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New voices on social renewal

Hear three doctoral candidates from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences talk about their research and how they intend to contribute to a debate about this key societal theme.

Date/Time: 5th November 2015

Interrogating Local-Global Discourse through Participatory Art Practice

Alexia Mellor, 2nd year PhD researcher in Fine Art

Art is commonly thought of as a practice reserved for the artist’s studio and experienced within the white cube of a gallery or museum. However, the increasing attention on social practice in the arts has led to an interest in art’s capacity to transcend these contexts, directly impacting other disciplines and tackling important questions in the humanities and sciences more broadly.

Alexia presents her own practice-led research, looking at ways in which participatory art practice has the potential to explore our relationship to place, while revealing local models of knowledge exchange and suggesting paths to active citizenry. She asks questions around how we understand our sense of place in an increasingly globalized and digitally-mediated landscape, and how appropriating aspects of “global” culture might be subverted and repurposed to shed new light on the “local”.   

The Greenbury Committee: The unforeseen consequences of transparent remuneration

Michael Price, Teaching Assistant in Newcastle University Business School

Increasing levels of top pay are at the very heart of societal debates about fairness, equality and merit. Do corporate executives merit extremely high levels of rewards? Should we even worry about this and if so why? As will be seen, at the very apex of British business, there is an increasingly small cohort of executives, running increasingly large companies, who are receiving growing levels of reward which are generally unrelated to levels of corporate performance.

The implications of these trends are principally three-fold. First, they represent poor value for shareholders. Second, they contribute to increasing levels of inequality in society and finally they represent the profound failure of regulation in this area. Regulation pertaining to executive remuneration is based on the recommendations outlined in the report of Sir Richard Greenbury and his committee, which was published in 1995. The provisions are important to the extent they not only form part of the combined code of corporate governance, but they are also now part of the Companies Act.

Findings from a series of in-depth interviews with the Greenbury committee support the assertion that the provisions failed in their intended objective, and they perhaps, had the opposite effect to that which was intended.

The Benefits of Women’s Epistolary Peer-Support within WWII UK

Stephanie Butler, 3rd Year PhD Student in the School of English Literature, Language, and Linguistics

In this presentation Stephanie will focus on the emotionally supportive communities created by British women in the U.K. through the exchange of letters among themselves, and with friends and relatives in Canada and the USA. More specifically, she examines the ways  that women provided emotional support to one another with respect to the often pervasive threat--and reality--of home loss due to air raids.

She argues that the social, and emotional, validation British women received from other women alleviated their feelings of anxiety, and helplessness, in the face of wartime housing problems such as increased safety precautions, air raid damage, and destruction. Ultimately, she asks how this information about women's support, and resiliency, in WWII can inform  current debates about the place of Syrian refugees in the UK, EU and North America.