CFP: Themed Issue on Axes of Oppression in the Cultural Sector – IPED International Journal

The Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity (IPED) international journal invites submissions to a special issue titled: ‘Innovations, Intersections, and Institutions: Axes of Oppression in the Cultural Sector’.

There has been an increasingly visible discourse on diversity — and more precisely, the lack of it — in many cultural sectors across the Global North, particularly in major global ventures such as Hollywood (Hunt et al. 2019) and through national reporting practices (DCMS 2016). This increased awareness is usually followed by discursive calls to increase diversity in cultural institutions, as in the Arts Council England’s “Creative Case for Diversity” and various institutional initiatives in the US, Australia and others, which have been launched in the last decade. Furthermore, there have been many activist calls to decolonise public spaces and cultural practices, which are starting to make an impact on institutional practices.

However, the term diversity is a problematic one that often fails to account for the importance of the intersectionality of multiple axes of oppression and the interplay of varied social constructs such as race/ethnicity and gender, religion, sexuality, class, disability, and so on. Moreover, institutional diversity initiatives are typically the result of an institution being reactive to short-term funding calls or political agendas, and ultimately fail to address structural inequalities or understand the artistic and economic value of diverse artists and content.

Artistic works that negotiate these intersections — of oppression and marginalisation — often offer fertile ground for innovative artistic processes to address the complexity of their subject matter and challenge the hegemonic nature of the cultural sector. This special issue is interested in highlighting these artistic negotiations, creative processes, and survival strategies, as well as the contributions of ethnic minority and decolonial artists, that unsettle hegemonic structures in the Global North. A particular emphasis is on articulating and unpacking, in artistic and ethnographic detail (Conquergood 1985), these creative processes and the negotiations that marginalised artists/voices undertake while they are creating new work.

Further, this special issue recognises the ongoing reinvention and regeneration of the cultural sectors in the Global North, while aiming to examine the grassroots efforts that are contributing to these changes. These efforts could refer to new economic, artistic, and/or social initiatives that are revitalising the sector from the bottom up. We welcome contributions from a range of disciplines including cultural studies, performance studies, sociology, and anthropology that take the form of articles (4000-6000 words) or reflections (1000-2000 words) in response to one or more of the following questions:

1) Using recent attempts to diversify cultural institutions in the Global North as a point of departure, what processual value does the mainstreaming of marginalised artists/voices add to the cultural sector as a whole?

2) How do multiple axes of oppression manifest in creative artistic processes?

3) What strategies of survival do marginalised artists/voices use to create and showcase work in a cultural space dominated by hegemonic institutions?

4) Through engaging cultural production, how have marginalised artists/voices instigated institutional and structural change?

5) How do the recent calls to decolonise culture and public spaces contribute to imagining alternative cultural spaces, and generating new modes of cultural production

Abstracts (250 words) with a title and a short bio (100 words) should be sent to Roaa and Asif by late 1st of September 2019. We expect that contributors will submit first drafts by February 2020, but we are happy to extend this – please let us know and we can negotiate a new submission date. After receiving editorial and peer-reviewed feedback, second drafts are due by July 2020, with an expected publication date of September 2020.

The Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity (IPED) is an open access journal open to academics and practitioners globally.


Conquergood, Dwight. 1985. “Performing as a Moral Act: Ethical Dimensions of the Ethnography of Performance.” Literature in Performance 5 (2): 1–13.

Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). 2016. “Creative industries: Focus on Employment”.

Hunt, Darnell, Ana-Christina Ramón, and Michael Tran. 2019. “Hollywood Diversity Report.”

Being an activist

IPED striking picture blog

This is a personal reflection on being an activist as my picture illustrates. Recently I have been standing on the picket line in the UK with other university academics in the University and College Union (UCU). This action challenged proposed changes in pensions by universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which would substantially reduce younger colleagues’ retirement income. Taking part in the union activity reminded me of why I became an activist and why I continue to believe in collective actions in an increasingly individualistic social context.

While I have taken industrial action before, indeed in the financial industry on one memorable occasion I was the sole individual striking in my region according to the local regional newspaper. I was the branch representative but we were not the most militant branch! Even through in our region the effects were limited the national strike caused the senior management to take action, to investigate why strike action had been called. It was discovered it was linked to poor communication, and an unwillingness to listen by senior management with negative views not being carried forward to the executive team. A regular industrial relations problem. Consequently a social partnership arrangement was brought in that helped change improve industrial relations for this financial organisation.

I have continued to remain committed to collective action that was inspired by my childhood experiences. To this day my mother still talks about ‘the arrival of the biscuit tin’ when my father was seriously ill for several months with no income. In the 1960s there was no sick pay legislation and thus the arrival of his work mates with a biscuit full of cash donated by his unionised work colleagues meant we could buy food and pay bills. While today in the UK we have a raft of laws to help protect individuals working on the shop floor. We must never forget the collective efforts of many trade unionists to reach this point. We also must never be complacent, particularly post-brexit as laws can change or work conditions and patterns change.

While many people question why I should believe in collectivism and union activity. I still maintain it is easier for people to agitate for social change as part of a group than individually on their own and that employee relationship for many remains an unequal relationship. It this belief that underpins my activism. Over the years I have seen union activism change policy, whether this is sick pay, equal pay or just senior executive attention to work issues where there has been a misreading of their employees’ attitudes towards issues such as pensions.

What the recent action over pensions has done for me has energised my beliefs. The solidarity and camaraderie of the picket line with my work colleagues ( And also their dogs! The ‘bring your dog to the picket line’ was a huge success). The feeling that others too share my beliefs is important to keep going forward as an activist and also to help others younger members make the transition to become activists. Hopefully to keep important issues at the forefront of negotiations and challenging inequity and unfairness where it appears into future decades.

I do not believe that I am alone in being an activist and believing in collectivism and the importance of challenging inequality.

Thus I am inviting other activists to send in a picture of themselves as an activist to illustrate the diversity of female and union activism that exists in the UK and internationally that activists do not globally stand alone. Here is my picture Dr Susan Sayce.

Statement of solidarity with university staff in the UK

University staff  across the UK are engaged in the largest industrial action ever seen by the sector, with escalating strike action and work to contract. Staff are striking to protect a defined benefit pension which guarantees a modest retirement income. Universities UK, the body which represents the employers, has insisted that a move towards defined contribution is necessary to save the USS (superannuation) pension scheme, although recent FOI requests & expert analysis suggest that the scheme is safe, and the employers simply want to move the pension liability to members of the scheme.
The board of IPED recognises that a fair pension is essential for a secure retirement and we stand in solidarity with those taking industrial action. Pensions are a gender issue, with women often facing a much smaller pension fund due to the gender pay gap and caring responsibilities. We ask that an intersectional analysis is undertaken of all proposals to save the USS scheme, to ensure that those already marginalised in higher education do not face further penalties in retirement. IPED is also aware that students are resisting efforts by the employers to position them as consumers in conflict with staff. The efforts by students to stand with their lecturers, librarians, administrators, researchers, IT specialists, who shape their university experience, is inspiring and we thank them for this.
The board of IPED stands in solidarity with striking university staff, and is hopeful that the forthcoming talks which will be mediated by ACAS (conciliation service), resolve  this dispute in an equitable way.
For more details see here
Donate to the fighting fund, which will prioritise precarious workers

PhD scholarship on gender, chronic illness and employment

Please see details of PhD scholarship at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK:

Understanding gender, chronic illness and employment: Developing strategies for an inclusive workplace.

Chronic illness remains under-researched within management studies, with extant research suggesting chronic health problems can negatively impact on quality of working life. Women’s health problems can carry additional stigma, with women often concealing their health problems. This PhD will examine the gendered experiences of chronic ill health for employees, identifying strategies for employer policies which are inclusive of those with chronic health problems. We anticipate a qualitative approach to understand the intersections of gender chronic illness, likely an interview-based approach with employees (to understand lived experiences of chronic illness and employment) and employers (to understand organisational policies and practices). (Potential supervisor: Professor Kate Sang and Dr James Richards)

Click here for more details.

Special Issue CfP Intersectional and Cultural Aspects of Schools Related Gender-based Violence in Europe

Intersectional and Cultural Aspects of Schools Related Gender-based Violence in Europe:  

Guest Editorial team for International Perspectives to Equality and Diversity (IPED)

Dr Maria Tsouroufli, Reader in Women and Gender, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Dr Heidi Siller, Researcher at the Medical University Innsbruck, Gender Medicine Unit, Austria

Dr Angela Morgan, Senior Researcher and Lead of the Violence against Women and Girls Research Cluster, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Dr Karlie Stonard, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Wolverhampton

Dr Dorottyia Redai, Researcher and Visiting Lecturer Gender Studies Department Central University of Budapest, Hungary

Dr Valentina Guerinni, Post-doctoral Assistant Gender and Education, University of Florence, Department of Education and Psychology, Italy

Gender equality remains a key target for the EU with current priority areas including equal economic independence, equality in decision making and dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence (Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality, 2015). There are many challenges and gaps that still need to be addressed as research shows that perceived gender roles and gender stereotyping are still causes of restricted life choices and key factors in gender violence (EIGE, 2013).

Terminology of gender and violence varies across cultural and social contexts. In this call we refer to schools related gender based violence (SRGBV) as acts of sexual, physical or psychological violence inflicted on children in and around schools because of stereotypes and roles or norms attributed to or expected of them because of their sex or gendered identity. The term also refers to the differences between girls’ and boys’ experience of and vulnerabilities to violence’ (Plan, 2018). Although the exact consequences of SRGBV for retention and achievement have not been established, it is widely recognised that SRGBV has negative implications for health and well-being, educational success and participation (Leach et al. 2014).

Research into SRGBV is still extremely limited outside of Sub‐Saharan Africa and to a lesser extent Northern Europe. However, very little research in Europe has explicitly addressed the gender dimensions of violence in schools, and bullying for example is often discussed in gender and race neutral terms (Ringrose and Renold, 2010). There is also little research as yet on SRGBV which goes beyond examining heterosexual forms of violence perpetrated mostly by male teachers and students on female students. Nevertheless, there is sufficient evidence to show that male students, female teachers, those who are identified as lesbian or gay, and those who are from minority groups or who suffer from physical or learning difficulties are also at risk.


We invite scholars, practitioners and others to submit a paper of no more than 7,000 words to Dr Maria Tsouroufli at by 31st January 2018. We would welcome traditional research papers as well as reflective pieces of work from different disciplines (Education, Feminist Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Health) and methodological approaches (qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method studies). All authors will receive feedback in April-May 2018 and final decisions about papers will be made in August 2018. Publication is scheduled for November 2018. Authors are expected to follow the IPED journal’s guidelines.



European Institute for Gender Equality, (EIGE, 2013), A study of collected narratives on gender perceptions in the 27 EU Member States

Plan (2008) The Global Campaign to End Violence in Schools, Woking: Plan Limited; Jones N. et al.

Ringrose, J. and Renold, E. (2010) Normative cruelties and gender deviants: the performative effects of bully discourses for girls and boys in school,  British Educational Research Journal, 36:4, 573-596, DOI: 10.1080/01411920903018117

SWD (2015) 278 final, Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Event Studies

We invite researchers to submit articles for a special issue on the topic of Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Events Studies, edited by Dr Rebecca Finkel (Queen Margaret University) and Dr Briony Sharp (University of Huddersfield).

The vision for this special issue is to feature contributions from critical events and interdisciplinary scholars. Papers should interweave theory, policy and/or practice, and be centred on at least one planned event/festival. Papers can focus on any size and type of event from festivals and conferences to community and international events. Empirical work which features creative research methods is especially welcome.

Possible Topics:

ñ Events/festivals causing polarisation between communities/stakeholders

ñ Understanding and potentially overcoming physical, mental, emotional barriers to events/festival access 

ñ Highlighting marginalised or under-represented communities in global events spaces

ñ Non-human and more-than-human access to events environments

ñ Social, cultural, economic, and digital inclusion/exclusion narratives

ñ Inclusion vs. justice — inclusion vs. equality in events contexts

ñ Governance and policies related to event/festival accessibility, inclusion, and diversity

ñ Role of media and social media in event/festival accessibility, inclusion, and diversity 

ñ Intersectional approaches to diversifying events/festival audiences and landscapes

ñ New critical perspectives for established events/festivals with regard to ethics, representation, responsible management

ñ Models of best practice and lessons learned with regard to event/festival accessibility, inclusion, and diversity

Please papers in accordance with IPED guidance by Friday, 15 Sept

We look forward to hearing about your work and possibly having you contribute to this exciting, emerging area! Please contact Rebecca Finkel for more details.


What can organisations do to help manage racism? ‘Buffering and diversity spillovers, the second-hand smoke effect’

Findings from a Seminar presented by Professor Belle Rose Ragins  at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, Queen Mary University, London  on the 29th March 2017.

Belle Rose Ragins  is Professor of Management from Lubar Business School from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA. The emphasis in the seminar was exploring what can organisations positively do to limit the effects of subtle in-direct discrimination in their own organisations. It is this organisational focus exploring how organisations can support their diverse employees without dissolving this to the responsibility of the individual level that was refreshing to hear. It recognises that HR, senior managers and equal opportunities practitioners are all searching for organisational responses that can help combat racism. It was also relevant post Trump as issues around race appear to have risen again in the US and there has been a spike in hate crimes in the UK post-Brexit.

It is the points about ‘buffering and spillover’ based on Belle’s research that I am going to highlight here as this indicates how and why organisations themselves can take action.

So what does buffeting and spillover mean?  Starting with buffering this is linked to how racism can persist in organisations through unconscious micro-aggression comments and views, the subtle put downs such as ‘never seen black people do that’ or asking ‘why do you sound white’ or sitting further away from people of a different race. People are generally unaware that they are doing this but they are using stereotypes to judge you or look at you based on race. Research clearly indicates that when employees experience racism it can lead to increased stress and reduced mental and physical health (Schmitt et al 2014).  So Belle conducted psychological research to examine what could help regulate micro-aggression that many people experience in the workplace. Her central question was can mentoring help organisations combat racism?                    

 Her research published in Ragins et al (2016) suggests that mentoring can have a ‘buffering’ effect. In other words mentoring is triage, helping individuals to manage the effects of racism it is not an overall cure.  Key to this buffering is the need for a  high quality relationship between the mentor and mentee, which can help alleviate the effects of micro aggression. For example, it can provide holding behaviours for the mentee because the relationship can provide a safe space to discuss these issues, it can also offer new perspectives of how to deal with these issues or evaluate them without being judgemental, showing empathy to the mentee. However, it is the mentoring arrangement that is fundamental here whether formal or informal did not matter. However, her research evidenced that other relationships with colleagues and supervisors do not have the same buffering effect because they do not validate experience. The message to take away here is that many organsiations do have mentoring arrangements in the workplace so it could be useful for org EO practitioners, HR or senior managers in organisations to revisit their mentoring arrangements ensuring that there are of good quality and thereby helping to provide a buffer against the subtle putdowns that perpetuate racism in the workplace. This can then help combat the subtle effects of racism and the detrimental effect it can have on people’s health but also a detrimental effect on the work environment itself, which impacts on all employees.

The other theme that Belle introduced was the idea of ‘spillover’ (Ragins et al 2012). What Belle was arguing is that what happens in other domains such as the local community affect the workplace. Thus if there is an intolerant racist climate in the local community it will impinge on the workplace. Ideally a positive society contests changes in attitudes to racism such as ‘the not in our town’ campaign in the US. But if there is ‘white flight’ with white people moving out of a community when others groups move in (Pais et al 2009) or if the community becomes segregated this has implications for organisations located in these communities. What Belle highlights is there is a business case for organisations to get involved in community action. This case is linked to how climate matters both within and outside the community for job embeddedness and job attachment. If there is an intolerant racist climate it can both help/hinder organisational ability to retain talented workers of all races even if racism is not experienced in the workplace. Regardless of whether there is an inclusive climate at work, if workers are not happy in their community they will leave. Thus organisations too need to create opportunities for contact with the community and take a stand against the toxicity of racism because ultimately it affects companies’ turnover and retention of all their employees if employee attachment and embeddedness are reduced.   Thus there becomes a business case for community involvement that goes beyond social justice arguments, which may help persuade organisations of the importance of this type of involvement.

 Susan Sayce, University of East Anglia


Pais, J.F., South, S.J. and Crowder, K., 2009. White flight revisited: A multiethnic perspective on neighborhood out-migration. Population Research and Policy Review, 28(3), pp.321-346.

Ragins, B. R., Gonzalez, J. A., Ehrhardt, K. and Singh, R. (2012), Crossing the Threshold: The Spillover of Community Racial Diversity and Diversity Climate to the Workplace. Personnel Psychology, 65: 755–787.

Ragins, B.R., Ehrhardt, K., Lyness, K.S., Murphy, D.D. and Capman, J.F., 2016. Anchoring  Relationships  at  Work: High-quality mentors and other supportive work relationships as buffers to ambient racial discrimination  . Personnel Psychology.

Schmitt MT, Branscombe NR, Postmes T,Garcia A. (2014). The consequences of perceived discrimination for psychological well-being: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 921–948.