Conversations in Social Justice
By Institute for Social Justice at York St John University
Podcast series from the Institute for Social Justice at York St John University. With different hosts each month we intended to animate discussion about the role of higher education in social justice. New episodes each month.
Social Action and the Radical Imagination
In this podcast, York St John University PhD student Jack Hunter talks to Sophia Parker, director of Emerging Futures at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). They discuss the relationship between the imagination and social action, whether we are experiencing a crisis of imagination, and discuss examples of inspiring activism that are trying to foster radical new ways of imagining the world. Podcast transcript.
January 10, 2023
Prison Partnership Project 3: Prison Placements and the Student Experience
In this final podcast about the Prison Partnership Project, we hear from two former York St John theatre students – Jordan Towers and Maia McConnell – about how the Prison Partnership Project creates the perfect landscape for students to transition confidently into employment and professional industry roles not only with exceptional experience but also with knowledge and skills in good practice. Transcript
November 01, 2022
Prison Partnership Project 2: Art and Criminal Justice
In this podcast, On the Out researcher and practitioner, Jess Robson is joined by Rachel Conlon, senior lecturer in Theatre and Director of the York St John Prison Partnership Project. They discuss the roots of The YSJ PPP, the value of the arts with and for women in the criminal justice system and the benefits of prison placements for the students, participants, and prison staff. Rachel also shares her hopes for the project as it enters its 10th year. This is the second of three podcasts about the PPP. Transcript
November 01, 2022
Prison Partnership Project 1: On the Out
The first of three podcasts from the Prison Partnership Project. In this episode, Researchers and Practitioners, Paula Clark and Jess Robson introduce to staff and students the work and research of ‘On the Out’ - a new sister project from, The YSJ Prison Partnership, which explores the gaps in creative provision in the City of York for women and girls who are at risk. Transcript
November 01, 2022
Participatory Research with Autistic People
In this conversation, Dr Brett Heasman (Psychology, YSJ), Carl Cameron (a lead peer mentor at the autism charity Matthew’s Hub), and Sammy Williams (YSJ researcher and member of Matthew’s Hub) discuss how to do participatory research with autistic people. They discuss various definitions of autism, the historical problems arising when autistic voices have not been included, and how such challenges should be addressed. Transcript available here.
October 17, 2022
Reflections on Current Issues in the Legal Professions with Lady Hale.
In this podcast, Helen Trouille and Jan Maltby from the York St John University law school talk to Lady Hale, former President of the Supreme Court, about a number of issues in social justice, ranging from access to the legal professions for students from non-traditional backgrounds, to government proposals to repeal the Human Rights Act and pass a new British Bill of Rights. In the course of the conversation, the speakers also reflect on the heated atmosphere surrounding key cases in the Brexit process, the reporting in the print media at the time and the impact on the judiciary. Podcast transcript
September 06, 2022
Student Mental Health and the University
This podcast is hosted by Human Geography Lecturer Su Fitzpatrick in conversation with Amie Hayes and Laura Southward of York based learning support partnership Equip Your Mind. Together they discuss critical challenges for UK universities as provides for mental health support services for students; staff capacity and training; and the impact of outsourcing support services to private providers. Transcript available here.
July 27, 2022
Music, Leisure, Education
Professor Lee Higgins - director of the International Centre for Community Music at York St John University - is joined by music education scholar Roger Mantie from the University of Toronto in Scarborough, Canada, to discuss questions surrounding social justice and their relation to the themes of music, leisure and education. You can find the podcast transcript here.
June 08, 2022
Paul Kissack: The Task Before Us
On Tuesday 24th May, Paul Kissack delivered the 2nd Annual Archbishop of York Institute for Social Justice Lecture. Titled ‘The Task Before Us’, in this lecture, Paul offers some thoughts on the work ahead for those pursuing social justice in Britain today. He reflects on the many calls over recent years for a new social settlement – or ‘new Beveridge’ – similar to the shaping of the post-war welfare state. In doing so he takes inspiration from Archbishop of York, William Temple’s, 1942 work, ‘Christianity and Social Order’, drawing on some of Temple’s principles for social justice and their relevance today. You can also read the lecture on the ISJ blog. Paul Kissack is the Group Chief Executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT).
May 25, 2022
Youth, Education and Environmental Activism
Dr Olalekan Adekola is joined by Conservation Scientist, Educator and Community organiser, Dr Salamatu Jidda-Fada to discuss her environmental conservation work and mentoring African youths to be active in global environmental governance. The discussion also explores what universities can do to support youth climate activists from the Global South. Transcript available here
February 28, 2022
Sharing Parental Leave
Shared parental leave is a great policy that has the potential to bring about cultural change and drive gender equality. However, a key barrier to shared parental leave is the workplace support. Discussion in this podcast is based on shared parental leave and breastfeeding practices in UK Higher Education institution and by extension to practices in other sectors. The podcast highlights key barriers and recommendations which every employer should consider. This podcast is chaired by Professor Esther McIntosh of York St John University, in conversation with Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi and Dr Anjali Raj (both York St John), Jessica Chivers of Talent Keeper Specialist, and Emma Shepherd of Maternity Teacher Paternity Teacher Project.
January 04, 2022
Dark Academia: How Universities Die
Contemporary universities have been corporatised, commercialised and financialised in the name of transparency, accountability and 'value for money'. This raises serious questions about the meaning, relevance and viability of social justice within the academy today. In this podcast, in conversation with Peter Fleming, Professor of Organisation Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, and author of Dark Academia: How Universities Die, Professor of Education, Matthew Clarke, discusses the dilemmas, contradictions and challenges confronting aspirations for social justice within the neoliberalised organisations that contemporary universities have become and asks whether there are any realistic grounds for hope and optimism today. You can find a transcript of the podcast here.
December 01, 2021
The Social Contract of Research: Emerging from the Ruins of Empire
If universities are founded for the common good, what is the social contract of research? In this podcast Matthew Reason, Director of the Institute for Social Justice, is joined by Dr Erinma Ochu, a transdisciplinary biologist and storyteller from the iSchool at Manchester Metropolitan University and visiting racial justice fellow at The Ada Lovelace Institute. Their conversation explores the potential of community-university partnerships, achieving equity in research funding and the value of ‘the commons’ for knowledge exchange to rebuild social and cultural infrastructures. 'We have the power those who came before us have given to us, to move beyond the place where they were standing.' Audre Lorde. You can read the podcast transcript and find additional references and resources here.
November 02, 2021
Colonial Histories and Institutional Memory: York St John University's Historical Archive
Dr Adam Stock is joined by PhD researcher Amy McCarthy and Academic Services Manager Tom Peach to discuss a project which explored documented, institutional colonial histories in York St John University’s Historical Archive. Together they discuss historical pedagogy, colonial Christian Missionary work in Japan, India and Canada, and the complex implications for York St John as a social justice institution.
September 29, 2021
Giving Voice to the Non-Human
We understand better than ever that the human dramas of social justice can’t be disentangled from the natural ecosystems in which they are embedded. The creative artforms of storytelling, creative writing and theatre have an important role to play in helping us to see and understand these interconnections. But how can artforms which have tended to be all about human interactions develop ways of speaking for other species? Cath Heinemeyer and Liesl King of York St John University discuss these questions with Anthony Nanson, storyteller and author of Storytelling and Ecology: empathy, enchantment and emergence in the use of oral narratives.
July 30, 2021
Breaking Bread and Drinking Tea with Researchers of the Global Majority
Siara Illing-Ahmed is a Storyteller and PhD candidate at York St John University, she makes performances that use food and conversation to explore questions of identity and heritage. In late Spring 2021, the Institute for Social Justice commissioned Siara to create an audio performance featuring the voices and stories of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic researchers from York St John University. The result is this audio performance, a soundscape of voices and experiences that invites you to sit down and take your time to think about the lived experiences of other people within your academic community.
July 26, 2021
Dementia, Personhood and Social Justice: The Role of Creativity
Dr Helen Pleasance and Caleb Klaces, both writers and Senior Lecturers at the York Centre for Writing, York St John University, speak to Dr Lucy Burke of Manchester Metropolitan University about the role of creative writing in achieving social justice for people with dementia. They discuss the concept of ‘personhood’, the ethics of literary representations of dementia and Lucy’s recent activism in response to the UK government’s COVID-19 policies.
June 29, 2021
Participatory Action Research and Social Justice
Dr Joan Walton, Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at York St John University, talks to Professor Hilary Bradbury, Co-Editor of The Sage Handbook of Action Research, and founder of AR+, which has the aim of making global knowledge democracy more available by supporting inter/transdisciplinary dialogue for those practising at the developmental edge of action research worldwide. Hilary speaks about the work that she is doing to spread the practice of participatory action research, and actively encourage the involvement of marginal groups from both the global south and north.
May 28, 2021
Democratic Methodologies: Disrupting Research
Dr Charlotte Haines Lyon, lecturer at York St John University talks to Dr Debbie Ralls of University of Manchester and Professor Kaz Stuart of University of Cumbria. Their conversation explores how democratic methodologies contribute to social justice and the variety of conundrums they pose. They discuss how democratic methodologies can disrupt power, research and also the academy.
April 30, 2021
Activism and Race within University Teaching and Research
In this podcast Matthew Reason, Director of the Institute for Social Justice, talks to Jonathan P Jones of New York University about universities as spaces for activism, whether through pedagogy, mentoring, research or institutional structures. They discuss the challenge and importance of exploring race within what are still predominantly white spaces and the importance of actively working to ensure that the future of universities is more diverse and representative.
March 31, 2021
The Role and Responsibilities of Universities in Transforming Society
Professor of Counselling Psychology at York St John University, Divine Charura, talks to Dr Jonathan Chaplin, a political theologian and a member of the divinity faculty at Cambridge University. Their discussion explores a range of matters including the role university has in activism and social justice, the qualities of a University of Sanctuary, and why it's important to engage in research and curriculum that identifies, exposes, and addresses systemic and interpersonal inequalities, injustices, and power relationships across society.
February 26, 2021
Education, Social Justice and Mental Health
Nick Rowe is Director of Converge at York St John, which runs University-based courses in the arts to adults with experience of mental ill-health. In this podcast he talks to Brendan Stone, Professor of social engagement and the humanities at the University of Sheffield. Together they discuss the multiple benefits of opening up universities to work people with mental ill-health and the ways in which we all learn through our encounters with the lived experiences of other people.
February 01, 2021
Education and the Frontline of Climate Justice
YSJU lecturer in art and ecological justice Dr Cath Heinemeyer finds out more about climate justice from Thimali Kodikara, producer and presenter of the Mothers of Invention podcast (@MothersInvent), who has interviewed climate innovators and leaders from the grassroots to the top tables of global policy.
January 01, 2021