, physical and sexual capacity (Bytheway 1995); the latter suggesting the workings of ageist erotophobia – fear of ageing bodies as sexual – and desexualisation. Such ageist ‘humour’, coupled with a dearth of realistic images of older people as sexual beings reinforces older people’s erasure from sexual citizenship or as post-sexual. Issues concerning older citizens, sex, intimacy and sexuality have been neglected in policy and practice in the UK (Hafford-Letchfield 2008) and this is particularly so for care home residents whose transition into residential care is often assumed to mean the cessation of sexual activity (Bauer et al 2012).

This dialogical event will address the awareness gap concerning old people sexuality and intimacy. It will pivot around qualitative research conducted by the OPUS research initiative (based at Universities of Manchester, Bradford, Queensland and Edge Hill) on older care home residents and responses to the OPUS ‘findings.’ In particular, the event will promote examination of:

  • accounts of residents, spouses and care staff on the significance of addressing sexual/intimate citizenship (Plummer 1995) in care homes;
  • needs relating to sex, sexuality and intimacy identified by representatives of older people’s groups (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people);
  • ethical issues relating to sexual/intimate citizenship and older people/residents e.g. in relation to individuals with dementia or impaired capacity to consent.

This event presents an opportunity for academics across various disciplines, health and care practitioners and anyone interested to learn of, respond to and discuss the implications of the study. The event will present opportunities for plenary discussion, group discussions designed to identify the varied, complex challenges presented by this issue and what might constitute good/best practice. It also presents an opportunity to shape a newly emerging research agenda and a bid to conduct national/cross-national research on sexual/intimate citizenship and people aged 60 and above.

Confirmed Speakers:

Venue:  Room HUB 1, (building 2 on the Map) at Edge Hill University (Directions).

Registration:  £25 including VAT 

Programme:  The Conference Programme is available to download. (schedule is subject to change)

Enquiries:  I4P@Edgehill.ac.uk

Follow us on Twitter @I4PEHU


Free Seminar: It ain’t what you know, it’s who knows it: User involvement and the secret of knowledge w/ Peter Beresford (@BeresfordPeter)

Date: Wednesday 4th February 2015

Venue: The lecture will take place in room H3, Faculty of Health and Social Care (building 4 on the Map) at Edge Hill University (Directions)

Professor Peter Beresford OBE will deliver I4P’s Annual Lecture on how public policy can be transformed through public, patient and user involvement and engagement, particularly the inclusion of people’s own lived experiences and the collective action that follows from that. At a time when representative democracy in nations like the UK is under greater threat than ever, the lecture will look at the barriers facing such participatory democracy, how these threats may be overcome and why building such involvement offers us perhaps the only route out of the present ideological impasse.

During the afternoon and prior to the public lecture, there will be a free ‘Listening Event’ open to those involved in or interested in public participation in welfare, health and social services and in the changes being introduced through contracting and commissioning.  There will be a number of open workshops which will be of interest to carer groups, voluntary and community sector organisations as well as practitioners and policy makers.

5.30pm Registration and Refreshments
6.00pm Lecture
7.00pm Refreshments and Networking

Registration: Register for this event HERE.

More information: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/i4p/annual-lecture-4th-february-2015/


PhD/MPhil Studentship: Faculty of Health and Social Science, Based in Milton Keenes

The Faculty of Health and Social Care at The Open University is offering funded full-time studentships and self-funded part-time students. The Faculty’s research focuses on the following areas: ageing and later life; reproductive and sexual health; death and dying; living with a disability and/or long term condition; children and young people; parenting and families. Applications are encouraged in a range of research projects outlined at: http://www.open.ac.uk/health-and-social-care/main/research/post-grad-research/student-community

Their research draws on various methodologies and forms of analysis and much is largely multidisciplinary work across the social sciences, in drawing on medical sociology, critical psychology, anthropology and other critical, applied social sciences.

Studentships commence October 2015. Applicants must normally reside in the UK for the duration of their registration.

All students are supported to develop a range of academic and other research skills. In addition, full-time students will be offered opportunities to develop experience in teaching in the faculty.

For detailed information, and to apply online, see links below; or contact Faculty Research Office by e-mail hsc-research-enquiries@open.ac.uk, Tel: 01908 858373.

Closing date 12 noon on 20 March.
Interviews to be held in May.

More information: http://www3.open.ac.uk/employment/job-details.asp?id=8318&ref=ext


Free Performance: Wicked Fish – From There to Here

Wicked Fish is a theatre and creative arts company from Liverpool, comprising five Disabled People, three of whom have Learning Difficulties. From There To Here is a new and developing piece of theatre by Wicked Fish.  It looks at the lives of three inmates of the Royal Albert Institution, Lancaster,  around 1910.  Their experiences become starting point for a closer look at attitudes to people who have learning difficulties today, and how far we think we have come in supporting them.

Performances are free and there is no need to book seats in advance:

Tuesday, 20 January, 6.30pm Valley Community Theatre, Netherley
Friday, 24 January, 2pm Liverpool Central Library, City Centre
Saturday, 30 January, 2.30pm Museum of Liverpool, Albert Dock.

For more information see http://wickedfish.org.uk/ or email wickedfish97@hotmail.com


Seminar: ‘Great Expectations’ – Child Youth & Family Disability Research Network – South West & Wales

This event (held in Cardiff) will focus on the ‘Lost voices’ of children and youth with disabilites. There will be opportunities to network with other interested people to explore ‘Great Expectations’ for disabled children and youth and listen to 2 speakers who will present their research:

Dr Aaron Prtichard from Bangor University: ‘Lost Voices? Young People with Palliative Care Needs’

Dr Kirsty Liddiard from the University of Sheffield and the Sexuality Working Alliance Group (Open University and Together for Short Lives)’:“I need privacy and respect for privacy as a sexual person”: Young People’s Voices, Sex/uality and the Palliative Care Context.

More information: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/great-expectationschild-youthfamily-disability-research-network-sw-wal-tickets-15045553656?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=eventurl_text


CFP: Special Issue of African American Review, Blackness and Disability

In 2006, the late Christopher M. Bell lamented “the failure of Disability Studies to engage issues of race and ethnicity in a substantive capacity.” In recent years, scholars like Michelle Jarman, Jennifer James, Cynthia Wu, Nirmalla Ervelles, and Terry Rowden have filled this lacuna with essays and books of their own. Though it may no longer be necessary to think in terms of failure, we still have a significant amount of work to do in exploring the scholarly terrain where disability and race intersect. In an effort to continue this conversation, this special issue of <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>African American Review seeks essays that probe the connections between blackness and disability and think beyond the idea that one is simply like the other.

We define disability as the existing social, legal, and cultural conditions that make the world un-navegable for people with impairments, drawing a distinction between material realities and the consequences of social (in)action. We recognize the historical relationship between racializing and disabling discourses as complex and dynamic. In this issue, we aim to challenge, expose, and analyze the way these discourses shape literary and cultural production.

Centralizing disability in discussions of blackness revamps our understanding of what blackness was, is, and could be. In terms of history, it asks us to recast Harriet Tubman as mentally disabled (based on her head injury), and by extension the conception of slaves as extremely abled. The use of amputation as a punishment for seeking freedom challenges us to consider that blackness and disability are simultaneously constructed as anti-thetical to freedom itself and dangerous to the nation-state. If we are to think about how black citizens must traverse structural inequality regularly, how might that be complicated by an inability to get inside the actual structures one needs to enter? How might the back and side ramp entrances to government buildings create a permanent but vexed easement into institutions for black disabled folk? In terms of scholarly work, performance studies and cultural studies seek to reimagine the black body as outside the strictures placed upon it, but generally do so in abled terms. In short, I ask a question similar to Gloria Hull, Patricia Bell Scott and Barbara Smith’s inquiry for their collection on black feminism: if all the disabled are white, and all the blacks are abled, what are those of us in the middle? This special issue would be groundbreaking because it asks for nothing less than a retooling of the very terms of blackness and disability. To view the two together is to disrupt and change both.

We welcome essays that examine the wide range of possible literary and cultural texts available though we are most interested in work that explains how discourses of disability and blackness transform each other. Our primary goal is to expand the repertoire of critical approaches to texts (broadly defined) that deal with blackness and disability.

Potential Topics:

Slavery and the Politics of Disability


Afrofuturism/Black Speculative Fiction

The Graphic Novel

Disability and Black Queer Culture

Black Disabled Characters in Film & Visual Culture

Differential Politics of Disability (how disability impacts the lives of people of different ethnicities and classes differently)

Disability and the Black Arts

Abstracts of no more than 500 words and a brief CV should be sent to Theri’ Pickens c/o Intellectual.Insurrection@gmail.com by June 30, 2015. The invitation for full papers will be sent out on September 1, 2015 and completed essays will be expected by February 1, 2016.