Celebrating and sharing the expertise and achievements of our new and established Professors.
These lectures showcase the breadth and quality of the research being conducted at the university.
The following Professorial lectures took place in the academic year 2015/16.
In this lecture, Professor Catherine Donovan, Faculty of Education and Society reflected on the last thirty years of researching the intimate and family lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and, more recently, trans-identified women and men. Prof Donovan’s research has ranged from the impacts of being HIV+ on maintaining safer sex, the medicalisation of conception and parenting and non-heterosexual families of choice, through to comparing love and violence across heterosexual and same-sex relationships, considering the perspective of both the victim/survivor and the abusive partner. She has also become interested in child sexual exploitation and sex and relationship education for LGB and/or T young people as well as hate crime.
In his lecture, Professor Ewan Clayton, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries asked if handwriting would survive the digital transformation of our culture and more fundamentally what is writing and what work does it do for us. He set in context the various crises that surround the order of the written word (in copyright, publishing, the library and handwriting tuition). Drawing on his experience as a consultant to Xerox PARC, Ewan argued that we have under-conceived what writing is: it is irreducibly pluralistic in nature and not to be equated with any one technology. If true this has implications for how we read the future and for how we educate ourselves as literate citizens.
In her lecture, Professor Maggie Gregson, Faculty of Education and Society drew upon her thirty years of research in this field. She is particularly interested in two aspects of reflective practice. The first of these is theoretical and is concerned with how we think about teaching and learning. The second is practical and can be found in her commitment to presenting and disseminating collaborative educational research in ways that enable the development of real and sustainable educational improvement through HE-supported, teacher-research. The central philosophy guiding her teaching and research is that Education is a moral practice, which involves the development not only of knowledge, skills, and educational values but also the nurturing of character, virtues and a concern for the common good.
In her lecture, Professor Sanders, Faculty of Business, Law & Tourism traced the story of how her initial curiosity about the experience of part-time and non-traditional learners developed into research that ultimately led to the development of alternative models of programme delivery for experienced professionals, incorporating concepts of tacit knowledge transfer, identity, reflexive practice and developmental networks.
She explored the challenges of resistance and resilience in professional learning, and argued that in order to overcome these challenges Higher Education institutions need to learn to work as co-creators of knowledge in partnership with those who return to education bringing with them extensive professional experience.
She also reflected on how the lessons learned from research in this area translate into the wider field of regional development, using as an example her most recent work with entrenched communities in the former coal-mining area of East Durham.
In his lecture, Prof Elmarakbi, Faculty of Computer Science introduced his work on the development of novel graphene-based composite materials. Safety issues remain the main obstacle to producing lighter and more environmentally friendly vehicles. Prof Elmarakbi’s research has potentially significant applications within the automotive industry in relation to the optimisation of advanced ultra-light composite materials, efficient fabrication and manufacturing processes, life-cycle analysis, environmental impact and enhanced vehicle safety.
In this lecture, Professor Beryl Graham, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, explained how artists using net art, interactive video, software art and other 'things that plug in’, were changing the ways in which audiences (or is it users, participants and prosumers?) relate to art. She explored how curators and cultural organisations could show this exciting artwork in meaningful ways.