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Event report: Bullying and Harassment in UK Classics Departments: Finding Solutions

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The workshop Bullying and Harassment in the UK Classical Workplace: Finding Solutions took place on 11th September 2017 at Roehampton, and was organised by Professor Fiona McHardy, Dr. Katerina Volioti and WCC UK steering committee member Dr. Susan Deacy. The programme is detailed here. In this blog post, Susan reports back on the thinking behind running the event, how it all went, and where we go from here.

 

At the WCC-UK AGM in April 2017, I was struck that there seemed to be a shift from the inaugural AGM in 2016. In 2016, there had been a focus on problems that WCC might address in Classics. Now there was a move towards how WCC could address some of these problems. The presentation at the 2017 AGM from Dr. Anna Bull of the 1752 Group fitted this shift. Anna’s presentation raised some problems that run deep in HE culture around sexual harassment, but Anna identified various possible actions, including some do-able steps that individuals can take, and these can make a difference. It was in a similar spirit that Fiona, Katerina and I organised an event looking for possible solutions to bullying and harassment in UK Classics. Fiona and I had already written a paper that was problem-focused. It was a goal of this new event to discuss ways forward.

A number of people contacted me once the Call for Papers had gone out to give support or relate their experiences. Some were torn between coming along to help ensure that others will not go through what they had – and keeping these experiences in the past. And it was the latter that won out. This included attempting to go through institutional policies: one respondent (not a classicist) told me that they only had any success when the union at their HEI was serious about legal action for failure in duty of care. The perpetrators left, but for other institutions. This academic highlighted weak management and peer silence as practices that ‘give permission’ to bullying. Another person who got in touch – a classicist – had experiences of ‘gagging orders’ which can create a ‘wall of silence’ that allow some individuals to bully a succession of colleagues. Correspondents also discussed the ways in which universities can make their staff insecure at all stages in their careers. This culture not only mitigates against a good working environment, but it also discourages whistle-blowing, as people feel scared to put their necks on the line, for the sake of their careers.

Everyone present at the event, the programme for which is available here, was there because the topic mattered to them and/or to others close to them. We agreed to keep discussion in camera, so no twitter. Among the key issues raised were the following – and there is plenty here that WCC can explore further.

Continue reading →

Booking Open: Bullying and Harassment in the UK Classical Workplace: Finding Solutions

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Bullying and Harassment in the UK Classical Workplace: Finding Solutions
Women’s Classical Committee UK Workshop
University of Roehampton, 11th September 2017
Organisers: Susan Deacy, Fiona McHardy, Katerina Volioti

This event takes place at a time when various groups are coming together in the UK and internationally to discuss workplace bullying and harassment and to seek solutions. The issue is high on the agenda of the Women’s Classical Committee UK, which conducted a survey in 2016 asking for feedback on experiences of gendered bullying and sexual harassment. A paper in Cloelia in 2016 by two of the current event’s organisers (Susan Deacy/Fiona McHardy) explored the responses to this survey while also presenting the experiences of other classicists. One goal of this workshop is to look in further depth at some of the problems in Classics. For example, we should like to look at where issues of gender intersect with mental health, age, disability and status. We also anticipate a discussion around whether the perpetuation of ‘traditional’ views of Classics might be fostering a culture where bullying and harassment can endure. But: our key goal is to move from identifying problems to finding solutions. We take inspiration, here, from the ongoing moves in Classical women’s networks in North America and Australasia to tackle issues in the discipline by cooperation, including by those who have themselves suffered unpleasant experiences in the workplace. Our quest will also be informed by initiatives beyond Classics, including the 1752 Group, which is developing strategies for combatting sexual misconduct at UK HEIs.

The structure of the event will draw strongly on informal discussion and sharing experiences in a supportive, confidential environment. In addition to the topics set out below, discussions areas will include ‘gagging orders,’ social media bullying and institutional duties of care.

You can book for this event via our Eventbrite page. Members of the WCC UK are entitled to complementary tickets and have been sent instructions on how to order them; if you need a reminder, please e-mail us at womensclassicalcommittee at gmail dot com.

 

Schedule

1pm – Lunch

1.30 – Introductions; identifying the issues; outlining the problems (Fiona McHardy); some possible solutions (Susan Deacy)

2.30 – Short papers

Katerina Volioti – (Under)standing bullies

Alan Greaves – Homophobia in Classics and Archaeology

Kate Keen and Jay Gainsford – Codes of Conduct: A Perspective from Fan Conventions

4pm – Tea and coffee

4.15 – Discussion, solutions, wrap-up and take-away tips

5pm – Close

 

Abstracts

Katerina Volioti – (Under)standing bullies

We talk about bullying in negative terms, and with good reason. And yet, there is somehow less of an incentive for us to understand bullies as distinct personality types. In this short presentation, I shall cover two types, as discussed mostly in the business literature: the abrasive and the narcissistic personality. Both personalities are described also in connection with leadership and high performance, making it more difficult to differentiate leadership from bullying behaviours. My main objective in this presentation, nonetheless, is to discuss bullies as suffering individuals who crave for love and affection in their loneliness, but whose behavioural problems can be addressed by specialists (counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists). Regrettably, most bullies neither see the need for treatment nor do they believe that there is anything wrong with them. I close with a pessimistic statement: “We still do not know how to deal with the bullies”.

Katerina Volioti is Visiting Lecturer teaching Classical Art at the University of Roehampton and worked in corporate business before returning to academia.

Alan Greaves – Homophobia in Classics and Archaeology

In this paper I will examine, with reference to theories, data and illustrations from my own life, the many subtle (and less subtle) ways in which homophobia operates within academia. I will also illustrate how, at the University of Liverpool, we have managed a campaign of peer education across all disciplines to raise awareness of LGBT* equality matters via our Flagship lecture series and some of the results from that programme.

Alan M. Greaves is a Senior Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Liverpool.

Kate Keen and Jay Gainsford – Codes of Conduct: A Perspective from Fan Conventions

In recent years there has been growing debate about the need for codes of conduct at academic conferences, as a way of addressing sexual and gender-based harassment, and other misconduct. This debate has been going on for longer (and still continues) around science fiction and fan conventions. Kate Keen is Deputy Director of Nine Worlds Geek Fest, an annual London event that places inclusivity at the heart of its mission, and has been closely involved in formulating its codes of conduct. Jay is the lead of Nine Worlds technical team and a passionate advocate for the benefits of diversity and inclusion in STEM. In this presentation they talk about why Codes of Conduct are necessary, what academia can learn from fan cons’ experience in implementing them, and what best practice looks like.

Women’s Classical Committee UK Wikipedia editathon

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The University of Manchester is delighted to host the next Women’s Classical Committee UK free training event and editathon, supported by Wikimedia UK.

Wikipedia holds around 200 biographies of classicists, of which, at the start of this initiative, only approximately 10% were dedicated to women. This WCC UK’s second event of its kind, this year alone, is taking steps towards redressing the gender imbalance by training and encouraging classicists to edit Wikipedia with this focus.

The event will take place at the University of Manchester, M13 9PL, from 10.00-18.00 on September 15, 2017.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Department of Classics & Ancient History at Manchester, this event is free to attend. Lunch and coffee will be provided. Places are limited, so it is essential to register as early as possible. Participants with disabilities are welcome; if you need particular support to enable you to take part, please let us know. Some additional places are available for attendance via Skype – if you would like to register for one of these, please indicate this in your email.

For registration, please email the organisers, Lili Agri (dalida.agri AT manchester.ac.uk) and Kate Cook (kate.cook AT manchester.ac.uk) by September 10, 2017.

 

Child-friendly policy

The Women’s Classical Committee UK is committed to making our events as inclusive as possible, and recognises that the financial and practical challenges of childcare often impede people from participating in workshops and conferences. Anyone who needs to bring a dependent child or children with them in order to participate in one of our events is usually welcome to do so, but we ask you to inform of us this in advance so that we can take them into account in our event planning and risk assessment. The safety and well-being of any children brought to our events remain at all times the responsibility of the parent or carer. While we do our best to ensure that rest and changing facilities are available for those who may need them, this will depend on the individual venue we are using.  Again, please contact us in advance to discuss your needs, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

If you would like to bring a child or children to this event, please contact Kate Cook (see email address above) as soon as possible to discuss possible arrangements.

CFP: Bullying and Harassment in the UK Classical Workplace: Finding Solutions

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BULLYING AND HARASSMENT IN THE UK CLASSICAL WORKSHOP: FINDING SOLUTIONS
Women’s Classical Committee Workshop
Monday September 11th 1-5 p.m.
University of Roehampton, London

Organised by Susan Deacy, Fiona McHardy and Katerina Volioti

Deadline for abstracts: Friday 10 August 2017

This event takes place at a time when various groups are coming together in the UK and internationally to discuss workplace bullying and harassment and to seek solutions. The issue is high on the agenda of the Women’s Classical Committee UK, which conducted a survey in 2016 asking for feedback on experiences of gendered bullying and sexual harassment. A paper in Cloelia in 2016 by two of the current event’s organisers explored the responses to this survey while also presenting the experiences of other classicists.

One goal of this workshop is to look in further depth at some of the *problems* in Classics. For example, we should like to look at where issues of gender intersect with mental health, age, disability and status. We also anticipate a discussion around whether the perpetuation of ‘traditional’ views of Classics might be fostering a culture where bullying and harassment can endure.

But: our key goal is to move from identifying problems to finding *solutions*. We take inspiration, here, from the ongoing moves in Classical women’s networks in North America and Australasia to tackle issues in the discipline by cooperation, including by those who have themselves suffered unpleasant experiences in the workplace. Our quest will also be informed by initiatives beyond Classics, including the 1752 Group, which is developing strategies for combatting sexual misconduct at UK HEIs.

The Women’s Classical Committee UK invites proposals for brief papers (15-20 minutes) on any aspect relating to the topic. We warmly encourage Classicists at any career stage and of any gender to submit abstracts.

Please send abstracts of 200 words max to Susan Deacy – s.deacy AT roehampton.ac.uk – by 10 August 2017.

Supported by the Women’s Classical Committee UK and by the award money from a National Teaching Fellowship 2015. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is funded by the three funding councils for England, Northern Ireland, and Wales and administered by the Higher Education Academy.

CFP for Classical Association Conference 2018: Materiality and Gender: Women, Objects and Antiquity

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Call For Papers: Proposal for the Women’s Classical Committee Panel

Classical Association Annual Conference in Leicester, 6-9 April 2018

 Materiality and Gender: Women, Objects and Antiquity

 Organised by Liz Gloyn (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Rosa Andújar (KCL)

 Deadline for Abstracts: 2nd August 2017

The Women’s Classical Committee UK invites submissions for this year’s panel, themed ‘Materiality and Gender: Women, Objects and Antiquity’. This follows two successful WCC UK panels at the 2017 Classical Association meeting in Kent.

In line with this year’s conference themes, our aim is twofold: 1) to examine the relationship between women and objects in the ancient world (broadly defined) and 2) to consider the particular experience of ancient and modern women handling classical objects. This panel seeks to showcase recent academic work from a range of perspectives, underscoring the benefits of embracing a wide range of viewpoints in the study of the Classics. We welcome in particular papers that seek to diversify Classics in approach, findings, or methodology.

We invite submissions that focus on (but are not limited to) the following: gendered experiences of artefacts, description versus reality, new approaches to ancient and modern pedagogy, women in archaeology, gendered economies, hierarchies of textual and artefactual authority, breaking and mending, and phenomenological experience.

We warmly encourage Classicists at any career stage and of any gender to submit abstracts.

Please send anonymous abstracts (in .doc or .pdf format) of no more than 200 words to liz.gloyn AT rhul.ac.uk by Wednesday August 2nd 2017. The panel organisers will make decisions about abstracts in time to allow any unsuccessful papers to still be submitted to the Classical Association for consideration under the general call, which closes on 31st August 2017.

The WCC UK at the 2017 International Medieval Congress in Leeds

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We are delighted to be co-organising two panels at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, taking place on 3rd-6th July, in partnership with the History Department at the University of Huddersfield. The two panels came out of our successful ECR day last summer on feminist pedagogy in classics, along with a document outlining the top tips from the day’s discussion [links to PDF]. The ECR day generated a lot of conversation on Twitter and led to a feeling that medievalists and classicists should be sharing thoughts on this issue, particularly given the often blurred lines between late antiquity and the medieval period. Come find us:

7-8pm, Monday 3rd July – Feminist Pedagogy from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: A Round Table Discussion

Chair: Patricia Cullum, Division of History, University of Huddersfield

This round table discussion brings together experts from a range of teaching and research backgrounds, career stages, and across the disciplines of Medieval History, Classics, Archaeology and Heritage Studies, and English Literature. This round table unites customarily disparate voices through the focus on gender and women, and facilitates the productive exchange of experiences and approaches to feminist and inclusive pedagogy. Discussion will be structured by the following themes:

  • What is feminist pedagogy, and how do we do it?
  • Finding feminist pedagogy in language and translation teaching.
  • Finding the female voice in primary sources.
  • The value of teaching and pedagogical research as a gendered issue.

Participants include Carol Atack (University of Oxford), Sarah Bond (University of Iowa), Liz Herbert McAvoy (Swansea University), Sharon Marshall (University of Exeter), and Diane Watt (University of Surrey).

7-8pm, Tuesday 4th July – Crossing Chronological Boundaries: A Round Table Discussion

Chair: Victoria Leonard, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

This round table discussion brings together academics whose combined expertise covers a large swathe of history, from Classics to the Middle Ages. It enables a rare dialogue that crosses the barriers of periodisation and seeks to break them down. With a particular focus on gender and women, discussion will highlight areas of intersection and difference between Classics and Medieval Studies as disciplines and as fields of research with discrete pedagogical approaches. Discussion will question the value of periodisation and the segregation of gender within the strictures of a periodised approach to the past, asking how such categorisation can be renegotiated.

Participants include Julia Hillner (University of Sheffield), Conrad Leyser (University of Oxford), Julia M. H. Smith (University of Oxford), Rachel Stone (King’s College London), Shaun Tougher (Cardiff University), and Robin Whelan (University of Oxford).

Let us know if you’re going to be at the IMC, and keep an eye out for us on Twitter!

Adjacent, Alternative and Post-Academic Careers in and around Classics

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The Women’s Classical Committee UK is delighted to announce the following event:

Adjacent, Alternative and Post-Academic Careers in and around Classics

8th September 2017
University of Birmingham

The Women’s Classical Committee UK is organising a day of workshops and discussion groups to highlight the many and varied careers, jobs, pursuits, and opportunities that lie around and beyond an academic career.

We hope to build both confidence and a community at this event by making a space to share a variety of post-PhD and early-career experiences. The focus will be empowering participants to see and seek out employment that values their particular skills and interests.

As with all WCC events, travel bursaries will be available for students and the un/under-employed.

PROGRAMME

10.30-11am – Coffee and Registration

11-11.30am – Welcome and introduction

11.30-12.30pm – We have skills!
Making your CV work beyond academia – A CV workshop with Chris Packham and Holly Prescott (University of Birmingham)

Lunch

1.15-2pm – Getting Creative
Sharing ideas on how to build a classicist/classical identity beyond academia.

2-2.45pm – Classics and Public Learning
The opportunities for academics in non-academic institutions, with Andrew Roberts (English Heritage)

Tea

3-4pm – Taking Classicists to School
Careers in teaching, outreach and HE administration, with Frances Child, Polly Stoker, Oonagh Pennington Wilson, and Tamsin Cross.

***

Attendance is free for WCC UK members, £10 for non-members (to cover catering costs). You can join the WCC UK here (and if you’re a student, underemployed, or unemployed, membership is only £5).

If you would like to attend this event, registration is now open on Eventbrite. Paid-up members of the WCC UK have received instructions over e-mail on how to access their free tickets. If you need the instructions to be resent, please e-mail us at womensclassicalcommittee AT gmail.com.

If you have any other questions about the event, please email Dr. Lucy Jackson (lucy.jackson AT kcl.ac.uk).

The WCC is committed to providing friendly and accessible environments for its events, so please do get in touch if you have any access, dietary, or childcare enquiries.

Child-friendly policy

The Women’s Classical Committee is committed to making our events as inclusive as possible, and recognises that the financial and practical challenges of childcare often impede people from participating in workshops and conferences. Anyone who needs to bring a dependent child or children with them in order to participate in one of our events is usually welcome to do so, but we ask you to inform of us this in advance so that we can take them into account in our event planning and risk assessment. The safety and well-being of any children brought to our events remain at all times the responsibility of the parent or carer. While we do our best to ensure that rest and changing facilities are available for those who may need them, this will depend on the individual venue we are using. Again, please contact us in advance to discuss your needs, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Classics and Feminist Pedagogy Storify

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Missed the Classics and Feminist Pedagogy event? You can still take part by reading a Storify of tweets from the day, put together by Liz Gloyn.

Choose either the comprehensive collection of all the tweets from the day, including thoughts and reactions from participants and readers around the world, or a curated selection of tweets with suggestions for teaching practice and further reading.

Read the full Storify here.

Read the curated “top tips” here.

Image by Julia Hamilton.

Image by Julia Hamilton.

Classics and Feminist Pedagogy – Practical Tips for Teaching

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The Women’s Classical Committee is delighted to announce its first event, a workshop for ECRs and graduate students exploring what feminist pedagogy is and how it might be useful for thinking about teaching classics. The workshop will take place on Friday 29th July at the University of Birmingham.

There’s much more information about how to book and a program of the day’s events available on the event page of this website.

The WCC UK thanks the Education Committee of the Council of University Classical Departments for their generous support of this event.

Posted by Liz Gloyn.

Launch Event Draft Timetable

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Everything is coming today for our launch event on Monday 11th April – registration will open very soon. You will be welcome to attend the whole day, just the morning or just the afternoon, or to attend remotely via social media.

For now, here is a draft of the day’s timetable:

Past, Present and Future: The Launch Of The Women’s Classical Committee

9.30 – Registration, coffee

10.15 – Welcome, house-keeping

10.30 – Short talk: Why are we here? (Liz Gloyn)

10.45 – Short talk: Women in Classics in the UK – The Numbers (Irene Salvo)

11.15 – Discussion Session 

11.15-11.45 – Break-out discussion, panel 1: Women and postgrads, early career researchers and casualisation (chaired by Rhiannon Easterbrook)

11.15-11.45 – Break-out discussion, panel 2: Women, mental health, disability, and additional need issues (chaired by Susan Deacy)

11.45 – Discussion Session

11.45-12.15 – Break-out discussion, panel 3: Women and implicit bias (chaired by Efi Spentzou)

11.45-12.15 – Break-out discussion, panel 4: Women and parenthood/caring (chaired by Victoria Leonard)

12.15 – Whole-Group Discussion

12.30 – Lunch

1.30 – Spotlight Talks: A series of five-minute talks on current research taking a feminist and gender-informed perspective.

2.30 – Roundtable: What is feminist scholarship? (Participants will include Fiona Macintosh, Stella Sandford, Alison Sharrock and Susan Deacy)

3.30 – Tea and coffee

4.00 – Official meeting of the WCC

5.00 – Close

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