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Pop-up reading space returns with a twist

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 10 JULY

Due to popular demand, the Pop-Up Reading Room returns to Birmingham City University this week (Thursday 12 July), this time with a focus on writing and research.

Following the success of the International Women’s Day Pop-Up Reading Room and ‘Big Read’ in March, staff and students will once again be able to browse the specially curated reading list, library display and a range of resources highlighting women’s past and present achievements.

Running from 9.30am until 5pm in The Curzon Building on the University’s City Centre Campus, Pop-Up Reading Room 2 will also feature workshops that encourage staff and PGR students to think about their own writing and academic research.

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The morning session – Write Space – is adapted from the Shut Up and Write! and Pomodoro models, and offers participants a dedicated time and space to write.

Writing together

Organiser Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas, Senior Research Fellow and Athena SWAN Project Manager at Birmingham City University, said:

“It can be difficult to find uninterrupted time and space for writing and this method builds on the idea that short but intensive writing sessions can be productive.

The Pop-Up Reading Room 2 is supported by members of the University’s Athena SWAN Steering Committee. The Athena SWAN Charter promotes and advances gender equality and this event is open to all.

Birmingham City University has signed up to the 10 Athena SWAN charter principles and, as a result of its commitment to eliminate gender bias and develop an inclusive culture that values all staff, the institution received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in May last year.

Speed meeting

In the afternoon, Dr Carruthers Thomas will be facilitating Research@Speed, an informal event which combines elements of speed meeting while academics try to explain their area of study in an allotted time.

Open to anyone actively engaged in research at postgraduate level or above, the session encourages participants to get comfortable in summarising and discussing their research, reflect upon their work and find out about other projects taking place across the University.

Booking is required for both these events, with limited places now available for both Write Space and Research@Speed

Graphic essay

Dr Carruthers Thomas is a champion of doing research differently and she will also be showcasing her graphic essay – ‘My Brilliant Career? An Investigation’ – as part of Pop-Up Reading Room 2. An experiment in graphic social science, the essay uses large format cartoons to report on and explore her current research into gender, career and higher education, which in turn links to Athena SWAN activity within Birmingham City University.

‘My Brilliant Career? An Investigation’ was recently exhibited as part of The Sociological Review’s Undisciplining conference at BALTIC, Gateshead.

Even if not attending one of the workshops, all staff and students are warmly invited to come along and experience the Reading Room itself. Meanwhile, Dr Carruthers Thomas plans to run similar activities at the University’s City South Campus in the short term, with the potential to take the initiative to other higher education institutions in the near future.

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