Dismantling the expectations of women, with Lorna Gibb and Gina Rippon

On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your gender determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries.

On Tuesday 19th March 18:30 our colleague Lorna Gibb participates in a sold-out event at Waterstones London – Gower Street.

In her new book The Gendered BrainGina Rippon draws on her work in cognitive neuroimaging to unpack the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments. Lorna Gibb‘s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children, from the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh, a first-of-its-kind, global investigation into an issue that affects millions of people.

Chaired by literary critic Lucy Scholes, Gina and Lorna discussed the expectations put upon women by society and science alike, and unpacked deeply ingrained beliefs about gender, motherhood and sexism from their differing perspectives.

‘Middlesex Echo’ out now

The first issue of The Middlesex Echo arrived on campus on March 16th and is already completely ‘sold out’. The Middlesex Echo is the brand new student newspaper at Middlesex University.

Created and produced by students only, it’s a unique way to hear the voices of Middlesex Students. Natalie Rose, second year BA English student, is the first issue’s editor. The newspaper is full of opinion pieces, feature articles and creative work by BA English and many other Middlesex students.

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They are on the lookout for new contributors and sub-editors and everyone can get involved.

You can follow them on twitter @mdxecho and on facebook.

 

 

An analysis of the image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets: visual grammar as a tool to discover stereotypes

We are absolutely delighted to host Professor María Martínez Lirola (University of Alicante) for a seminar on her cutting-edge research on the use of image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets.

When Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00

Where? Room PRTCB6B (Portacabin), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

There are many texts in which images of women are used for different purposes in our society. This research explores the main strategies used to create meaning in multimodal texts used by leaflets advertising cosmetic surgery in Alicante (Spain).  The study aims to point out that women are treated as objects in these leaflets. To demonstrate this argument the main visual and linguistic characteristics will be analysed in multimodal texts in which people are persuaded of the benefits of such surgery. Special attention will be paid to the influence that the different linguistic and visual choices may have on society. This study reveals that the image of women that appears in some leaflets of this type is so aggressive that it could be understood as a new form of gender violence.

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lirolaMaría Martínez Lirola is Professor of the Department of English at the University of Alicante, Spain and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her main areas of research are Applied Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. She has published more than 70 papers and seven books, such as Main Processes of Thematization and Postponement in English (Peter Lang, 2009). She has been a visiting scholar in different universities such as: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD, 2015), University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (2015), University of British Columbia and University of Montréal (2014), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada, 2012), University of South Africa, UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa, 2012), University of Anahuac Mayad (Mérida, Mexico, 2008), University of Kwazulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2006), and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia, 2005). She has presented papers in international congresses all over the world.

 

This is the full list of all the diverse seminars Professor Lirola will lead during her stay at Middlesex – all part of the Language & Communication Research Seminars series. Everyone is welcome!

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Out now: ‘Childless Voices’ by Lorna Gibb

Our colleague’s Lorna Gibb new book ‘Childless Voices: Stories of Longing Loss, Resistance and Choice’ will be published on 7 February 2019.

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From the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh; from religious rites to ancient superstitions; from the world’s richest people to its powerless and enslaved, Lorna Gibb’s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children. Brilliantly grouped by thematic commonality (Those who long, Those who were denied, Those who Choose, etc) the book is a testament to the power of listening, and the power of sharing stories. It is an essential, moving and surprising book on a subject which touches everyone.

To get the book, click here.

Biography

Lorna was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire and used to work as a professional dancer. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Middlesex University. In the past she’s lived in four different countries but is now back in London with her husband, two rescue cats from Qatar and a rescue snow Bengal from Chichester. Her debut novel A Ghost’s Story is published by Granta in Nov 2015. Prior to this she wrote two biographies, West’s World, on the fabulous Dame Rebecca West (Pan MacMillan) and Lady Hester on the wondrous Lady Hester Stanhope (Faber).

 

Experience Week activities, Friday 11th January 2019

At our first experience week for 2019, students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a full day of exciting activities that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development.

A Cambodian Spring, Friday 11th January, 12.00-15.30, CG76 
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A screening of award-winning documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’ followed by a Q&A with the director and the monk who risked his position in his Buddhist community to help Cambodian civilians to protest.

The screening starts at midday, followed by a 30-minute break and then the Q&A 2.30-3.30pm.

Register for a seat here, all welcome: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/award-winning-cambodian-spring-documentary-screening-and-qa-with-director-tickets-53397911591

 

Letters from Myanmar, Friday 11th January, 15.30 – 16.30, WG48

A book reading and discussion by Professor Chris Mabeychris

As a western teenager in the 1960s Chris found himself embraced

by a Burmese family. Since then his curiosity has gradually deepened about the mysterious conundrum that is Myanmar.

  • How can an assertive and glittering empire, ruling over much of South East Asia from the bejeweled palace at Ava be reduced to a secretive and isolated pariah state?
  • How is it that a prosperous economic and educational hub on the Asian subcontinent can emerge, in the second millennium as a repressive military regime?
  • How can a people renowned for their gentle hospitality and steeped in the benign pacifism of Buddhism stand by as students are gunned down in the popular uprising of 1988 or the barbaric ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya since 2017?

Chris will read and discuss some extracts from his forthcoming book. It is a first-hand glimpse from those who have lived through the unfolding history of this beguiling land. Through these ethnographic accounts we sample the distinctive flavours and smells, hear the wit and weariness and touch the fragile fabric of modern day Burma.

 

For the full schedule of all experience weeks’ activities, including optional events, see: Experience weeks 2018-19

 

Letters from Myanmar

The Language and Communication Research Cluster is delighted to announce a book reading and discussion by our colleague and Professor of Leadership in the Business School at Middlesex University, Prof Chris Mabey, on his forthcoming book Letters from Myanmar.

When? Friday 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30 (note new time and room)

Where? Room WG48, Williams building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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As a western teenager in the 1960s I found myself embraced by a Burmese family. Since then my curiosity has gradually deepened about the mysterious conundrum that is Myanmar.

  • How can an assertive and glittering empire, ruling over much of South East Asia from the bejewelled palace at Ava be reduced to a secretive and isolated pariah state?
  • How is it that a prosperous economic and educational hub on the Asian subcontinent can emerge, in the second millennium as a repressive military regime?
  • How can a people renowned for their gentle hospitality and steeped in the benign pacifism of Buddhism stand by as students are gunned down in the popular uprising of 1988 or the barbaric ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya since 2017?

Chris will read and discuss some extracts from his forthcoming book. It is a first-hand glimpse from those who have lived through the unfolding history of this beguiling land. Through these ethnographic accounts we sample the distinctive flavours and smells, hear the wit and weariness and touch the fragile fabric of modern day Burma.

Professor Chris Mabey has held a career-long interest in leadership development, first as a student counsellor for a Christian charity, then as an occupational psychologist with British Telecom and in Leadership Training with Rank Xerox (UK) plc. He has worked in a variety of sectors as a management consultant, with a focus on executive coaching, team-based development and leadership development of top teams.  More recently he has combined this experience with researching, teaching and writing about leadership development, with posts at the Open University, Birkbeck (London University) and Birmingham University. Chris, who is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society). He recently led an ESRC-funded Seminar Series on Ethical Leadership: Philosophical and Spiritual Approaches.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

New book by Middlesex colleague: In Defence of Political Correctness

Are we really free to say what we want in a liberal democracy? Or has being Politically Correct now been replaced by anti-political correctness? In this book, Middlesex Professor, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, argues that PC made public discourse more civilized. And that when people say what they damn well want, you end up with trolls, Trump and Farage and a nasty, toxic environment.

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Journalist of the Year, Yasmin Alibhai Brown is a broadcaster and author of several books. A columnist for the i and the Mirror, she is a well-known commentator on diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. She is the author of Refusing the Veil and her most recent book is Exotic England. She was awarded Broadsheet Columnist of the Year at the 2017 Press Awards.
Yasmin says: – “Libel laws, editorial judgements, broadcasting restrictions, the political atmosphere all impose limits on free speech. And yet when women, minorities, young, LGBT and disabled people object to demeaning language or, indeed, demand equality, traditionalists shout out ‘It’s PC gone mad’.  There are leading voices in this country- people like Boris Johnson, Julie Burchill. Ken Livingstone- who stoke up ugly passions in the name of freedom. Without self-moderation, our streets, schoolyards, public transport, waiting rooms and restaurants would turn into bear pits. Most citizens understand that. Some, however, seem determined to cause disorder in the name of free speech. Powerful, Machiavellian and wealthy individuals are leading this disruption and breaking the old consensus.
Thus, anti-political correctness has taken over the UK and US, spearheaded by some of the most influential voices in media and politics. Invective, lies, hate speech, bullying, intemperance and prejudice have become the new norms. Intolerance is justified through invocations of liberty. Restraint is oppression. A new order has been established in which racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are proudly expressed.” In this powerful new book, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown puts forth a spirited defence of political correctness, forcefully arguing that, despite many failures, this movement has led to a more civilised, equal and tolerant world. By tracing the history and definition of the term, Alibhai-Brown looks to clarify the very nature of PC, which is ultimately grounded in human decency, understanding and compassion – all of which are essential for a safer and kinder world.

https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/in-defence-of-political-correctness