Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sociology Workshop for Keele Refugee Week

Keele Refugee Week
8th-14th June 2015

Social Networks and Belonging
Sociology Workshop
Wednesday, 10th June 2015
2.00 – 5.30pm
Chancellor’s Building: CBA1.078/9

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and education events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary’ (Refugee Week nd). It involves thousands of people, institutions, organizations, and individuals throughout the country. Last year Keele joined Refugee Week for the first time by hosting a weeklong photographic exhibition, an opening event with a musical performance and a poetry open mic night. Placing our university on the map alongside numerous institutions and cultural hubs across the country and building on previous success, this year Keele Refugee Week will be hosting an even richer programme of events.

As part of the national and Keele Refugee Week celebrations, this year Sociology will be hosting a half-day workshop to highlight research on the theme of social networks and belonging among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Presentations will examine the politics and performances of asylum within different domestic contexts, and attempt to unpack some of the complex relationships that form between ‘host’ and ‘guest’ and within migrant networks.

This free event aims to bring together academics, students, refugees and asylum seekers and those working with refugees and asylum seekers, and to encourage lively debate about the challenges and opportunities facing refugees in the UK.

2.00: Welcome and introduction
Dr Siobhan Holohan, Keele University

2.15: Presentations
Dr Jonathan Darling, Manchester University
Dispersal and Disruption:
The Challenges of Isolation within the Asylum Accommodation Model

Natalie Soleiman, PhD Candidate, Keele University
 Seeking Refuge in the UK:
An Iranian Story of Asylum and Living in the ‘In-betweens’

3.30: Break for refreshments

3.45: Presentations
Dr Simon Goodman, Coventry University
The Role of Social Networks for Asylum Seekers in the Midlands

Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Keele University
 ‘This is in a way my birthplace’:
Young Refugee Women, Social Relationships and Networks

5.00: Exhibition
Discussion and art exhibition by women from the ‘Women Together’ project based in Huddersfield
(Refreshments will be available)

Admission is free; however, please confirm your attendance with Siobhan Holohan ( or Ala Sirriyeh ( by Monday, 1st June for catering purposes.
Find us on the first floor of Chancellor’s Building ‘A’ block: download campus map.

For more information about National Refugee Week go to:

For information about Keele Refugee Week activities go to:

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Walking studies seminar - registration open

Here are some more details about our forthcoming workshop:

'Walking' Studies Today*
Network Seminar and Taster
Claus Moser Building CM0.012
Tuesday May 26, 2015
9.45 – 16.30
The last 10 years or so have seen a growing interest in walking in urban and cultural geography (Middleton 2009, 2010, 2011), literary and cultural studies (Solnit 2000; Macfarlane 2013), oral history (High 2013) and visual and performing arts (Mock 2009, Smith 2014, 2015). Some of the canonical theories on walking - ubiquitous in urban studies - tend to represent this as a liberating and/or subversive act (Debord 1959, Certeau 1980). More recent interventions have problematised walking as a means of knowing the city (Thrift 2008) or as necessarily emancipatory (Urry 2007). It remains the case that walking is seen as ‘the most “egalitarian” of mobility systems’ (Urry 2007, 88); given its broad availability to able-bodied people. It is also a sustainable practice (Education and Inspection Act 2006), with perceived health-promoting properties. Walking has been, and continues to be, a prompt to creative and performative work (Self 2007, Sinclair e.g. 2003, 2004, Macfarlane 2013, Cade 2013-). This workshop will offer a sample of some of the work currently being done in walking studies. It will close with a discussion of possible future areas to explore in the field.
*Here, we use the term ‘walking’ to refer to a range of practices which may or may not be bipedal.

Papers and contributions from: Jennie Middleton (Oxon), Matt Parker (independent sound artist), Sue Porter (Bristol), Phil Smith (Plymouth), Rosana Cade (independent performance artist), Ben Anderson (Keele), Rajmil Fischman (Keele)

All are welcome to attend. However, places are limited, so please register your interest with Ceri Morgan ( or Andy Zieleniec ( before Friday May 15, 2015.

We acknowledge the support of Keele University Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Strategy Fund

Friday, 1 May 2015

Forthcoming workshop on Walking

Dr Andy Zieleniec (Sociology) and Dr Ceri Morgan (Humanities) have been awarded through the Research Strategy Fund for a multidisciplinary networking workshop on 'Walking' to be held on the 26th May 2015 in the Claus Moser Building.

This networking project builds on previous and current research on imaginary and material geographies of the urban, rural and suburban (Zieleniec 2007; Morgan 2012), public parks (Zieleniec 2013), and geopoetics (Morgan 2008). 

It seeks to bring together a number of academics and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to discuss current trends and future developments in walking as a critical and creative practice.

The aim of the networking event is to pursue future research opportunities, grant applications and publication possibilities.