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Sadler Seminars 2019/20

Understanding the role of locality on suicide risk

Suicide is in the top 10 causes of life years lost. We know that there are geographical and temporal variations in suicide rates that cannot readily be explained by individual risk factors alone and that major disruptive social factors, such as an economic downturn, do not have a uniform effect on suicide rates across localities.

This series will sought to explore the interaction between an individual and their physical, cultural and social environment to understand how this may confer risk of suicide, or resilience to it. In particular, the project aimed to think creatively across disciplines to harness the expertise and knowledge of researching culture and context and explore how to incorporate this meaningfully into current formulations of suicidology.

Animist Engagements: Creativity, Ecology and Indigeneity

This seminar series asked how we might engage with animism without turning it into the neo-colonial object of Western academic enquiry? How might we collaborate with the diverse spiritual practices of animists in order to participate creatively in our more than human world? Seminars explored animism’s vexed relation to the disciplines of academia; collaborations with indigenous artists and spiritual leaders; the legacy of cave paintings and therianthropy; animism and poetry; African animisms; puppetry; animism and modernity; animist ecologies.

Words Without Action Poison the Soul

This seminar series explored the relationship between Italian and Colombian Mafia from a cultural studies perspective. It aimed to enhance awareness about the violence perpetuated by criminal organisations into the nineties in both societies. Through an exploration of the construction of collective memory and the reaction of new generations, the series explored the role of literature and media in encouraging awareness and/or glamorising organised criminality. In addition to a series of seminars, this series included an exhibition by Univeristy of Leeds researcher, Eva Frapiccini.

Translanguaging Performance Pedagogy for Adult Migrant Language Education

This project aimed to develop, pilot and research an innovative performance-based pedagogy for adult migrant language learners which will extend and enhance understanding of the relationship between their communicative practices and their lived experience. In partnership with theatre company A Quiet Word and St Vincent's Support Centre, Leeds, the series conveners analysed how moving away from a sole focus on (English) language as the means of communication may a) enable alternative articulations of voice for AMLLs, and b) shed light on the relationship between how learners communicate and what they communicate.

Migration and the City: Imagining

The seminar series focused on the ways that migrants ‘imagine’ and ‘make’ the city. The series, divided into two parts, highlighted the relationship between narrative, communication and imagination, on the one hand, and materiality, infrastructure, and practices on the other.

Vital Circulations: Bodily Fluids in Bioeconomy

Vital Circulations, sought to grasp how the multiplying circulations of vital matter, or bioeconomy, deeply impinges upon social relations and institutions formed around the human body. Combining workshops and invited talks, this seminar series deepened our comparative understanding by placing the local history of transfusion, dialysis and biobanking at Leeds within the global bioeconomy spanning across Europe, Asia and beyond.

From The Cell to Sustainable Cities

This Sadler Seminar Series identified new opportunities for the design of sustainable architecture using materials and methods inspired by nature. The collaboration investigated how the alignment of structure and function observed within biological systems, can transform the specification of textile materials used in the built environment.