Posts Tagged gender
I came to the Sociology Department at Essex in 1994, as a Research Officer on an ESRC project with Prof. John Scott, titled ‘New and Established Elites’.
Essex left an enduring and informative influence on my life. I was part of a very vibrant department of staff and students. Travis Kong, Lyndsey Moon, Ayesha Gill, Junko Sakia, Miriam Glucksman, Catherine Hall, Vicky Randall, John Scott, Ken Plummer, Ted Benton, Mike Roper, Sean Nixon & Ian Craib made it a lively, heterodox, supportive learning environment. I still remember the shared Sociology common room, coffee trolley and the intellectually charged jolly away weekends with staff and PG students in Great Yarmouth. The coming together of Judith Butler with Mary McIntosh was a moment full of suspense. So much so that I did not take off my red leather coat while I Chaired this event organised by the student led Gender and Ethnicity Group.
Today I am a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths and Director of the Methods Lab, co-founded with Les Back. To foreground this approach we have co-edited the book‘Live Methods’ (2012, Sociological Review monograph). Both Ken Plummer and John Scott have delivered the Annual Methods Lab Lecture here (see http://www.gold.ac.uk/methods-lab/
When I came to Essex it was to work on an ESRC project with Prof. John Scott, titled ‘New and Established Elites’. My fieldwork was conducted in Westminster and Whitehall, where I interviewed over a 100 MPs and senior civil servants. In my analysis, I widened the scope and pushed the boundaries of political sociology by bringing insights from gender studies, post-colonial theory and cultural geography. From this research I gained my PhD – examined by Prof. Miriam Glucksman & Prof. Anne Phillips; and published as the book Space Invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place’ (2004). The Australian political philospher Moira Gatens endorsed the book by saying::
“Space Invaders is the book we’ve all been waiting for! Puwar masterfully shows how neither bodies nor the spaces they occupy can be neutral…Her insights are original, her analysis clear and forceful, and the overall result is surprising, convincing and breathtakingly illuminating. Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in power and politics.”
(For a fuller review by Gatens see Feminist Review :http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fr/journal/v87/n1/abs/9400370a.html)
Different sectors, ranging from science to art, politics and academia have made productive use of the processes highlighted in my book – using the concept ‘Space Invaders’ for understanding the co-existence of bodies in spaces which have not been historically or conceptually reserved for them. Perhaps the most well known contemporary globally known figure of the ‘space invader’, has been the arrival of Barack Hussein Obama in the White House in 2008.
As Director of the Methods Lab I have been working across disciplinary fields towards a creative public sociology that speaks to both academic and non-academic environments. Developing the notion of ‘curating sociology’ I have worked with different situations to expand understandings and practices of space invading. The co-edited book with Les Back on ‘Live Methods’ (2012, Sociological Review monograph) foregrounds this approach.
I have also led a number of creative projects activating a sociological imagination in the sense of C W Mills. The most high profile of these has been the AHRC funded Noise of the Past, which involved a public event curated in Coventry Cathedral http://www.gold.ac.uk/methods-lab/pastevents/noiseofthepast/ The attempt to re-route militaristic nationalistic notions of war and memory through the insertion of post-colonial bodies has been central to this project. Noise of the Past launched the award winning film Unravelling, directed by Kuldip Powar with a new score by Nitin Sawhney and, the music performance ‘Post-colonial War Requiem’ composed in spatial dialogue with the live architecture of Coventry Cathedral, a site of both the trauma and memory of war. The evening screening and performance was compered by the historian Carolyn Steedman and opened by the war correspondent Martin Bell. This public event was proceeded by a conference in the Guildhall, located next to the cathedral, with a key note by the oral historian Alessandro Portelli from Rome. We now hope to take the project to Dresden, the city that was blitzed to bits soon ater Coventry Cathedral. To read more, see the Special Issue of The Senses & Society (2011) edited with S. Sharma: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/tsas/2011/00000006/00000003
Other projects have included the installation at Goldsmiths of the photographic exhibition ‘Pierre Bourdieu in Algeria: testimonies of uprooted’, which ran alongside a series of seminars and produced the Special Issue on ‘Post-colonial Bourdieu’ for Sociological Review (2009, co-edited with Les Back & Azzedine Haddour). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sore.2009.57.issue-3/issuetoc
The theme of space, public sphere & cinema have been articulated around what I have termed as ‘Social Cinema Scenes’ – http://sac.sagepub.com/content/10/2/253.abstract . This arose after she worked on an exhibition with the Herbert Art Gallery and co-directed the film, with Kuldip Powar, Khabi Ritz, Khabie Palladium, see:
This was followed by two further short films, Coventry Ritz (funded by the BFI) and Cinema III, directed with S.Sharma (funded by the British Academy). http://www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/content/articles/2006/12/05/video_ritz_feature.shtml
She has also edited ‘Intimacy in Research’ in The History of the Human Sciences (2008) with M. Fraser; South Asian Women in the Diaspora (2003) with P.Raghuram; ‘Orientalism’ for Fashion Theory (2003, English & Brazilian Portuguese) with N. Bhatia; as well as ten issues of the international journal Feminist Review, including celebration Issue 100. She has published on the space of the ‘migrant’ as a figure of fantasy and attachment in the activist journals including Multitudes (2004, in French) and Derrive Approdi (2004, in Italian) http://multitudes.samizdat.net/Speaking-Positions-in-Global
I graduated with MA Sociology of Development, Essex University, July 1989. After completing my studies at Essex, I came back to Botswana to continue my work as A Rural Sociologist in the applied Research Unit of the Botswana Ministry of Local Government. I consider my experience at Essex to have been useful in grounding my work as a Social Scientist. I am an interdisciplinary Sociologist, an Adult and health educator with a wealth of more than twenty eight years of professional experience from different workplaces: first worked as a Rural Sociologist (Sanitation) for the Ministry of Local Government (six years), Training Officer for De Beers Botswana Diamond Mining Company (DEBSWANA), Jwaneng mine, (one year) Program officer, Social Mobilization, for UNICEF Gaborone, (two years), an independent consultant (one year) and finally as a Lecturer, (twelve years), a Lecturer in Adult Education, (four years) University of Botswana, from January 1994; Senior lecturer (four years) from April 2006; and Associate Professor from January 25th 2011 to- date.
I have a passion for research work and use my experience in Qualitative Methodology from Essex to do part time consultancy work when given the opportunity to do so. Essex has given me the chance to grow to be a seasoned senior researcher and scholar. Since 1991, I have done total of 19 part- time research- based consultancy projects for the Government of Botswana and international development partners. Regionally, I have also served as principal investigator on the Botswana side for a collaborative research project on Non- Formal Education and poverty reduction with four other universities under the auspices of British Academy African Partnership Initiative (BAAP) from March 2006 to March 2009. I visited the University of Glasgow annually for meetings with my research partners while the partnership lasted.
I served as a coordinator (Jan 2010-August 2011) for the Botswana Chapter on an 18 months collaborative research project on Implementing the Third Mission of Universities in Africa (ITMUA) regional collaborative research since January 2010 to August 2011. The project, sponsored by AAU/DIFD, involved three other universities: Calabar, Malawi, and the National University of Lesotho. A book on Community Engagement in Four African Universities has been published from the research case studies. I am presently on sabattical leave from June 2012 till May 2013 to write a 16 chapter book on Lifelong learning, poverty, community development and engagement.
My areas of research, publications and activism include environmental education, gender issues; the social context of health, Adult and Continuing Education, entrepreneurship skills development, instructional media and materials development, the global impacts of HIV/AIDs, gender-based poverty and poverty identity formation, literacy and post -literacy. I would welcome any opportunity to reconnect with Essex Sociology Department in any ways in which I can be helpful to pay back part of the price.
I’m currently working as a Marketing Administrator at LIFE-FORCE Counselling Service, Colchester, and volunteering with the British Heart Foundation, as a shop worker for 2 hours each week. In addition Im always looking for ad hoc work locally.
After I graduated I couldn’t get a job as employers didn’t seem interested in a degree, they all wanted you to have ‘work experience’ (typical) but eventually I offered to work a few hours a week for free at a local counselling service, in the office (I didn’t want a big gap on my cv) and eventually I was offered a paid position (part time).
I actually got frustrated at the lack of office jobs around (all stuff for shop workers…and I’d never worked in a shop in my life!) so I also volunteered at The British Heart Foundation shop in town (my dad died of heart woes during my 2nd year at uni). I’ve gained a ton of work experience and am still volunteering every week as I love it in there!
The olympic focus on volunteers has gone some way to promoting volunteering but there’s always a danger of companies hoping for free labour. I’d given myself a deadline of 12 months ‘free work’ at 2 hours a week (so as not to put anyone else out of a job) so I was fortunate to have been offered a paid position before the year was up! It did mean I had to become self-employed though (which I wasn’t keen to do) but since then I’ve set up my own webpage (see ‘My Links’ below) offering ad-hoc paid work locally (I don’t drive) to fit around my current hours. I haven’t had much response as yet but you never know….!!
Sociologically I’m interested in women’s issues, health (including mental health), disability and gender issues, while my non-academic interests are family history, gardening, writing satire and holidays!
- My website: http://www.karenwaddy.com
- My LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenwaddy
- My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/karen.waddy
- Some reflections on my early experiences at Essex, written at the time: Slice of Life: My First Term at Uni (Autumn 2005)
- Some photos I took around the lake at various times: University of Essex 2005-2008
- A blog about my small suburban garden: http://karenwaddy.wordpress.com/