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The Kitchen Sessions

Take a look at our previous talks with our experts to learn more about a topic that interests you.

The Kitchen Sessions – a live lecture series brought to you by our experts. Whether streaming from kitchens or living rooms, labs or lecture theatres, the sessions give you a taste of Chester’s blended approach to learning and leave you inspired about the subject you love.

The Placenta: Demystifying the Human Tree of Life

Dr Gareth Nye, lecturer of physiology at Chester Medical School and Programme Leader for BMedSci Medical Science.

Pregnancy involves a huge amount of change over its nine month time period – this includes changes in how the mum's body works, growing an entire human and developing a method of getting all the good stuff from mum to baby. This movement of nutrients, gases and important signals all has to go through the placenta. The placenta truly is a remarkable organ – it takes on the roles of a heart, lungs, liver and more all in one and is more often than not just thrown away afterwards! This lecture will explore how the placenta is so important during pregnancy and why it's often called the human tree of life.

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China's Obsession with Hosting Mega Sporting Events

Dr Min Ge, Lecturer in Chinese Studies, Programme Leader BA (Combined Hons) Chinese.

This talk will explore the connection between China and the Olympic Games, and discuss the possible reasons why China is so keen on hosting this mega sporting event from a cultural, economic and political point of view.

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The Future of Events will be Hybrid

Dr Tim Brown, Programme Leader for Events Management.

Tim will examine how events have evolved due to Covid-19 and how this is creating new opportunities for event professionals and the industry as a whole. He will also discuss some of the technical innovations and challenges and examine one of the future cornerstones of the event industry - hybrid events.

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The Norman Conquest, King Harold and Chester

Dr Thomas Pickles, Senior Lecturer in History.

There is a legend that King Harold was not killed by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, but instead lived as a hermit in Chester. What are the origins of this legend and how has it persisted? And what does it tell us about Chester’s and Cheshire’s unusual place in the English kingdom before and after the Norman Conquest?

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Hunger Games: Food and the First World War

Prof. Tim Grady, Programme Leader MRes History.

In this talk, Prof. Grady will discuss how food, and in particular the lack of food, shaped German experiences of the First World War.

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Consumer and Advertising Psychology

Dr Annie Scudds, MSc Applied Psychology Programme Leader and Dr Hayley Gilman, Senior Lecturer.  

This talk looks at advertising and the possible effect it may have on shoppers! We will look at us as consumers and how psychology may explain our shopping behaviours, as well as how effective modern-day advertising is.

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Why We Like Music

Dr Margaret Cousins, Operational Head of School of Psychology.

Most people love music, although we may all have very different tastes. But why do we like to make and listen to music so much? It doesn’t seem to have a very clear evolutionary benefit, and we don’t usually evolve abilities that aren’t of direct use. I’ll be exploring some of these questions, looking at what research has taught us about the psychology of music.

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Being a Psychology Student

The Kitchen Sessions Hosted by Rosie and Lucy, Psychology PhD students.

Rosie studied Psychology at the University of Chester as an undergraduate student and is now completing a PhD with us too. In this short talk she will share her experiences of being a psychology student at Chester.

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Using Psychology in Managing People at Work

Prof. Ros Bramwell, Director of the School of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Science.

Psychology is used in many different workplaces across many different job roles – it isn’t just professional psychologists that use psychology! This short talk will consider some of the psychological processes involved in managing people and being managed - might you be a manager one day? Ros is both the manager of the School of Psychology and also lectures/researches within psychology.

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False Confessions

Dr Glenys Holt, Lecturer for Forensic Psychology

Would you confess to something that you hadn’t done? As unlikely as it might sound, innocent people do confess to serious crimes, despite the terrible consequences of doing so. This short talk looks at what compels people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit, and why this is such an important area of study in forensic psychology.

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How Software Teams can Create Happy and Sustainable Human-Computer Relationships

Andy Davies, Senior Lecturer for the Department of Computer Science.

Senior Lecturer for the Department of Computer Science, Andy Davies, gives an introductory talk on a process software teams can use to create digital products users can actually love.

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Applied Sport Psychology: How Psychology can Enhance Performance

Prof. Moira Lafferty, Deputy Head of School of Psychology.

Sport and exercise psychology is the scientific study of people and their behaviours in sport and exercise contexts and the practical application of that Knowledge. In this talk, Prof. Lafferty will be exploring how psychology can enhance performance in sport.

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Beyond the Chocolate Box: The Messiness of Religion

Dr James Holt, Associate Professor of Religious Education.

When we talk about religion and religions we have particular views of what constitutes a religion, and what a religious person looks like and believes.  In his talk, Dr James Holt, Associate Professor of Religious Education, argues that there is a need to break out of this ‘chocolate box’ view of religion, where all people of a religion believe and practice the same things. We should constantly emphasise that the lived experience of religion is messy and full of diversity. There are many reasons for this, not least the attempt to systematise the beliefs and practices of groups and practices into a particular structure. This talk will suggest a way forward in understanding and recognising this diversity.

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Hidden Figures, a Movie Star, and the Women of Bletchley Park: The Hidden Histories Behind our Mobile Phone Apps

Dr Helen Southall, Senior Lecturer.

Dr Southall's talk focuses on some of the female inventors, scientists and mathematicians involved in key technologies used by our mobile phones; Bluetooth, GPS, and the programmable electronic computers that make it all possible.  It's tempting to take all this for granted, but a huge amount of work and some inspired ideas went into the development of technologies. Some of the people who did that work are famous, but many aren't, often because they had to keep their work secret, or because of where or when they lived. 

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Drones, Virtual and Augmented Reality in Research, Teaching and Learning

Dr Servel Miller, Programme Leader for Natural Hazard Management.

Dr Servel Miller, Programme Leader for Natural Hazard Management, assesses the impact of drone and augmented reality technology.

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Risk, Assessment and Understanding: Working with People with Mental Health Problems

Wayne Connor Scahill, Programme Leader for Mental Health Nursing

Programme Leader for Mental Health Nursing, Wayne Connor Scahill, discusses 'Risk, Assessment and Understanding: Working with People with Mental Health Problems'.

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Supporting the Experiences of Student Nurses on Clinical Placements

Dr Julie Sutton, Lecturer in Practice Learning (LPL)

Lecturer in Practice Learning (LPL), Dr Julie Sutton, discusses 'Supporting the Experiences of Student Nurses on Clinical Placements', providing an overview of how we help to facilitate an effective learning experience for our Nursing students.

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Is Spirituality Good for Society?

Dr Wendy Dossett, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Spiritual practices such as mindfulness and yoga are highly valued as techniques for dealing with the challenges of modern life. While not denying their benefits at an individual level, Dr Wendy Dossett, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, explores some potential social and political disadvantages of their use.

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I remember Beirut: Beirut and Lebanon in French-speaking Comic Books

Prof Timo Obergӧker, Professor of French and Francophone Cultural Studies.

Professor of French and Francophone Cultural Studies, Timo Obergӧker, explores how Beirut and Lebanon, in general, are depicted by French-speaking comic artists from both France and Lebanon.

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Holocaust Memory in Comic Books

Dr Alana Vincent, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination, Dr Alana Vincent, discusses the changes in the way that the Holocaust has been depicted in popular culture, with particular attention to the X-Men villain Magneto, one of the most famous fictional Holocaust survivors of all.

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Remote Rural Connectivity: The Winter of Digital Discontent?

Dr Fiona Williams, Senior Lecturer in Geography and International Development.

Dr Fiona Williams explores how the lack of reliable broadband in remote areas across the UK presents persistent challenges for rural-dwellers seeking to access key services, including education, healthcare, and employment. Since COVID-19 has increased our dependency on digital services, are rural areas of the UK at even greater risk of missing out?

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Crash of Ideologies: Chalk Hits Cheese on a 1986 Human League Album

Jim Mason, Programme Leader for BA Music Production and BA Music Production & Performance.

In this public lecture Jim Mason, Programme Leader for BA Music Production and BA Music Production & Performance, discusses how central it is to a music product’s success for the relationship between producer and artist to work, touching on such famous successful partnerships as Madonna and William Orbit, Radiohead and Nigel Godrich, and Rick Rubin. He will also look at failed relationships between hugely successful names, such as The Beatles and Phil Spector on Let It Be. It will, however, focus on the multiple layers of fundamental differences between The Human League and production team Jam & Lewis on the 1986 album Crash, as a case study of what can happen where highly successful artists and producers have vastly different backgrounds, viewpoints and ideologies. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with Jim.

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Impeaching the American President

Dr Donna Jackson, Programme Leader for History.

Dr Donna Jackson has been a regular contributor to BBC and LBC Radio in recent weeks to talk about the US Presidential election. Her Kitchen Session was due to cover the history of the inauguration process and discuss some interesting moments from the past; however, following the recent events in Washington D.C., Donna shifted the focus of her session. In this session she discusses the impact of the recent violent attack on the Capitol building, discussing the historical significance of the events, thinking about what we can learn from it, and talking about the implications for the inauguration.

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Using Genetics to Inform Wildlife Conservation

Dr Anna Muir, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology.

How can we conserve wildlife when we can’t even find them? Anna Muir, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology, discusses how DNA from feathers, poo and washed up animals can help conservation efforts.

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Changing Behaviour to Keep People Healthy: The Psychology Behind Nudge Theory

Prof Nick Hulbert-Williams, Professor of Behavioural Medicine.

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Nick Hulbert-Williams discusses changing behaviour to keep people healthy.

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Supporting Young Men With Depression

Dr Alan Finnegan, Director of Nursing & Military Mental Health.

This session will explore mental health issues affecting young men, particularly in the military. Professor Finnegan's talk will focus on both military and young men's mental health and give an opportunity to learn more about his work with supporting young men with depression in the British Armed Forces.

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Why Did People Buy All That Loo Paper? Using Psychology to Explain Panic Buying

Dr Liz Whelen, Programme Leader for Psychology.

Dr Liz Whelen uses psychology to explain panic buying. What were people thinking and could we have changed their behaviours? 

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Dancing in the Street: Choreographers' Creative Responses to Changing Times

Dr Malaika Sarco-Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Dance.

Changing circumstances in recent years, including COVID-19, have meant that choreographers have had to think creatively about how to celebrate dance in new ways that cut across genres and social layers. Dr Malaika Sarco-Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Dance, gives an overview of some key innovators who have found ways to bring dance to the streets, museums, and landscapes we share in the UK to continue bringing people together to celebrate movement.

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The Language of Surnames 

Dr Harry Parkin, Lecturer in English Language.

Surnames and changes in their spellings over time can tell us much about the history of the English language. In this talk, Dr Harry Parkin, Lecturer in English Language will present a brief history of surname development in England, before looking at how surname forms can be analysed in order to find out information on historical dialects and language change.

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New-old things or old-new things? Rethinking "novelty" for a greener Christmas

Dr Rebecca Collins, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography.

In her talk, “New-old things or old-new things? Rethinking 'novelty' for a greener Christmas” Dr Rebecca Collins asks how we might reset our understanding of novelty to allow ourselves enjoyment of the festive season without placing an unsustainable burden on the planet. Join this session to find out how a geographical approach to the material ‘stuff’ of Christmas can mean a festive season that won’t cost the earth.

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How to Wish Animals a Happy Christmas

David Clough, Professor of Theological Ethics.

Christmas is a good time to think about animal welfare: nativity scenes originally celebrated peace shared between humans and animals. The biggest impact Christmas has on animals are those we decide to eat. How can you make good decisions about that? Professor of Theological Ethics, David Clough, discusses.

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When is a Cake a Cake and Not a Biscuit? The Judges Have Made Their Decision

Ruth Sutton, Associate Professor for Law.

Bake Off final! In this famous case that lasted 13 years, M&S successfully sued the tax man for the return of tax money paid between 1973 and 1994 in a case that went to the European Court of Justice and the House of Lords, after their tea cakes were wrongly classified as biscuits and the ruling was based on the legal definitions of a cake and a biscuit. How the law defines our day to day life - Law isn't just about crime or political headlines! This is a public lecture by Associate Professor Ruth Sutton.

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Sitting, Physical Activity & Health

Dr Lizzy Deery, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology.

With so many of us learning and working from home over the past few months, Dr Lizzy Deery, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, examines the importance of sitting less and moving more for our health.

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The Birth of Jesus: Myth and History

Paul Middleton, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity.

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, a story acted out in Nativity Plays complete with shepherds, angels, wise men, King Herod, Mary and Joseph, and of course the baby Jesus born in a manger in Bethlehem. But how much of the story is actually true? This is the question answered in this session by Paul Middleton, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, as he separates history from myth in the famous Christmas story.

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The Death of Globalisation? Implications for Business

Ian Shotton, Programme Leader for International Business Management.

International Business and Globalisation are inextricably linked. Programme Leader for International Business Management, Ian Shotton, reflects on this through the lens of 2020.

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A Natural Disaster? The Sociology of COVID-19

Dr Joe Rigby, Programme Leader for Sociology.

How can thinking sociologically help us to better understand the relationship between nature and society in the origins, spread and impacts of COVID-19? In this public lecture Dr Joe Rigby will introduce some of the different ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic provides a window on to the ecologically destructive and socially unequal nature of societies in the 21st century.

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Representations of ‘Deviant’ Children and Young People: From Mods to Covidiots

Dr Jayne Price, Programme Leader for Criminology.

In this public lecture Dr Jayne Price analyses historical and current representations of young people within society to demonstrate how the construction of youth has emerged and developed as a representation of social anxiety, including the construction of young people as Covidiots during the pandemic.

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People, Power and Pandemics: What COVID-19 reveals about international relations in our world today

Dr Rachel Masse, Senior Lecturer for Politics and International Relations.

Senior lecturer Dr Rachel Massey discusses the impact of COVID-19.

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Protest, Propaganda and Pandemics The Politics of COVID-19

Dr Mark Bendall, Senior Lecturer for Politics and International Relations, and Doctoral Researcher Christopher Robertson.

To mask or not to mask? Is that the question? Citizens have been protesting about government lockdowns which some claim will eradicate precarious jobs more effectively than it eliminates a stubborn virus. Splits have opened up as council leaders protest at actions of national government. Scientists compete with conspiracy theorists and government propagandists for our attention, confusion, and anxiety. What and who do we believe? Who do we blame and is the blame game helpful? As good citizens should we be protesting or doing what we are told? This lecture will be presented by Dr Mark Bendall, Senior Lecturer for Politics and International Relations, and Doctoral Researcher Christopher Robertson.

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Cummings, COVID-19, and Core Values in Helping Relationships

Cemil Egeli, Programme Leader for Counselling Skills.

What do you value in life? How can your values impact how you experience others? How can values impact how we support people in helping relationships. Programme Leader for Counselling Skills, Cemil Egeli, explores these questions through recent high-profile case studies in a thought-provoking short lecture.

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What do we mean by a green recovery from the COVID 19 economic crisis?

Dr Rosa Fernandez, Programme Leader for Economics.

COVID-19 and lockdown measures are having a devastating impact on different sectors of the economy, not only in the UK but worldwide. However, travelling less and producing less has been positive for the environment in the way of significant reductions in pollution, traffic jams, noise, etc. There are calls to avoid going back to the pre-Covid situation and to think of a ‘green recovery’. So, which sectors, industries or activities need to be promoted and which ones can we do without? And how will these changes affect the economy? Programme Leader for Economics, Dr Rosa Fernandez, discusses.

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Listening to Children; How They Think and Learn

Dr Michael Bird, Head of Initial Teacher Education

So much of teaching focuses on what teachers need to deliver to children through curriculum - but listening to children enables teachers to be much more responsive in their decisions about what and how they teach. Head of Initial Teacher Training, Michael Bird, briefly looks at case studies of real children reflecting on their classroom experiences and how valuable these insights are for teachers.

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The Power of False Confessions

Dr Glenys Holt, Lecturer in Psychology

An introduction to one of the most intriguing topics in forensic psychology. Most people think that they would never confess to a crime that they did not commit, yet false confessions are not a rare occurrence. Why are confessions so compelling that jurors find them difficult to ignore, even when the confession does not match the crime?

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Animal Psychology: A Taster

Dr Lindsay Murray, Senior Lecturer in Psychology

This lecture will give you an insight into animal psychology and the kind of work you can go on to do with animal psychology, using examples to give you a real taste of the subject.  

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Christian Views of the Afterlife

Paul Middleton, Prof. of New Testament and Early Christianity

Exploring the development of the belief in an afterlife in the ancient world, and the development of those beliefs in ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Paul will also consider the ethical implications of contemporary beliefs in or representations of the afterlife, asking whether or not belief in an afterlife helps people live good lives. 

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Why We Need Advertising

Chris Hart, Senior Lecturer in Advertising 

Using projective techniques (a research technique), this lecture will ask you to imagine what the world, your world, would be like without advertising.

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Reading Around: Literature and You

Richard Leahy, Lecturer in English Literature 

An examination of the influence of literature on society, culture and the self over the past 150 years; what is the value of studying it in our crazy modern world?

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Sports Participation in Scandinavia: What can we learn in the UK?

Professor Ken Green, Head of Department, Sport and Exercise Sciences

Ken brings his wealth of research experience and work experience as a Visiting Professor at a Norwegian university for over a decade, to analyse the key difference in sport and physical activity participation between the UK and Scandinavia. 

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The Nutritional Requirements of Professional Female Football Players

Dr Sam Moss, Senior Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Sciences

As professional female football players have high training and competition demands, appropriate nutrition practices are essential for optimal adaptation and recovery. In some cases, players are unable to ingest sufficient energy to meet the demands of exercise, while also maintaining key body processes, which can lead to disruptive consequences if the low energy status persists over time.

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Simulation in Children and Young People's Nursing

Dr Kate Knight, Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing

Simulated practice learning is an exciting part of pre-registration nursing education. This lecture will explore the types of simulation Children's Nursing students will enjoy. 

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Peer Mentoring in Criminal Justice

Dr Gill Buck, Senior Lecturer, Social Work 

Social Work invites us to explore ways to work alongside people to eradicate the barriers they face in their life. As well as teaching, Gill researches ways of working that are led by people experiencing social disadvantage and has recently published a book on Peer Mentoring in Criminal Justice. This talk will introduce the approach and how it is useful for social workers. 

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Defining Clinical Violence: The Problem of Complexity

Professor Andrew Lovell, Professor, Learning Disability Nursing 

How do we currently define clinical violence, especially in the context of learning disability, and how might we better define it? This is followed by a consideration of how this helps us to re-think how best to work closely with distressed individuals with a propensity for violence.

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Hidden Narratives of Medieval Art

Dr Katherine Wilson , Senior Lecturer in History 

This talk will explore the hidden narratives behind medieval artworks, revealing that far from reflecting their owners’ power and status, these objects conveyed the uncertainty of everyday life and the fragility of princely rule during the Middle Ages.​

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The Physiology of Breaking the Marathon World Record 

Dr Jamie Highton, Associate Professor in Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology

This presentation will assess the physiology of elite distance running – examining what it takes to break a marathon world record. 

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Physical Education in the 'New' Schools 

Gareth Williams , Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Sciences 

A research-based presentation looking at how PE can differ from school to school within the ever-changing landscape for schools in England. Drawing upon theoretical perspectives from Foucault and Goffman, the talk will have a focus on attempting to understand both the behaviours of middle management and whole school identity changes, within Free schools. 

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Dr Richard Millington , Programme Leader and Lecturer in German

A short lecture on the Berlin Wall and the events leading up to its fall; a subject Richard covers with his students of German.

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Aubrey Beardsley and Disability Studies

Dr Alex Tankard , Lecturer in English Literature

A discussion on English author and illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, connected to Alex's recent appearance on a BBC4 documentary, Scandal and Beauty

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Contemporary French Pop Music

Professor Timo Obergoker, Professor of French and Francophone Cultural Studies.


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The Long Term Let Down of Environmental Law and its Link with COVID-19

Ash Murphy, Lecturer in Law

Exploring the general failings of environmental law and its link with COVID-19, from animal abuse to air pollution, asking, if we had better environmental law would this virus be relatively inconsequential? 

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Tourism 2020: All Change Please 

Dr Maeve Marmion, Head of Department, Experience Economy 

A reflection on the ways in which with COVID-19 crisis has impacted international tourism and what changes we are likely to see, and need, going forward. This lecture will discuss tourist behaviour and attitudes to risk, what tourism businesses may need to consider to manage change, and the importance of innovation and technology. 

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Once Upon a Time ... Use of Story in Art Therapy

Manda Thompson, Senior Lecturer, Art Therapy

From her studio, Manda will demonstrate how she encourages people to look imaginatively at images, sharing a case where both parent and child used story to talk about feelings of belonging, threat and protection to better understand the others fears and hopes. 

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Tourism in Cuba

Dr Christopher Hull, Programme Leader for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. 

Many foreigners perceive the tropical Caribbean island of Cuba and its ongoing communist revolution as both frozen in time and yet on the cusp of change. This talk will analyse this destination's enduring appeal to ask what the future holds for both Cuba and mass tourism there.

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Major Investigations: An Introduction to the world of a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO)

Simon Price, Lecturer in Policing 

The British Police Service works to tried and tested formulae when it comes to such things as the investigation of homicide. 

This session will outline the route of an investigation from the perspective of the SIO, giving an insight into how our lecturers, such as Simon, will encourage students on the BSc (Hons) Community Policing and Criminal Investigation programme to open their minds to numerous investigative possibilities and give consideration to the investigative tactics and options that are available to the modern day investigator.

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