Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Panel Four: Social and Political Shifts

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The fourth, and final, panel will focus on how research being conducted at The University of Roehampton is helping to make a difference in the social and political domains. 

This panel will be chaired by Dr. Anna Seymour. Dr. Seymour is a dramatherapist and supervisor and is a director of the training organisation the Northern Trust for Dramatherapy. She is Senior Lecturer in Dramatherapy at the University of Roehampton, London with extensive experience as a trainer in the UK and internationally. She is editor of the British Association of Dramatherapists journal Dramatherapy and has published on theatre and Dramatherapy. She has a background in professional theatre and university teaching, trained in biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov (Moscow Theatre of Satire) and in Commedia Dell’Arte most recently (2011) with Antonio Fava in Italy.

The presenters in this panel will be as follows;

1) Ayda Mahani (Department of Psychology)

Historically, in the UK, sexual assault of women has been driving the agenda (see Home Office, 2009). Therefore, the sexual assault of men is less researched, especially if the male is gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant or queer (GBTGQ). The experience of GBTGQ men can differ, from heterosexual men’s experiences of sexual assault, due to the added impact of cultural and social stressors such as heterosexism and sexism. It is important to understand the diversity, and socially contextualised nature of GBTGQ men’s experiences, in surviving the impact and aftermath of sexual assault. The current social and political context influences treatment and community awareness of the sexual assault of GBTGQ men. Using Grounded Theory, this study aims to conduct interviews with a minimum of 5 GBTGQ men who experienced sexual assault and with a minimum of 5 service representatives who help and support individuals who experienced sexual assault. The study aims to gain a deeper level knowledge about the sexual assault of GBTGQ men through the stories of men that identify as GBTGQ as well as through service representatives who support male victims. The implications of the research also extend to gender – and although research into sexual assault shows the effects of the assault for understanding sexual behaviours, the emphasis rarely extends to talking about the way the assault implicates gender and sexual meanings. Therefore, this research will interrogate implications for gender in relation to definitions of maleness and masculinity by including those who define as gender variant, transgender or queer.

I am a Counselling Psychologist in Training at the University of Roehampton and as part of my course and training I will be conducting a doctoral study. I am presently researching sex, genders and sexualities in relation to sexual assault. Research is also focused on the sociology of sexual assault in relation to genders, sexualities and sexual meanings. Queer theory and intersectionality theory is central to the research

2) Michael Nwankpa (Department of Social Sciences)

Foreign Aid, Arms Proliferation, and Conflict Resolution in Sub-Saharan Africa

Using six parameters- “overall amount of aid, countries and organisations receiving it, how much aid each of these countries and organisations receives, what the aid is used for, the terms of the aid, [and] the percentage of the aid tied to purchases in the donor country” Lancaster (2006, p.17), this paper attempts a holistic assessment of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of foreign aid in Sub-Saharan Africa. More specifically, this paper interrogates the dynamic relationship between foreign aid, arms proliferation/military expenditure and conflict resolution in Africa, with special interest in the Boko Haram and Niger Delta insurgencies. The need to study this hinges on several factors: negligible impact of aid in most recipient communities, emerging news of commercially-motivated rather than developmental-motivated aid, direct and indirect impact of aid on internal conflicts, as well as growing public concern on the need and effectiveness of aid. This paper contributes to the body of literature on the need to clearly define and redefine the purpose of aid, as well as suggests ways that can help mitigate the unintended consequences of foreign aid on internal conflicts.  In this study, I take ambitious steps in submitting recommendations that can impact positively on the effectiveness of aid and conflict resolution in Africa.

I am a PhD student from the department of Social Sciences, University of Roehampton. My research area borders on the subject of Counter-terrorism/Counterinsurgency in Africa, with special interest in the Boko Haram and Niger Delta insurgencies. I am particularly looking at the concept of Development as a viable counterterrorist measure. I have a solid background in human rights and I have served different high-profile roles in relevant NGOs. 

3) Daliany Kersh (Department of Humanities)

This presentation aims to consider why prostitution, which was significantly controlled for over 30 years following the Cuban Revolution, suddenly re-emerged to such an extent that it has become a “social phenomenon.” Prior to collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba had been financially dependent on its powerful Communist ally and this loss of patronage resulted in a monumental financial crisis, referred to as the ‘Special Period.’ The hypothesis is that this event disproportionately affected Cuban women and this together with the introduction of mass tourism, which produced a substantial demand for sexual services, resulted in the widespread practice of Jineterismo.
I will be defining “Jineterismo” as a whole range of romantic or sexual approaches intended to obtain money from the influx of new “sex tourists” and examining the three main arguments relating to its practice; economic necessity, lack of social morality and materialism. The paper is based on my MA dissertation research that employed academic literature on feminism, sex tourism, prostitution, and the feminization of poverty in conjunction with ethnographic fieldwork which I conducted myself in Cuba in June 2012.
I hope to ‘make a difference’ with my research by highlighting the key contemporary issues that affected Cuban women, a socially excluded population, during this crucial event in contemporary Cuban history where after 30 years of Socialism, living standards plummeted dramatically. By employing oral histories, my qualitative paradigm therefore allows Cuban women to chronicle this event in their own words, giving an ‘alternative’, more authentically Cuban examination of Jineterismo.

My name is Daliany Kersh, I have a BA in Modern Languages (Spanish & French) and an MA in Latin American Studies. I started my History PhD in January provisional titled 'Jineterismo' and the 'feminisation' of the Special Period.

4) Fiyinfolu Olubunmi IDOWU (Department of Media Culture and Language)

The Current Debate on the Global Spread of English
English has become a global lingua franca and one of the implications of its spread is the rise of new varieties of English and their effect on Language teaching and testing. There is no doubt that the influences of the local languages of the non-native speakers have affected the way English has emerged in different parts of the world. It has become adopted for communication purpose by many nations in the world. In non-native speaker contexts today, it has grown, developed with a ‘distinctive local flavour’ (Bamgbose 2006:105), nativised, indigenized to accommodate the sociolinguistic and socio cultural context of the people (Akindele& Adegbite 1999).
Traditionally, English language pronunciation teaching was generally based on native-speaker norms usually RP British English or GA (General American). However, in recent years, there has been a trend away from the use of native speaker norms (Jenkins 2000). Considering the reality that English has spread and the rise of new Englishes, the question has arisen as to what pronunciation model teachers should employ. Should international tests continue to measure proficiency in relation to native speaker’s norm?
This paper seeks to argue that given Nigeria sociolinguistics situation, it is unrealistic to use a borrowed variety of Spoken English. This paper will focus on local variations of English in Nigeria with particular reference to spoken English in which the variations are most noticeable.

I am currently registered on the MPhil/PhD programme at Roehampton University and looking at the Intelligibility of Nigerian English speakers as regards pronunciation to different speakers of English and the Problems encountered by Nigerian Learners of English. I started this project as part of my MA degree in English Language Teaching at the University of East London in 2012 and obtained my BA in English from OAU, Ile Ife, Nigeria in 2009.

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