Institute of Gender Studies launched in Chester

Posted on 7th March 2016

To coincide with International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8, the University of Chester has launched its Institute of Gender Studies (IGS).

Pictured at the launch of the Institute of Gender Studies are founding members: Professor Deborah Wynne, Professor Emma Rees, Dr Dawn Llewellyn and Dr Cassie Ogden.
Pictured at the launch of the Institute of Gender Studies are founding members: Professor Deborah Wynne, Professor Emma Rees, Dr Dawn Llewellyn and Dr Cassie Ogden.

The vision for the Institute is to provide a creative, exciting, innovative space for researchers to come together and network and share ideas, all in relation to gender issues. A number of seminars will be organised throughout the year to showcase the research being carried out on gender across the University. The IGS will sit within the Faculty of Humanities but will have a broader academic reach across the University.

A launch event took place recently, with a mini symposium ‘research slam’, where academics from various departments and faculties across the University gave 10 minute ‘snapshots’ about their research in this particular field. Topics ranged from ‘Fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)’, to the work of Marie Duval (one of the most unusual, pioneering and boisterous cartoonists of the 19th Century).

A plenary lecture, focussing on the online reactions of Daily Mail readers to the work of performance artist, Casey Jenkins, was presented by the Director of the Institute, Professor Emma Rees.

The Institute has also launched an MRes (Masters by Research) which begins in Autumn 2016. The MRes is available either full-time or part-time, and applications are invited from those wishing to carry out research on any gender-related topics. The MRes includes two taught modules, critiquing and evaluating current research methods and contemporary debates in gender studies, followed by a dissertation module.

Professor Emma Rees, Director of the Institute of Gender Studies, said: “This is a very exciting time for me and my colleagues within the Institute, who come from a number of departments across the University. This is about creating new projects, in terms of a seminar series and a Masters programme, but it’s also about consolidating pre-existing interests across the University and providing a platform and focus for this work. Personally, I can’t separate academia from activism, so this Institute also marks both a personal and a professional goal.”

Dr Dawn Llewellyn, Deputy Director, added: “We feel that it is very timely to launch the Institute of Gender Studies now. Issues of gender never go away and are interdisciplinary. We are working with researchers from Theology, Modern Languages, History, Sociology, and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, to name but a few. We have responded to the fact that people were doing this work anyway – the Institute will be a place for them to congregate. Our vision is that this will grow and develop and attract students, and even PhD students, with an interest in gender.”

For more information about the Institute, please contact Professor Emma Rees: e.rees@chester.ac.uk