festival bookletEdge Hill University is holding its first Festival of Ideas this Spring, featuring a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society.

The theme for the 2016 series is Imagining Better, which will explore ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

The series features an exciting collection of talks, exhibitions, films and performances which explore issues such as children’s rights and citizenship, arts and social justice, innovative strategies for current healthcare issues, racism in sport and cultural identities.

Imagining Better has been programmed by Edge Hill University’s three research institutes – The Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice (I4P), the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE) and the Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI), running from 20th January to 14th March 2016.

Events include Professor Kate Oakley from the University of Leeds discussing regional development and inequalities, drawing on her research about New Labour and the more recent developments about the Northern Powerhouse, and Professor Des O’Neill who will look at misconceptions around medicine and older people, using an example featuring Matisse’s The Snail. Professor O’Neill’s event will be held at Tate Liverpool and is part of the University’s partnership with the arts organisation which will also allow the audience to have private access to the Matisse in Focus exhibition.

Professor Kate Pickett will deliver the Third Annual Lecture for I4P on Tuesday 9th February looking at inequality, entitled the Enemy Between Us, and in an event on Wednesday 10th  February, Emy Onuora will discuss his new book The Story of Black British footballers with honorary graduate, writer and musician Peter Hooton.

Inaugural lectures by Professors Tom Cockburn and Paresh Wankhade highlight aspects of research work undertaken within the University and introduce our own academics to the wider community.

The Edge Hill Festival of Ideas has been inspired, in part, by the work of the internationally respected cultural theorist Stuart Hall and builds on the University’s tribute to him on the occasion of his death in 2014. A key part of Hall’s work and his contribution to ideas and the academy was his invitation to think in a multi- or inter-disciplinary way, and to encourage critical thinking and questioning.

For more information, click on the festival booklet below:

Dr Simon Ridley visits Edge Hill to share his optimism about Dementia research

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Dr Simon Ridley, Director of Research at the charity Alzheimer’s Research, visited Edge Hill to deliver a public lecture titled Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016 series, exploring culture, health and society.

Dementia is a global health issue, affecting around 44 million people across the world, and 850,000 living in the UK. The number of people living with Dementia is on the increase and in the UK, the number is expected to rise to over one million by 2025.

During the lecture, Simon discussed the key challenges and progress in Dementia research from both a scientific and research perspective, as well as exploring how Dementia research capacity and initiatives, alongside the finding landscape can be supported.

In the video below, Simon speaks to Edge Hill Alumnus Gareth Dowling who is the Dementia Action Alliance Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society. They discuss Dementia and Alzheimer’s and the difference between them, the importance of timely diagnosis and cautious optimism around new treatments.

Simon joined Alzheimer’s Research UK in January 2009. As Director of Research he is responsible for the delivery of funding programmes and partnerships, and follows new developments in Dementia, regularly speaking to the media about research matters. Simon has extensive experience as a researcher and has also worked in industry. Prior to taking up post at Alzheimer’s Research UK, he was a Research Fellow at University of Cambridge, where he also completed his PhD.

Comment Blog : The power of conversation

Emy-event-1024x576Professor John Diamond describes how powerful conversations can be for exploring serious social and political questions in our Comment Blog:

As part of the University’s Festival of Ideas 2016, Emy Onuora talked about his new book and explored the ideas in the book through a dialogue with Peter Hooton.

The Q and A facilitated by Peter was a really powerful experience, as Emy talked about his childhood experiences of going to matches in the 1960s, his love of the game and his wish to reclaim the lives of those black footballers who have been hidden from history, and the power of representing their stories to a different audience.

The power of the ‘conversation’ is that it has the potential to connect a number of themes and ideas, from politics to racism, to economics and to social change. At the same time because it is a particularly personal form of presenting ideas, it breaks down the invisible barrier between the speaker and the audience. It makes the person more real and powerful in a way.  And through the lens of the experiences of black British footballers, it is possible to see the ways in which British society has or has not changed.

By then connecting the story of football in the UK to another set of stories from the murder of Stephen Lawrence to the increase in attacks on asylum seekers and refugees it is evident how far we still have to go to.

This event was part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality. Details of all events can be found here.

Learn more about our I4P Research Institute (Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice)here.

Video : The Role and Relevance of Psychology in Today’s World

The President of the British Psychological Society, Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, visited Edge Hill to deliver a public lecture about what is currently happening in Psychology and the impact it is having on today’s world.

This event was just one of the events featuring in Edge Hill’s Festival of Ideas 2016.

 

Event aims to break the stereotypes of ageing

the snail

Edge Hill’s Festival of Ideas will feature a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society, including a public event at the Tate Liverpool.  The Art of the Demographic Dividend is presented by the Postgraduate Medical Institute, with guest speaker Professor Desmond O’Neill.

The audience will have private access to the Matisse in Focus exhibition, including a rare opportunity to see The Snail outside of London.

Matisse created The Snail when he was confined to his bed at 83 years old. The abstract piece, based on the swirl of a snail shell, is almost three metres square and was created by arranging colourfully painted paper on a white paper base.

Professor O’Neill will promote the underlying message that age should never hold you back, by highlighting Henri Matisse completed most of his work during ill health in his final years.

Professor O’Neill’s own work, which he will also discuss, focuses on stroke, in particular recovery following stroke, as well as prediction of fitness to drive following stroke or dementia.

“When students troop into my introductory lecture on geriatric medicine, they are generally surprised that the first slide is Henri Matisse’s The Snail (1953): radical, vibrant and witty, it does not quite conform to their preconceptions of medicine with older people”, said Professor O’Neill. “The second slide, of the 83 year old Matisse in a wheelchair, provides the context: his later life not only provides surprising developments in his art, but it occurs in the face of significant disability. Indeed, Matisse’s response to illness illustrates not just his resourcefulness, but also the role of adversity in sparking personal growth.”

This event is part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality. Details of all events can be found here.

The Art of the Demographic Dividend will take place on Thursday 4th February a drinks reception will be available from 5:30pm at the Tate Liverpool. Click here for further information and to book your place.

Academic publishes third book in a year

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Paresh Wankhade, Professor of Leadership and Management at Edge Hill’s Business School has published his third book since joining the University last year.

Sociability, Social Capital, and Community Development: A Public Health Perspective, provides a critical understanding of contemporary issues within global society using six case study examples (UK, USA, China, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Japan). The co-authored book explores major themes of contemporary relevance- overall aging of societies; governance and institutions; emergency services and public health provisions; and community activism and involvement.

His latest edited volumes on the leadership and management perspectives in ambulance and the police services, investigate key management themes in these important public services. The two books offer critical insights into the theory and practice of strategic and operational management of the ambulance and police services and the leadership requirements for the services.

Professor Wankhade said:

“These books have raised real problems confronting the society and the lives of people. The involvement of professionals in the co-production of knowledge is a welcome step and sits well with Edge Hill University’s engagement strategy.”

Professor Wankhade is also the Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Emergency Services and is recognised as an expert in this field. His research and publications focus on the analyses of organisational leadership, cultural change and interoperability between the emergency services. His work assists debates around interoperability of emergency ‘blue-light’ services and challenges faced by individual services.

All three books are available to buy online.

On Thursday 10th March, Professor Wankhade will deliver his inaugural lecture Strategic leadership for the management of emergency services: case for a new research agenda, during which he will discuss the operation of the emergency services and the challenges they face.

This event is just one of a wider programme taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

Click here for further information and to book your place.

Blog : Why all universities should consider a Festival of Ideas

Imagining Header

Professor John Diamond (Director of the University’s I4P) has posted in our Comment Blog, making the case for expanding Festivals of Ideas in Universities:

This week sees the start of the Edge Hill’s Festival of Ideas – Imagining Better. It is like many such initiatives – it draws on an eclectic range of events from public lectures, to films, to drama to art and photographic exhibitions, to workshops and book signings. It’s diverse, it’s stimulating and it reflects an important objective which is to create a space in which ideas, discussion and conversation can flow and in turn stimulate reflection and thought.

They are part (almost) of the furniture across higher education institutions. And whilst they are important (really important) they are, I think, a necessary but not a sufficient condition for all the possibilities outlined above to take place.

An important aspect of the concept (and this is central for me about the Edge Hill Festival) is both that it encourages, supports and makes explicit the idea of multi-disciplinary thinking and work. Whilst there are different bits of the University hosting particular aspects we could delete the organisational home and there would be recurring and overlapping themes. And central to that is the idea of how our learning and thinking is much more flexible and curious than any one subject or department or discipline. I think that’s a huge strength of what we are offering and I hope it becomes part of the taken for granted nature of what makes a good and exciting event.

Secondly, I think these events highlight the centrality of universities acting as civil society institutions in the public space where we need to encourage dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

And finally, the weaknesses in this approach: we need to develop much more examples of learning from and listening to those outside the academy. And perhaps a good sign of that will not be that next year we have a fringe which is even more interesting than the main event but when the fringe is the academy and the main event is a much more creative and different set of voices and experiences from which we deliberately seek to learn with and from.

In the meantime enjoy this year’s programme.

Edge Hill’s Festival of Ideas 2016 is a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

Click here for a full list of events.

Suffragette screening marks University’s 131st birthday

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A free screening of the critically-acclaimed film Suffragette will take place on campus, coinciding with the anniversary week of the University’s opening as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women 131 years ago.

The showing is also part of the national campaign titled The Time Is Now, which is a season of film exploring and celebrating the role women play in affecting change.

The screening of Suffragette will be followed by a discussion from experts in film and women’s movement, including Oscar-winning film producer Mia Bays, Edge Hill’s Professor Roger Shannon, and Gail Heath who is the CEO of The Pankhurst Trust.

Suffragette is the powerful drama about the women who were willing to lose everything for equality. It tells the story of the early feminist movement as working women fought for the right to vote, turning to violence as their only route to change.

The screening of this film ties in with the anniversary of the opening of Edge Hill on the 24th January 1885. In the early 1900s, many students showed an interest in feminism, the suffrage movement and fighting for the vote.

These direct links to the Suffragette movement are illustrated in the University’s colours of gold, green and heliotrope (purple), the same colours used in traditions of the women’s suffrage movement, and this symbolises Edge Hill’s early commitment to the equality of women.

Edge Hill continues to support gender equality and has recently received the Bronze Award from Athena SWAN, the charter that recognises commitment to tackling gender equality in higher education. In gaining the award, the University has established an action plan to advance and promote the careers of women across a range of disciplines.

This event is just one of a wider programme taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

The film will be shown on Wednesday 20th January at 7:00pm in The Arts Centre. Click here for further information and to book your place.

How relevant is psychology to today’s world?

4professor-jamie-hacker-hughes

The President of the British Psychological Society, Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, is visiting Edge Hill to deliver a public lecture titled The Role and Relevance of Psychology in Today’s World.

The acclaimed Psychologist will discuss many aspects of Psychology, tracing the beginnings of the subject to the start of last century and exploring the many specialist areas which have developed since that time. He will also provide examples to demonstrate the relevance of psychology to today’s world.

Last year, Professor Hacker Hughes was appointed as the 81st President of the British Psychological Society. He has a wide area of expertise and is a PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) specialist in military and veteran psychological health, as well as being a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and neuropsychologist.

He has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers, books, book chapters and conference papers and has lectured on his specialist field of psychological trauma around the world. He is known for trying to make his subject area accessible to all and easily understood with frequent appearances in the media as well as features in a plethora of national radio programmes and newspapers.

This event is just one of a wider programme taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

This lecture will take place on Wednesday 20th January at 6:00pm in the Psychology and Social Sciences Building. Click here for further information and to book your place.