Fiona Mackay, Director genderED and Christina Neuwirth, Co-ordinator genderED
We are delighted to announce the launch of genderED, a new virtual hub for gender and sexuality research and teaching at the University of Edinburgh. It’s the culmination of more than a year of planning with staff and students across the institution. We hope you enjoy exploring it.
What is genderED?
The idea behind genderED has been to create a virtual space to showcase excellence in teaching, research and KEI in gender and sexuality studies at University of Edinburgh, to promote connectivity and interdisciplinarity, and to build capacity. At its core, genderED is a set of directories and a collection of resources, bringing together information on gender and sexuality courses, researchers, research and KE projects, networks and research groups, blogs and social media, activities and events from across the University. It is designed to be used by prospective and current students, prospective and current researchers, potential collaborators, and the wider community interested in these issues. The project has been led by the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) on behalf of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS), and a wider consortium of academics and students. It builds upon a number of earlier initiatives including the Global Justice Academy Gender Justice Listing, the engagement work by the Gender Politics (@genderpol) community, IASH’s Dangerous Women Project, and the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) Gender campaign (2014-15). The genderED project is part of the wider and evolving University of Edinburgh- EUSA Gender Initiative.
We have compiled “living” directories with information about all specialist courses on gender and sexuality, and more generalist courses with substantial gender and sexuality components, running at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in a particular academic year. This will help interested students to navigate “gender and sexuality” pathways through their programmes, equip personal tutors to advise their tutees, as well as identify gaps in provision.
The directories includes information about “Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World” – an Ordinary level course co-created with students as part of the University’s evolving Gender Initiative – and open to undergraduates from across the University. Now in its 2nd year of running it has more than 200 students ranging from Fine Art to Cognitive Science, and from Physics to Social Anthropology. It is led by Dr Meryl Kenny and Dr Pablo Schyfter from the School of Social and Political Science with a teaching team from across the University, supported by a reference group of academics and representatives from the EUSA. (See here for a recent presentation to Senate by Meryl Kenny and students on the co-creation process and the SPS in Practice model).
We will highlight a selection of courses with commentary from course convenors and students, updating periodically.
We are creating directories of gender and sexuality scholars, including our PhD and early career researchers, giving information about their research interests and projects. They will be regularly updated and will make visible the great breadth and depth of scholarship at University of Edinburgh. We hope these resources will enable researchers to connect with each other (across and beyond the institution), encouraging multidisciplinary collaborations, as well as attracting prospective PhD and Masters students.
We will highlight a selection of researchers and projects, updating periodically.
In this section of the hub we will highlight the myriad ways we connect and engage. This will include networks and groups, knowledge exchange activities, and social media engagement.
As part of genderED we will be working with IASH to create a rolling specialist gender and sexuality events listing.
Gender and sexuality scholars and teachers, students and student leaders, and Heads of Schools, Colleges, and Academies, have all played an important role in the incubation and creation of genderED. There have been countless conversations over the years about how best to connect our work across different Schools and disciplines in a large and decentralised University; how to make research-led teaching options more visible to students; and how to identify gaps and build capacity. This is an important area for support and growth given the University’s commitment to equipping students to become critical citizens at global and local level, and to promoting values of social responsibility and social justice.
As noted above, genderED builds upon work by an ad hoc group of academics and students. But the step change came in 2014-15 with the then- EUSA Vice President of Academic Affairs Dash Sekhar’s gender campaign for more gender courses including the creation of a University-wide introductory course on gender. The Heads of CAHSS and SPS agreed to provide institutional support for this, and for a wider University-EUSA Gender Initiative. The key outcomes to date have been the creation of the Understanding Gender course (see above, 2016) and the launch of genderED (2017).
This is the start of the project and our directories and other resources are living works in progress. Please get in touch if you would like to have your course or research profile listed, if you are part of a research project or network, or if you are organising a gender and sexuality studies related event!