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The Body of Work: Menstrual Cycles

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What is the impact of menstrual cycles on careers? We will explore issues including period poverty, menstruation and endometriosis

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The Body of WorkDr Ilaria Boncori and Dr Deborah N BrewisFunded by the Wellcome Trust

Recent research in health sciences and psychology considers the damaging effects of discrimination, showing that people who experience this type of unfavourable treatment have increased risk of physical health conditions, impaired cognitive function (Murphy et al. 2012) and poorer mental health (Berger and Sarnyai 2014, Steptoe and Jackson 2019, see also Lewis et al. 2015). This has revealed the urgency of gaining further understanding within management and organisation studies of how work practices affect the body (Pullen and Rhodes 2014) - in particular for those with protected characteristics including gender, maternity, race, (dis)ability and age, or with two or more intersecting forms of oppression.

This series of four events brings together researchers and third-sector practitioners around under-represented issues of embodiment in the workplace. Through morning seminars and afternoon workshops, we facilitate space to empower different types of professionals and activists to gain an overview of the state of the field, to share knowledge, to set research agendas together, and to draft guidelines in order to ignite a positive change in organisations. Together, we will challenge mainstream ideas of disembodied management and ideal workers, and bring focus to research on bodily and sensorial practices that give voice and visibility to marginalised experiences in organisations. Furthermore, we create space through associated workshops to develop skills that facilitate embodied research and writing.

The series will facilitate a network that not only connects scholars but also NGOs and charitable organisations outside of academia, to empower different types of professionals and activists to gain an overview of the state of the field, to share knowledge, to set research agendas together, and to draft guidelines in order to ignite a positive change in organisations.

25th Nov 2019 Session 1: Racialised bodies and anxietyHow is inequality in the workplace articulated for people of colour? We will discuss anxiety, power dynamics and white structures.Speakers: Akile Ahmet and Deborah N BrewisWorkshop: Creative research methods led by Anke Strauss

21st Feb 2020 Session 2: Pregnancy and fertilityHow can pregnancy and fertility affect individuals at work? We will consider physical and emotional perspectives.Speakers: Ilaria Boncori and Astrid HuopolainenWorkshop: Embodied writing led by Deborah Brewis

13th Nov 2020 Session 3: Pain and interventions on the bodyWhat are the consequences of both chronic and acute experiences of pain, due to ill health, disability, or interventions made on the body? We will discuss interactions between workplace practice and identitiesSpeakers: Saoirse O’Shea and Kate SangWorkshop: Collaboration led by Olimpia Burchiellaro

11th Dec 2020 Session 4: Menstrual cyclesWhat is the impact of menstrual cycles on careers? We will explore issues including period poverty, menstruation and endometriosis.Speakers: Lara Owen and Victoria Williams.Workshop: Publishing embodied work, led by Jenny Helin

Each session will include a panel discussion with representatives from the third-sector including:

• Campaigner and writer Tammana Miah• The Miscarriage Association• Sands• Endometriosis UK

The event is FREE . To book a place, please select ‘Register’ for the dates you would like to attend.

For further information about the project, visit: www.bodyofworkseminar.wordpress.com

Please contact bodyofworkseminar@gmail.com if you have any further queries about the event.

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