Ina Schaum is a sociologist based at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Currently, she is an ELES research fellow (PhD scholarship holder of Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk) and works on her dissertation project Doing Being Jewish, German and in Love: Love Relationships of Young Jewish Adults in Germany.Her academic interests lie in the fields of biographical research, Jewish-German studies, feminist love studies, feminist theory and intersectional approaches to social inequality and constructions of belonging.
In her master’s thesis Being Jewish (and) in Love: Dating Narratives of Young Jewish Adults (2018) Schaum explored the question of how young, Jewish, heterosexual women and men share their experiences of dating, being in love, and in love relationships. She conceptualized dating practices as embodied, gendered and racialized biographical orientations and proposed the application of poetic representation as ethical research practice. She decided to deviate from the norm of scientific prose and wrote my results – the representations of my interview partners – in the form of poems.
The focus of her PhD project is the empirical development of a feminist theory of love relationships as spaces where different forms of belonging are constructed and negotiated – such as processes of Doing Gender in interdependence with processes of Jewish identity constructions. She is particularly interested in dynamics of emotional work underlying identification processes and identity constructions/performances. Another focus of her work is to explore emotional dynamics and “feeling rules” of sociological research, especially during qualitative interviews.
Dementia Love Stories
This project conducted by Emma Wolverson and Michael Gratzke started off with a training session for Hull City of Culture volunteers and Hull PhD poets on the morning before the conference on ‘The cultural legacy of ageing well with dementia in Hull’ on 29 November 2017. John Killick of Dementia Positive delivered the training which volunteers will put to good use at an event in January 2018 at the memory loss support group Butterflies in Hull.
The basic premise is that people with dementia have a creative voice which should be heard. The training will equip volunteers to co-write poetry with people who have dementia. To poets as to people with dementia, every single word is precious. Words are carefully arranged in way which may divert from everyday language use in terms of meaning, form and connections (semantics, morphology and syntax).
The Butterfly collaboration is a pilot project which will be carefully evaluated. Possible follow-on initiatives may include the provision of poetry tool-kit online for carers to download, and further workshops on prose and visual arts such as photography.
Inspired by a similar initiative in Australia, we maintain a focus on love in all its forms such as love between spouses, love within the family and the love of care professionals. Memory loss does not mean that people stop experiencing or giving love. Each voice of love is rich and deserves to be heard.
Please welcome our newest member
Matt York is a PhD student in the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork, Ireland.
He is a development practitioner/researcher with an MRes in Development Practice from the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK. His current PhD focus is a scholar-activist research project ‘Love and Alter-Globalisation: Towards a New Development Ethic’ which explores a political concept of love as an ethical resource for the alter-globalisation movement and international development, in pursuit of principled and non-violent revolutionary social change. His work places a particular emphasis on love as a key concept in political theory/philosophy and its potential application in the revolutionary transformation (alter-globalisation) of contemporary global capitalism, and in developing a new theory of social order.
You can follow his PhD research at www.love-and-alterglobalisation.net
Video of a panel discussion at the University of Hull’s Digital Dystopias project in which Michael Gratzke speaks about loving AI and the possibility of not being loved back.
Martin Purcell is a Senior Lecturer / Course Leader (Youth & Community Work) in the School of Education at the University of Huddersfield, and a member of HudCRES (the Centre for Research in Education & Society).
Martin worked for over twenty years in community development and youth work, employed in both the voluntary and statutory sectors to support various initiatives in diverse communities in Wales, Scotland and England. For the past twelve years, Martin has worked in higher education, initially as a contract researcher (conducting evaluations of government-funded programmes, including the New Deal for Communities, the Children’s Fund and the Youth Contract), and more recently as a lecturer in Youth & Community Work studies. His involvement in community work continues: as a Trustee of a local charity promoting the mental and emotional wellbeing of children and young people; and volunteering with a number of local groups, including the Scouts and an organisation welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into the community.
Martin’s research into the translation of professional (community development) values into practice raised more questions than in answered, particularly in relation to ‘how’ practitioners enact some of the more ethereal aspirations of the profession. The work of Paulo Freire underpins much of the teaching of community work practice (including youth work), and Martin is keen to explore with practitioners working in a range of contexts how they view Freire’s assertion that ‘education’ in all its forms is an ‘act of love’. He is currently engaged in conversations with people supporting children and young people – in schools, youth work settings and offering mental health services – exploring their perception of the importance of ‘love’ as an element of their professional relationships with the young people with whom they work. This work draws on Jools Page’s concept of ‘professional love’ in the early years, exploring the extent to which it can be applied in work with older children and young people.