Sadler seminar series

Sadler Seminar Series 2019-20

Lecture in Rupert Beckett Theatre

Sir Michael Sadler was Vice Chancellor at Leeds from 1911 to 1923, when he introduced a series of public events and debates on a wide variety of topics, many arts-related, in a desire to increase contact not only between researchers from different disciplines, but between the University and the wider community. 

It was in this spirit that our Sadler Seminar series began in 2015. The aim of the series is to support colleagues wishing to pursue research questions that, to be answered well, require collaboration across disciplinary lines. 

The Sadler Seminars run for a year with activities each semester including talks, performances, debates, outreach activities, and grant-writing workshops.

In the scheme's fifth year, we are delighted to support the following projects:


Understanding the role of locality on suicide risk

Series Conveners: Cathy Brennan (Medicine), Simon Popple (Media), Sarah Waters (LCS)

Suicide is in the top 10 causes of life years lost. We know that there are geographical and temporal variations in suicide rates that cannot readily be explained by individual risk factors alone and that major disruptive social factors, such as an economic downturn, do not have a uniform effect on suicide rates across localities. This series will seek to explore the interaction between an individual and their physical, cultural and social environment to understand how this may confer risk of suicide, or resilience to it. In particular, we aim to think creatively across disciplines to harness the expertise and knowledge of researching culture and context and explore how to incorporate this meaningfully into current formulations of suicidology.


Animist Engagements: Creativity, Ecology and Indigeneity

Series Conveners: Sam Durrant (English), Kimberly Campanello, Brendon Nicholls (English), Jason Allen-Paisant (LCS), Nicolas Salazar Sutil, (PCI), Will Rea (FAHACS)

This seminar series asks how we might engage with animism without turning it into the neo-colonial object of Western academic enquiry? How might we collaborate with the diverse spiritual practices of animists in order to participate creatively in our more than human world? Seminars will explore animism’s vexed relation to the disciplines of academia; collaborations with indigenous artists and spiritual leaders; the legacy of cave paintings and therianthropy; animism and poetry; African animisms; puppetry; animism and modernity; animist ecologies.


Words Without Action Poison the Soul

Series Conveners: Camilo Tamayo Gomez (Law), Eva Frapiccini (FAHACS) Gigliola Sulis (LCS),  Roberto Musotto (Law)

This seminar series will explore the relationship between Italian and Colombian Mafia from a cultural studies perspective. It aims to enhance awareness about the violence perpetuated by criminal organisations into the nineties in both societies. Through an exploration of the construction of collective memory and the reaction of new generations, the series will explore the role of literature and media in encouraging awareness and/or glamorising organised criminality. In addition to a series of seminars, this series will include an exhibition by Univeristy of Leeds researcher, Eva Frapiccini.


Translanguaging Performance Pedagogy for Adult Migrant Language Education

Series Conveners: Lou Harvey (Education), Alice O’Grady (PCI), James Simpson (School of Education)

This project aims to develop, pilot and research an innovative performance-based pedagogy for adult migrant language learners which will extend and enhance understanding of the relationship between their communicative practices and their lived experience. In partnership with theatre company A Quiet Word and St Vincent's Support Centre, Leeds, we will analyse how moving away from a sole focus on (English) language as the means of communication may a) enable alternative articulations of voice for AMLLs, and b) shed light on the relationship between how learners communicate and what they communicate.


Migration and the City: Imagining 

Series Conveners: Helen Kim (SMC), Giorgia Aiello (SMC), Gabriella Alberti (Business)

The seminar series focuses on the ways that migrants ‘imagine’ and ‘make’ the city. The series, divided into two parts, highlight the relationship between narrative, communication and imagination, on the one hand, and materiality, infrastructure, and practices on the other.


Vital Circulations: Bodily Fluids in Bioeconomy

Series Conveners: Jieun Kim (LCS), Rory J. O’Connor (Medicine), Marie-Andree Jacob (Law) & Jamie Stark (PRHS)

Vital Circulations, seeks to grasp how the multiplying circulations of vital matter, or bioeconomy, deeply impinges upon social relations and institutions formed around the human body. Combining workshops and invited talks, this seminar series will deepen our comparative understanding by placing the local history of transfusion, dialysis and biobanking at Leeds within the global bioeconomy spanning across Europe, Asia and beyond.


From The Cell to Sustainable Cities

Series Conveners: Jane Scott (Design), Richard Bayliss (FBS), Emilio Garcia-Taengua (Engineering)

This Sadler Seminar Series will identify new opportunities for the design of sustainable architecture using materials and methods inspired by nature. The collaboration will investigate how the alignment of structure and function observed within biological systems, can transform the specification of textile materials used in the built environment.