Inaugural lectures form a key part of the academic community at Leeds Metropolitan, and enable our staff to showcase their research to a university-wide audience.
The lectures also provide a networking opportunity for staff from across Leeds Metropolitan and from the external academic world, offering valuable scope to establish new collaborations, and to generate awareness of the value and breadth of our research.
The Inaugural Lecture of Revd. Professor Michelle Briggs - "Patients' experience of pain: Bedsores, being judged and beliefs"
Revd. Professor Michelle Briggs is a Professor of Nursing and a Director of the Centre for Pain Research at Leeds Metropolitan University. Qualifying as a nurse in 1990, Michelle worked in orthopaedics in Nottingham and the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in London, before moving to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust followed by Leeds Community Healthcare. In 2008, Michelle was ordained as a minister in the Church of England and is an Assistant Chaplain to the Universities’ of Leeds.
Over the last 20 years, Michelle has been extensively involved in healthcare research. She has held a National Institute Health Research (NIHR) post-doctoral fellowship at the School of Healthcare, Leeds University. Here she developed in-depth knowledge and experience in systematic review methodology and has become a regular contributor to the Cochrane Collaboration; an international network helping healthcare practitioners, policy-makers, patients, their advocates and carers, to make well-informed decisions about healthcare. She has also completed systematic reviews of qualitative research using Joanna Briggs QARI methodology and meta-ethnography.
Michelle’s research is embedded in the NHS and is used in practice and policy guidelines nationally. She focuses primarily on pain management with the aim of contributing to a greater understanding of how nurses make a difference for people living with persistent pain. Her current research has two themes:- improving the patient experience and inequalities in pain management: bridging the gap for hard-to-reach communities.
The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Kevin Hylton - What is critical race theory and what is it doing in a nice field like sport and leisure?
In this lecture, Professor Kevin Hylton from the Research Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure drew on his ground-breaking work on Critical Race Theory (CRT) to unpack and explore its relevance to sport and leisure theory, policy and practice. CRT’s strengths are outlined with a view to advancing activist scholarship and critical pedagogy in sport and leisure theory and practice. As the first black Professor in more than 75 years of Carnegie Faculty history, Kevin brings a voice to the sociology of sport and leisure that reflects an intimate engagement with, and commitment to challenge, the endemic issues that mark race relations in the UK.
Kevin calls upon Gloria Ladson-Billings’ (1998) fundamental question from the title (above), originally asked by her of the education profession, to outline how CRT is finding its expression in sport and leisure.
While challenging the liberalism engrained in the meritocratic ideals implicit in sport and leisure settings, the notion of sport as a level playing field is examined. Kevin explains why CRT has been described as a pragmatic, ‘race’-centred, praxis-oriented framework and why it has already shown the potential to inform our thinking on ‘race’ in sport and leisure. Using Derrick Bell’s (1992) 5 Rules of Racial Standing as well as core tenets of the CRT framework, Kevin critiques the ways racism has been manifested, challenged and defended in a number of recent high-profile sporting events.
Though the lecture makes some of the ambiguities of racial processes more transparent, the work concludes with a sobering assessment of the nature and significance of ‘race’ and racism in sport, leisure and society. Professor Kevin Hylton Kevin Hylton is Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Leisure and Education, in the Carnegie Faculty of Leeds Metropolitan University. His early research focused on race equality in local government and he has continued his work into developing Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Kevin has published and reviewed extensively in peer-reviewed journals and high-profile book projects in sport, leisure and education. Kevin’s publications include ‘Race’ and Sport: Critical Race Theory (Routledge 2009); Atlantic Crossings: International Dialogues on Critical Race Theory (CSAP/Higher Education Academy); and Sport Development: Policy, Process and Practice (Routledge 2001, 2008, 2013). Kevin’s research interests focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in sport, leisure and education, but in particular the development of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the UK.
He is Chair of the Leeds Met Race Equality and Diversity Forum, Board Member for JUST West Yorkshire, Member of the Runnymede Trust Academic Forum, and Associate Board Member for the Sociology Journal.
To find out more about research at Leeds Metropolitan University please visit www.leedsmet.ac.uk/research
The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Jane South - Things people do: volunteering, citizenship and public health
This lecture explored the premise that current health challenges cannot be met without engaging people in public health action. The problem of health inequalities – the poorer you are the more likely you are to have poor health – is linked to power imbalances in society where many people have little control over their health and their lives. At a population level, those with the highest health needs often face the biggest barriers to accessing public services.
Professor South looked at the role of the citizen in public health – how people can be involved in local action and what is the nature of that contribution. Jane drew on her research with individuals volunteering in health programmes and discussed some of the varied roles that people take on.
The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Fraser Brown - Stories of Children Playing: What do they tell us about the significance of play and playwork?
This lecture explored how we can deal with the approach that western societies have taken to the study of children and childhood of isolating the problems that individual children pose to society. It looked at the significance of play in childhood and in a child’s world and whether playwork can offer solutions; or is it wrong to ask it to provide solutions when the playwork profession seeks to enable children to find their own play in the world?
The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Colin Webster - Poverty and insecurity: Decrying and devaluing life and work in low-pay, no-pay Britain
Colin Webster, a Professor of Criminology here at Leeds Metropolitan, has had prime responsibility for developing and leading the undergraduate and postgraduate study of criminology in the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences. He teaches Crime, Justice and Society, Contemporary Criminological Theory, Youth Justice, Understanding Race and Crime, Issues in Contemporary Criminology, and Crime Prevention.
Professor Webster’s lecture briefly takes stock of what is happening to, and some of the consequences, of ‘welfare to work’, particularly the further rapid rise of the ‘precariat’ as a result of a deterioration of in-work and welfare benefits. Focussing on the real operation of labour markets and welfare, and the nature of the offer and quality of work and welfare, Colin asks why ‘welfare to work’ processes are perceived in such distorted and perverse ways by economists and politicians alike. What is missing from these assumptions and perceptions is an almost wilful ignorance of the subjective side of working and work, showing little appreciation of life and work at the bottom of the labour market.
The public lecture, 'The Meaning and Purpose of Leisure Studies', discussed how attitudes have changed regarding leisure studies as an academic discipline.
Professor Ruth Robbins delivered her inaugural lecture, 'Telling the Dancer from the Dance: Image, Dancer, Text', which examined the significance of instances in which an artist's work is appropriated by other artists for their own artistic production.
Professor Robbins is widely published and her research has ranged across Victorian and early twentieth-century cultures; autobiography and identity; feminism and contemporary women's fictions.
Professor Robbins explained: "In the late nineteenth century, images of dancing girls were everywhere. Edgar Degas famously produced his distorted sculpture, 'The Little Dancer'. The dancer was also to be found as an image in multiple, much more ephemeral productions - the adverts of Alfred Mucha, of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and a host of more anonymous commercial artists. In the pages of novels, plays and poems, the orientalist fantasy of Salomé and her dance of the seven veils became very popular and was recreated in fiction, poetry and a famously banned play by Oscar Wilde.
"My lecture will pursue the dancer Jane Avril (1868-1943), who danced on the stages and dance floors of Paris nightclubs and London music-halls in the 1890s. It considers the images that proliferated of her strange, contorted movements, her indifference to her audiences, and even of her life beyond the stage. Telling the dancer from the dance requires a complex unravelling of the relationships between the dancing woman, her images, and the texts that are based on her."
Understanding Men and Health: Musings on Contradictory Masculinities and Wellbeing with Steve Robertson - 23 April 2013
This lecture explores how understanding the relationship between men and health in a more nuanced way provides greater insight into the factors that generate health damaging and health promoting practices. It disrupts some of the 'common-sense' assumptions that underpin much of the current rhetoric. In particular, it raises questions about the homogeneity of men, about the pejorative view of masculinity that prevails and about the problems associated with individualistic approaches to health promotion work with men.
Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence Launch Event, with Professor Cathy Barnes’ Inaugural Lecture: ‘Retail Innovation: Improving the Consumer Experience’
Professor Cathy Barnes, head of the Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence, delivered her inaugural lecture, entitled ‘Retail Innovation: Improving Customer Experience’, to celebrate its opening at the University’s Rose Bowl on May 29.
Professor Barnes’ inaugural lecture looked at how rigorous and robust consumer research can be used as a platform to create and identify opportunities for retail innovation. Following her lecture, the launch event for the Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence took place. Guest speakers included: Gerald Jennings, Land Securities’ Retail Portfolio Director, and David Wiggins, Nestle’s UK Head of Packaging.
The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Paul Blackledge, 'Beyond the Impasse of the Modern Moral Point of View: Towards an Ethical Marxism
Professor Paul Blackledge is a political theorist working within the classical Marxist tradition. He delivered his lecture titled ‘Beyond the Impasse of the Modern Moral Point of View: Towards an Ethical Marxism’ on Wednesday 13 June.
The lecture takes as its starting point Raymond Geuss’s claim that contemporary moral philosophy “has little to tell us about real politics”. According to Geuss this failure stems from the way that the Kantian colouration of most modern normative theory informs a tendency to separate discussions of what ought to be from questions of what is. It is precisely because we live in a world in which ethics has been reduced to an emotivist caricature of itself that Marx was scathing in his criticisms of moral discourse. This has often led commentators to erroneously claim that he had no interest in ethical theory. The opposite is the case. It was because Marx understood the social basis for our emotivist culture that he was able to grasp that competing moral claims would tend towards incommensurability, and thus that moralistic politics would take the form of “impotence in action”. Unfortunately, because Marx’s critics largely naturalise the modern moral point of view they tend to interpret his rejection of the moral form as evidence either of a crude mechanical materialism or of simple incoherence. In contrast to these approaches, this lecture seeks to outline an interpretation of Marxism that is able to point beyond the impasse both of modern moral philosophy and of much of modern radical theory towards an ethically grounded criticism of, and alternative to, capitalism. Blackledge argues that, understood thus, Marxism provides indispensible resources for contemporary political theory (and practice).