Inclusive Pedagogy at the Modern British Studies Conference University of Birmingham 3-5 July 2019

Meg Foster

As the self-proclaimed ‘Glastonbury of conferences’, the Modern British Studies (MBS) conference promised to showcase cutting-edge research, and it certainly did not disappoint. Quite apart from opening proceedings with an early-career researcher panel on precarity in MBS, one of the first plenaries was on ‘Teaching Modern Britain: inclusive pedagogies’. In the academic conference scene, it is rare to find any explicit reference to teaching practice, let alone in a ‘prime time’ spot like a plenary.

What is even rarer is the approach that the panellists took to the discussion. This was not an abstract debate about the curriculum or new classroom technologies (although these topics did come up); this was a discussion from the standpoint of four academic presenters about their own unique experiences, and how to represent, accommodate and translate these diverse perspectives into critical teaching practice. The panel, chaired by Matthew Francis, was composed of Mo Moulton, who spoke as a trans academic, Christienna Fryar as an historian and woman of colour, Lucy Robinson as an academic with an invisible disability and Susan D. Amussen as professor who taught disadvantaged students.

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Gender and Sexuality @ ECAS 2019

Holly Ashford

Last week, I attended the European Conference of African Studies Biennial Conference at the University of Edinburgh. It was a spectacular conference: with over 1,400 delegates turning up to take their places in the end, the panels and cultural events were varied, fun and thought provoking in turn. The Conference also highlighted how important the study of gender and sexuality is in African studies. Almost all of the panels I attended interweaved questions of how these categories are, and have been, constructed in African society.

 

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