Public seminars

The Learning Institute has a regular public seminar programme on higher education each term. The seminars are open to everyone and there is no need to book in advance.

For the 2014-2015 academic year there will be just 12 seminars, taking place on weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7 for each term. As before, seminars will run on Thursdays (4.00 to 5.30pm) on level 2 of Littlegate House, St Ebbe's Street. 

If you would like to be added to the research seminar mailing list, please contact us on research or (01865) 2-86811.

View the archive of previous seminars run for the previous 2 years.

Dr Alis Oancea (University of Oxford)

Week 1 - Thursday 22 January 2015

Impacts and knowledge: research governance and the dynamics of value 

Quality and impact have become central to discourses about the value of HE-based research in recent years. In the wake of REF 2014, impact strategies, measures, tools and monitoring systems have mushroomed, developing into a form of procedural expertise with high currency in research policy and funding and in institutional strategies and positioning. This talk will explore some of these processes, using a conceptual model derived from several interview- and textual analysis-based multidisciplinary studies. It will move on to argue that notions of value and acts of valuing of research have shifted in recent years, and it will suggest an outline of the current axiological landscape for research activity.

Clive Lewis OBE (Globis Mediation Group)

Week 3 - Thursday 5 February 2015

Difficult conversations: 10 steps to becoming a tackler not a dodger

In life, you are either a tackler or a dodger. A tackler is a person who deals with situations as and when they arrive, regardless of their potential awkwardness or unpleasantness. They don’t procrastinate or put things off no matter how unappetising the impending conversation might be. To a tackler, the right outcome is the key.

Does this sound like you? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us put things off when we should be getting on with them, even tacklers. But making a habit out of this, especially if you’re in a position of authority, can cause more damage than you can imagine – to the health of yourself and other people, the productivity of your department and the performance of your company as a whole.

Professor Mustafa Ă–zbilgin (Brunel University)

Week 5 - Thursday 19 February 2015

Accounting for diversity: challenges for leadership

Reporting on the findings of a study, commissioned by ESRC and ACCA, on 22 globally significant organisations from different sectors, this presentation will focus on how organisations account for their diversity practices and interventions. Main challenges for leadership are discussed. In particular the neoliberal expansion and its consequences for diversity management in global organisations are investigated.

Professor Patricia Thomson (University of Nottingham)

Week 7 - Thursday 5 March 2015

Social media and academic publishing

The web now offers a range of opportunities for scholarly work – networking, sharing information and publishing. Various online platforms provide new spaces for refereeing, annotating, drafting, planning and for co-writing. These offer opportunities for academics to experiment with a range of writing genres and writing styles. We can enter a range of different scholarly conversations, not just those within our usual disciplines and normal networks.

I will suggest that engaging in any of these digital arenas requires us to think carefully about our readers and the way in which we will communicate with them. We must decide how we will textually represent ourselves online and what we will choose to say and not say. Concerns about plagiarism and ‘trolling’ are serious, as are the possibilities of institutional repercussions for those who confuse what they can say online with a private conversation between friends. We also must remember that our digital writings are never entirely erased; what we write is not ephemeral, but is able to be found and re-found from anywhere and at any time. We therefore have to think that what we write about, and how we text ourselves is, like any of our other published writing, for posterity.