• Date: Friday 16 February 2018 – Wednesday 30 May 2018

The 4th Approaches to Inequalities Conference: Shades of Grey

Call for Papers:

The next Approaches to Inequalities conference hosted by the University of Northampton will take place on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

Now in its fourth year, previous conferences have attracted contributions not only from across academic disciplines but also from third-sector organisations and professional practitioners in the form of more traditional presentations, workshops, streams and posters.

This year we have decided that the theme of the conference will be around issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence.  We have intentionally chosen a wide theme which can include any issues related to sexual harassment and/or gender based violence in all its forms and contexts and related issues.  We have chosen the title ‘Shades of Grey’ in recognition that some voices have expressed concern that these issues are not black and white while others have held there is no grey area.  The title also alludes to a genre that romanticises domination, subordination and sexual violence in a way that requires critical engagement.

We would particularly welcome contributions that reflect marginalised voices including research around the LGBTQ+ community or intersectionality.

We would welcome abstracts for papers of 300 words from academics of any discipline as well as those activists or practitioners with practical experience of dealing with the issues the conference focuses on.  If you feel a paper is not an appropriate way of presenting we would still welcome a 300 word abstract with a suggestion of how you would like to run your session.

Please send abstracts to the Approaches to Inequalities Research (AIR) group: AIRGroup@northampton.ac.uk

The deadline for abstracts is Wednesday 30 May 2018.


Keynote Speakers:

We’ll have more details of the conference available soon and now the confirmed keynote speakers for the conference include:

Vanessa Bettinson:

Vanessa is a Professor in Criminal Law and Justice, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and co-founder of De Montfort University’s Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Research Network. As a director and trustee of women’s charity New Dawn New Day she is passionate about supporting and understanding appropriate responses to the trauma caused by sexual and domestic violence to women and girls. Vanessa’s research focuses on legal and interdisciplinary approaches to domestic violence and abuse and she has co-organised several national/international conferences and events that enable stronger networks between practitioners, researchers and students.  Vanessa has several publications in variety of internationally esteemed journals and is co-editor of the book, ‘Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary perspectives on protection, prevention and intervention’ (Palgrave, 2016). 

Pragna Patel:

 Pragna is a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism. She worked as a co-ordinator and senior case worker for SBS from 1982 to 1993 when she left to train and practice as a solicitor. In 2009 she returned to SBS as its Director. She has been centrally involved in some of SBS’ most important cases and campaigns around domestic violence, immigration and religious fundamentalism. She has also written extensively on race, gender and religion.

Sophie Sparham:

Sophie is a spoken word artist and writer based in Derby. Her work has been featured in the People’s History Museum and UK Young Artists Festival. She has shared the stage with punk legends such as Crass’s Steve Ignorant, Andy T, Subhumans, Inner Terrestrials and Alan Moore.  Sophie has also performed at various festivals such as Rebellion Festival, Y Not, Shambala and Bearded Theory. Her poetry mainly focuses on political and social subjects, such as depression, LGBT+ and feminism.  Sophie’s debut poetry collection ‘Please Mind the Gap’ is available now and features a foreword from Benjamin Zephaniah. Sophie also writes sci-fi and fantasy stories and her first novel ‘Snow is Hell’ is also out now. As well as writing, Sophie produces radio documentaries. Her documentary, ‘St Pancras Pianos’, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.


To book onto the conference, please click here.

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