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Civic Reception 2017: What to expect

Keynote talks

History of Kingston University: Growth and metamorphosis – Professor Penny Sparke

History of Kingston University: Growth and metamorphosis – Professor Penny Sparke

This talk will present a history of Kingston University; charting its development from a technical college, to a polytechnic, to a university. It will explain how Kingston University is an amalgamation of a group of institutions, all of which had their own individual culture. Indeed, it is those varied cultures that, arguably, have formed the present-day University, and given it its distinct character.

The talk will emphasise the input of the institution's leaders over time, but also the roles played by many other staff and students. It will show how its strongest subject areas came to the fore, and how it operated against a backcloth of important transformations in higher education through the 20th and 21st centuries.

Carving out the why: The expressive life writing project – Dr Meg Jensen

Carving out the why: The expressive life writing project – Dr Meg Jensen

Expressive writing workshops in Iraq help traumatised victims recount their suffering.

The cruelty of war stretches far beyond the battlefield. Many women who have suffered sexual violence in Iraq now find that the process of seeking justice through the legal system inflicts new trauma on them as they are forced to relive their experiences.

The intrusive documentation process required for legal justice cases of sexual violence where interviewers are advised to cover the 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when' and 'how' of the crimes, while remaining wary about asking the survivor/witness any 'why' questions, often causes further harm to those who have already survived terrible ordeals.

But thanks to research at Kingston University, ways in which the interviewing process might have a positive therapeutic outcome are being devised; using targeted forms of life narrative to enable female survivors of sexual violence and other survivors of traumatic experience, to carve out their own 'why'.

The role of 'experts' in making the press better – Professor Brian Cathcart

The role of 'experts' in making the press better – Professor Brian Cathcart

Most industries accept regulation only with reluctance. The newspaper industry, though few outside it would dispute the need for such regulation (so long as it is independent of government), has historically refused to accept it at all. In mounting this resistance it has long had the advantage of being the prime medium for communicating the issues it is able to tell its own story.

In consequence, the task of shaping and promoting the counter-arguments falls today primarily on 'experts', and in large measure, academic experts. Brian Cathcart will discuss his role in this important debate.

Talks and discussions

Fifty shades of anti-doping: Dispelling the myths around finding practical solutions – Professor Andrea Petróczi

Fifty shades of anti-doping: Dispelling the myths around finding practical solutions – Professor Andrea Petróczi

Driven by the Safe You Project, the talk will focus on how the way we see doping has changed over time and how our own beliefs and ideals, rather than evidence, have framed anti-doping to date. Illustrated with real-life case studies and examples, the talk will stress that the doping problem is not confined to elite sport, but permeates amateur sport, fitness, exercise and beyond. Doping is a wicked problem.

Highlighting the complexity of the issue, we will explore how we can integrate preventive and/or harm reduction measures into today's enhancement-driven society, in a pragmatic and meaningful way.

Image credit: Umberto Pezzini, Togada Studio.

Read Professor Andrea Petróczi's biography >

Visit Professor Andrea Petróczi at her Meet the Researcher stand >

Designing sensory enriched environments for people living with dementia – Dr Anke Jakob

Designing sensory enriched environments for people living with dementia – Dr Anke Jakob

This research explores new approaches to designing and creating environments that better suit the sensory needs of people with dementia in a care home context, focusing on the design of multi sensory spaces - often referred to as Sensory Rooms. Based on the findings from a survey involving 16 care homes in the south of England, design features were identified that can improve the experience and accessibility of such spaces aiming to increase the wellbeing of individuals living with late stage dementia. As a result, a design guide titled How to Make a Sensory Room for People Living with Dementia was published online that aims to support health care practitioners, care home staff, and carers to facilitate sensory spaces that are appropriate for residents with dementia and their families.

Read Dr Anke Jakob 's biography >

Visit Dr Anke Jakob at her Meet the Researcher stand >

Not such a small fish in an online pond: How to safeguard personal information and avoid phishing attacks – Dr Vladlena Benson

Not such a small fish in an online pond: How to safeguard personal information and avoid phishing attacks – Dr Vladlena Benson

Dr Benson studies online user behaviour, and in particular conducts research on self-disclosure, personal information privacy (PIP) models and cyber security in social media use. The digital foot print (personally identifiable information available online) left by individual social networking users is used by criminals for spear phishing and other cyber attacks. Vladlena will demonstrate techniques for inferring personal information through online sources and will discuss ways to safeguard personal information online.

Read Dr Vladlena Benson's biography >

Visit Dr Vladlena Benson at her Meet the Researcher stand >

The analogue music studio: Heritage, nostalgia, future – Professor Isabella van Elferen

The analogue music studio: Heritage, nostalgia, future – Professor Isabella van Elferen

In partnership with world-famous record producer Tony Visconti, the British Library, and the Science Museum, the music department at Kingston University has created the Visconti Studio. This unique analogue studio, stacked with vintage equipment, is home to students, artists and researchers. Our research project The Analogue Music Studio: Heritage, Nostalgia, Future aims to document and preserve the legacy of the analogue era.

The project combines music history with creative practice and heritage studies, building a rich archive of recordings, practices, technologies, listening testimonies, and scholarly reflection.

Antibiotic resistance: Our role in its downfall! – Professor Mark Fielder

Antibiotic resistance: Our role in its downfall! – Professor Mark Fielder

The world is facing the spectre of emerging antimicrobial resistance, we need to protect the current antibiotics, we need to produce new antibiotics, we need to detect the causative bacteria more rapidly. If we don't, we will lurch back towards a pre-antibiotic era where areas of routine medicine currently supported by antibiotics will be so no more!

We at the University are part of the march against antimicrobial resistance - working in different areas to move towards more effective treatment and detection of these omnipresent microbes #resistanceisfutile!

Read Professor Mark Fielder's biography >

Visit Professor Mark Fielder at his Meet the Researcher stand >

Who cares about family carers? UK's unpaid carers need our support  – Dr Nan Greenwood

Who cares about family carers? UK's unpaid carers need our support – Dr Nan Greenwood

  • Why are carers so very important to us all?
  • What is it like being a carer – what are the rewards and challenges?
  • How can we support carers?
  • Can former carers play an important role?

In this presentation Dr Nan Greenwood will discuss these issues, challenges, and the importance of carers to society, with former carer Pat Markey. Also touched on will be research focusing on carer peer support.

Building a better Batgirl: My so-called secret identity and the representation of women in superhero comics – Professor Will Brooker

Building a better Batgirl: My so-called secret identity and the representation of women in superhero comics – Professor Will Brooker

In 2013, after completing the book Hunting the Dark Knight, a critical examination of Batman, Will turned his attention to the representation of women in superhero comics. Rather than continue to criticise existing work through traditional academia, he decided to demonstrate how things could be done differently, and better, by producing a superhero comic of his own.

Four years later, the acclaimed My So-Called Secret Identity is complete in two print volumes, and fully available online: a superhero comic almost entirely focused on women, with an almost entirely female creative team.

Read Professor Will Brooker's biography >

Visit Professor Will Brooker at his Meet the Researcher stand >

Interactive exhibitions and displays

The CAVE - virtual reality studio

The CAVE - virtual reality studio

Kingston University is playing an integral part in shaping tomorrow's gaming geniuses by opening a state-of-the-art facility that gives its computer science students a perfect platform to launch their industry careers.

The Centre for Augmented and Virtual Reality Environments (CAVE) gives students access to a treasure trove of equipment such as virtual reality headsets that can transport the wearer into an immersive alternative environment and equipment that tracks eye movements and brain activity to monitor how much someone is enjoying playing a game.

The CAVE, which complements the University's newly-redesigned games lab, creates a cutting edge working space where undergraduate, postgraduate and research students from a variety of courses can collaborate. 

Visit our CAVE exhibition to get hands on with this new technology and try virtual reality for yourself.

25 objects for 25 years from Kingston University Archives and Special Collections -  Katie Giles, archivist

25 objects for 25 years from Kingston University Archives and Special Collections - Katie Giles, archivist

This summer marks 25 years since Kingston became a university.  Kingston University Archives and Special Collections have been counting down to this anniversary by showcasing 25 key objects from our Collections on the Archives blog once a month.  They represent the range of material we hold and include items from the University's past, unusual theatre memorabilia, key documents relating to famous authors, and historic sporting and Balkan history records.

This exhibition marks the first time these amazing items will be on display together.  Overall, they showcase the wealth of material the archive holds and its value to researchers.

 Visual poetry exhibition: Kingston University creative writing

Visual poetry exhibition: Kingston University creative writing

This exhibition will feature new works made by staff and student poets and artists from the Kingston University Creative Writing department, previously exhibited at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton for a groundbreaking exhibition in early 2017: www.theenemiesproject.com/futures

Exploring the visual and material properties of language through concrete poems, abstract painting, asemic writing and many other avant-garde techniques, researcher Steven Fowler's exhibition aims to bring together methodologies, through a shared engagement with the participants' localism to the Surbiton and Kingston areas.

Three Minute Thesis competition and training workshop

Three Minute Thesis competition and training workshop

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that challenges research students to present the topic of their thesis and its significance in a captivating manner - all in the space of 180 seconds - to an international audience. This year, Kingston University semi-finalists had the opportunity to take part in a one day 3MT workshop. This visual display captures the moments of the training day and showcases the semi-finalists' 3MT videos.

Town House: A new landmark building

Town House: A new landmark building

This exhibition will invite guests to learn more about Town House, the new landmark building designed by award-winning Grafton Architects, that will provide enhanced learning facilities for students and be open to the wider community. This display will include an architects' model and construction video and be hosted by dedicated staff to speak to and answer questions. 

Meet the researchers

Take the opportunity to chat one-on-one with our researchers in the 'Hub' and ask what makes them tick. Visit researchers' stands to access more information about areas of study, get hands-on with developed tools and aids, and browse articles and information.

SAFE YOU: Know your body. Know your substances - Professor Andrea Petróczi

SAFE YOU: Know your body. Know your substances - Professor Andrea Petróczi

Two years ago, academics and practitioners from the UK, Greece, Italy, Germany and Cyprus joined forces to work together with young exercisers, athletes and stakeholders to learn more about performance- and image-enhancement practices among the young and to develop evidence-based information resources and educational materials, for good health literacy. Culminating in the SAFE YOU tool, we adopted a non-judgmental and pragmatic approach to doping, by empowering young people to make informed choices about performance-and image-enhancements. Visit the stand to talk to Professor Andrea Petróczi and find out more.

Image credit: Umberto Pezzini, Togada Studio.

Read Professor Andrea Petróczi's biography >

Professor Petróczi will be speaking at 6.00pm on Fifty shades of anti-doping: Dispelling the myths around finding practical solutions >

Sensory enrichment in dementia care – Dr Anke Jakob and Dr Lesley Collier

Sensory enrichment in dementia care – Dr Anke Jakob and Dr Lesley Collier

This research explores new approaches to designing and creating environments that better suit the sensory needs of people with dementia in a care home context, focusing on the design of multisensory spaces - often referred to as Sensory Rooms. Based on the findings from a survey involving 16 care homes in the south of England, design features were identified that can improve experience and accessibility of such spaces aiming to increase the wellbeing of individuals living with late stage dementia in particular.

As a result, a design guide titled How to Make a Sensory Room for People Living with Dementia was published online that aims to support health care practitioners, care home staff, and carers to facilitate sensory spaces that are appropriate for residents with dementia and their families. Visit the stand to talk to Dr Anke Jakob and Dr Lesley Collier and find out more.

Read Dr Anke Jakob's biography >

Dr Anke Jakob will be speaking at 7.30pm on this topic > 

Improving preschoolers' foundation in number sense – Dr Jo Van Herwegen

Improving preschoolers' foundation in number sense – Dr Jo Van Herwegen

Children's underachievement in mathematics is a widespread and significant problem in the UK. Together with her team, Dr Jo Van Herwegen at the Child Development and Learning Difficulties Unit (CDLD) investigated preschoolers' number foundations and how we can improve children's number abilities and develop basic maths skills through play.

The research showed that playing PLUS and DIGIT games on a daily basis significantly improved preschool children's number abilities both short-term as well as long-term. This project was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, an organisation aiming to improve social well-being through education, research and innovation.

See for yourself the games that were developed and talk to Dr Jo Van Herwegen in person about her research.

Kingston University infection team #Resistanceisfutile! – Professor Mark Fielder

Kingston University infection team #Resistanceisfutile! – Professor Mark Fielder

The world is facing the spectre of emerging antimicrobial resistance, we need to protect the current antibiotics, we need to produce new antibiotics, we need to detect the causative bacteria more rapidly. If we don't we will lurch back towards a pre-antibiotic era where areas of routine medicine currently supported by antibiotics will be so no more!

We at the university are part of the march against antimicrobial resistance - working in different areas to move towards more effective treatment and detection of these omnipresent microbes #resistanceisfutile!

Read Professor Mark Fielder's biography >

Professor Mark Fielder will be speaking at 6.45pm on this topic >

Building a better Batgirl – Professor Will Brooker

Building a better Batgirl – Professor Will Brooker

Professor Will Brooker will be presenting artwork from the acclaimed graphic novel My So-Called Secret Identity, which he created as a critical response to the representation of women in superhero comics.  Launched online in 2013, My So-Called Secret Identity was supported by an extensive fan community and £25,000 Kickstarter campaigns, and is now printed as a two-volume story in four editions. It is recognised by journalists and industry professionals as having changed the superhero genre.

Will will be joined by artist Jennie Gyllblad, who will be documenting the event through her own drawings.

Image credit: Suze Shore.

Read Professor Will Brooker's biography >

Professor Will Brooker will be speaking at 6.00pm on this topic >

Not such a small fish in an online pond: How to safeguard personal information and avoid phishing attacks – Dr Vladlena Benson

Not such a small fish in an online pond: How to safeguard personal information and avoid phishing attacks – Dr Vladlena Benson

The digital footprint (personally identifiable information available online) left by individual social networking users is used by criminals for spear phishing and other cyber attacks. Dr Vladlena Benson outlines techniques for inferring personal information through online sources, and ways to safeguard personal information online.

Read Dr Vladlena Benson's biography >

Dr Vladlena Benson will be speaking at 7.30pm on this topic >

Research into unpaid family carers is vital! – Dr Nan Greenwood and Dr Raymond Smith

Research into unpaid family carers is vital! – Dr Nan Greenwood and Dr Raymond Smith

Unpaid, family carers are essential to society. These carers support people with long-term health conditions, often allowing them to stay at home longer than they could without this support. Dr Nan Greenwood and Dr Raymond Smith (a former Kingston University PhD student) undertake research into these carers' experiences and support needs. Their particular areas of research include older carers, carers from black and minority ethnic groups and carer-peer support where former carers support other carers.

Read Dr Nan Greenwood's biography >

Dr Nan Greenwood will be speaking at 6.00pm on this topic >

Photo courtesy of Carers Support Merton (CSM)

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Civic Reception