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Social and Educational Foraging and Gleaning: Only free open access events and activities get listed on the website…

 

Click on the event to get more information.  If you have an event or activity in Edinburgh which you want to put on the calendar email in the details.

 

Please check external event websites to confirm details and get tickets

 

Jun
27
Wed
Ragged University: Psychology and Behavioural Modelling Meetup; Self Activation and Flow by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire
Jun 27 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged University: Psychology and Behavioural Modelling Meetup; Self Activation and Flow by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire  | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to Cabaret Voltaire (36-38 Blair St, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR), doors open at 6.30pm and the talk starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to socialise and get involved in a discussion on psychology and behaviour modelling…

Self activation and flow – Stage 1 in Setting Purposeful Life direction by Leon Paterson

In the first of a series of 4 events we will explore the first stage in self activation and setting purposeful life direction. You will begin to develop skills in becoming more sensitive to your sense of things going ok/not ok (self supervising). You will learn how to better manage your activated flow through life. And how to best respond to upset by taking the time to pay careful attention to your feelings.

 

What you will learn –

Understanding how flow and self managing work

Becoming more sensitive and noticing feelings

Becoming better at managing your feelings

Feelings as an alarm – the usefulness of uncomfortable feelings

Managing the discomfort – responding appropriately

Things going ok/not ok – how we supervise and track ourselves through life

Feelings about feelings – introduction into second level emotional responses

 

 

 

Jul
8
Sun
Ragged University: Film Screening of ‘European voices in Edinburgh’ Followed by Panel Discussion @ St John’s Church Community Hall
Jul 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged University: Film Screening of ‘European voices in Edinburgh’ Followed by Panel Discussion @ St John’s Church Community Hall | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the film starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a film screening and a chance to meet European voices in Edinburgh…

 

‘European voices in Edinburgh’ Followed by Panel Discussion by Lin Li

This will be a preview of a short film (about 40 minutes long) which I have just completed about four European nationals who are living in Edinburgh.

Before the screening I will present an overview of migration to Edinburgh from other EU countries based mainly on population statistics.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A and a discussion of some of the issues raised in the film.

 

 

Jul
10
Tue
Ragged University: Discussion @ Scotts Monument, East Princes Street Gardens
Jul 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ragged University: Discussion @ Scotts Monument, East Princes Street Gardens | Scotland | United Kingdom

The first venue where it was scheduled to take place was the Lighthouse Bookshop and they were approached and asked not to host the talk. The Mairi Oliver, one of the owners got in touch and said that they were not interested in hosting the discussion. As the coordinator, and having had a large number of conversations surrounding this it took a while investigating the subject matter, I sought another space to hold the event.

After booking St John’s church community hall, the person who objected to the event at the bookshop then contacted the church hall explaining their dislike for what was happening. The Associate Rector Stephen Holmes got in touch and declined the event from taking place on the grounds that he felt it might encourage people not to vaccinate.

All these things took place in the absence of any discussion, any prior communication and without any right to reply with either the speaker of the event (Mike McInnes) or the person who arranged the event (Alex Dunedin). This is unfortunate as it would have been much better to find out the objections and work through a co-enquiry about the issues (which will hopefully yet emerge).

At least two things are going on here. One which is of great interest medically and scientifically, and another which is of great interest sociologically, which warrant being examined here. Surrounding these we have larger issues of magnitude pertaining to what education and learning necessarily involve, as well as the issues of ethics which I believe should be both our means and ends…

Best wishes,

Alex Dunedin

Autism: The Plot Against Consciousness/Cognition/Language by Mike McInnes

For the first time in our evolutionary history children in colossal numbers are non-linguistic – around 35 million today and rising. Autism is a preventable condition caused by two principles – sugars in foetus and later, if that is not sufficient, by aluminium in vaccines

Autism exits only because the health establishment opted for the view (in 1973) that fats are toxic and sugars benign. The result was an explosion of diabetes/obesity/dementia – all of which are driven by the same mechanism – sugar suppression of glutamine synthetase – the enzyme that drives glucose into the brain – the hungry brain upgrades the appetite hormones and the cycle repeats…..endlessly……the more we eat the hungrier we become…

The role of the health establishment in this tragedy has been hidden for more than half a century. As diabetes/obesity/dementia exploded across the western world – a new condition appeared as if from nowhere – previously unknown in history – autism – it tracked these other conditions – but seemed initially not to be directly related.

 

 

 

 

Jul
18
Wed
Ragged Uni: An Evening In Dialogue with Prof Antonia Darder on Critical Pedagogy @ St John’s Church Community Hall
Jul 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged Uni: An Evening In Dialogue with Prof Antonia Darder on Critical Pedagogy @ St John’s Church Community Hall  | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the event starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, and chance to listen to and discuss critical education with Antonia …

All are warmly invited to an evening in dialogue with Antonia Darder and other fellow critical educators exploring the relevance of Pedagogy of the Oppressed today and how we can draw greater value from this important text. This event is free and will offer a space to engage our hearts and minds around the opportunities and challenges for critical pedagogy today as well as hearing about Antonia Darder’s new Student Guide to Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Visiting from America, this is a unique and valuable opportunity to connect with Antonia’s thinking…

 

This event brings together various learning communities in Edinburgh including Critical and Alternative Methods & Ideas Network for Action (CAMINA) and Adult Learning Project (ALP) and Ragged University for an evening with Antonia Darder to explore key questions in critical education and what they mean in our lives.

CAMINA is a learning community which is made up of people who value the experience of critical education to transform lives in a variety of contexts.  It brings together individuals interested the challenges associated in practicing critical education in meaningful and sustainable ways. Through creating links they grow a community through creating connections locally, nationally and globally.

caminaproject.weebly.com

ALP is a learning community which has been active in Edinburgh for over 30 years.  Inspired by the methods and teachings of Paulo Freire, the well known activist and educationalist from South America, the community sees learning as an integral part of daily living.  Providing a home for various groups and activities, the community explores and investigates the issues important to people in a co-operative way through sharing, teaching and dialogue.

alpedinburgh.btck.co.uk

Ragged University is a project based around getting people who love what they do to share their knowledge and skills in social spaces; from that we build.  The central idea is “Everybody is a Ragged University; a unique and distinct body of knowledge accredited with their life experience and with a membership of one”.  Through sharing in social spaces a learning community is developed and ways are explored of supporting people achieving what they want to achieve. Inspired by the Ragged Schools created by communities for communities prior to universal formal education, it seeks to carry forward this tradition of sharing.

www.raggeduniversity.co.uk

Three key questions will be examined in the evening:

What do we mean by critical pedagogy?

How is practicing critical pedagogy different in the current context compared to when Freire was writing?

What elements of Freire’s theory are still relavent and what elements might we question?

 

Jul
22
Sun
Ragged University: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Rocke @ St John’s Church Hall
Jul 22 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Ragged University: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Rocke @ St John’s Church Hall | Scotland | United Kingdom

The Art of Argumentation – Philosophy, Reason and the Universe

If you are like me and can’t stop asking ‘why?’ then this series is for you. In our bi-monthly meetings, we will discuss all the questions that we can come up with, from the strangest to the smallest – from the question whether there is a world, or whether God exists to the question whether we exist. We will ask and discuss the nature of knowledge, what it means to lead a good life and the nature of beauty. We can also discuss certain philosophers, specific philosophies or strange philosophical concepts you have come across.

The primary focus of these meetings is for us to explore all of these issues together, to get your critical argumentation skills working in overtime. There is an art of argumentation that has been lost in our modern technological world where visuals, memes, emotional manipulation and personal experience have taken the place of reasonable discussion. Mostly we argue to win, but I think we should argue to learn more without being afraid to ‘loose’. And, is it really loosing if I discovered something?

To develop some intellectual antibodies to manipulation through arguments we will engage with deceptive forms of argumentation, fallacies, rhetorical tricks and other ways people use to win an argument. We will start this using Schopenhauer’s ‘The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument’,

How does it work?

After we have explored one argumentative trick with the help of Schopenhauer, I will give a 15-20 minute introduction to the philosophical topic of the meeting, which we will then explore together.

At the end of every meeting, we will decide on the theme for the next one.

Meeting on 22nd of July: The mind and the world

 

 

 

Sep
11
Tue
Ragged University: ‘Spinoza’s Spectacles’ plus ‘Germans in England 1860-1915’ @ The Castle Hotel
Sep 11 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'Spinoza's Spectacles' plus 'Germans in England 1860-1915' @  The Castle Hotel

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for some food, some socialising and an opportunity to learn in a relaxed atmosphere.  All are welcome along to this informal event – put your feet up and enjoy the journey…

 

Spinoza’s Spectacles: Philosophy, Science and the Dutch Masters by Josef Darlington

The Dutch Masters are an intriguing group in art history. Compared to other great artistic movements their work is rather quiet and insular. Not for them the wild experiments of the modernists or the celestial majesty of the renaissance. Instead, artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer focused on domestic interiors, reserved portraits and the exquisite play of light and shadow known as chiaroscuro.

Yet the Dutch Masters were working at a time of great change. The Dutch Republic carved a unique path between Catholic absolutism and Protestant iconoclasm, stumbling upon the invention of modern liberal capitalism along the way.

Dutch toleration and trade produced huge advancements in technology and learning; the understanding of architecture, accounting, music, mechanics and, importantly, optics were revolutionised. A new philosophy emerged to explain these breakthroughs, most eloquently summarised in the works of the artisan lens grinder Baruch de Spinoza.

A living example of the power of Dutch toleration, Spinoza’s works were banned by the Catholic church, denounced by Protestant preachers and he was cast out from the Jewish community for suggesting that God and Nature were one and the same.

Offered a prestigious position at the University of Amsterdam, Spinoza preferred to keep on making his spectacles and keep his philosophising as a hobby. This was in keeping with his Ethics, in which he argues that every individual is responsible for their own soul which no established church or institution could guarantee for them.

In this lecture I aim to demonstrate how the intimate domestic scenes common to the Dutch Masters reflect a view of the world in line with Spinoza’s materialism. The importance of light and shadow, the denial of myth and magic, and the preponderance of group portraiture all reflect the unique landscape of Dutch thought and being in the seventeenth century Golden Age.

 

 

And for the second talk of the evening…

Thinkers or Junkers? Germans in England 1860-1915 by Anne Hill Fernie

2017 has seen the sharp decline in UK German studies at all levels. A 13.2 drop at GCSE level, similar at ‘A’ level and undergraduates reading German has almost halved since 1997. It would appear ironic that in an age where Europe has never been closer geographically, our real sense of closeness to it culturally & emotionally widens.

As a result of this and continued media stereotyping of the ‘bad’ or ‘threatening’ German, many British are unaware of the completely different reputation that ‘our cultural cousins’ had before the onset of WW1 as a nation of ‘poets and thinkers’. Germans of all professions flocked to Britain from the 1860s onwards, becoming one of the largest immigrant groups and contributing immeasurably to British culture and communities of the time.

My talk will identify German nationals’ contribution to Manchester in particular but crucially, will try and pinpoint at what point the image started to curdle, from that of ‘poets and thinkers’ (Dichter und Denker) to that of ‘Judges and executioners’ (Richter und Henker) – a Eurotrope of aggression and domination that the country has never quite managed to shake off. The question posed is how to re-engage Britain with German culture – a culture so bound up with ours if only we knew…….

 

All Ragged University events are free and informal.  Everyone is welcome to bring along an item of food to put on the table to share and take away what is left at the end.

 

Sep
24
Mon
Ragged University: The Green Man, The Work of Lucy Skaer by James Clegg @ Talbot Rice Gallery
Sep 24 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Ragged University: The Green Man, The Work of Lucy Skaer by James Clegg @ Talbot Rice Gallery

Come along to the Talbot Rice Gallery (The University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL) at 11am to 1pm for a talk by James on Lucy Skaer’s art and a leisurely lunch kindly provided by the Talbot Rice Gallery. The event is open to all and a chance to hear thoughts in relation to the art which he helps curate…

The Green Man, the work of Lucy Skaer by James Clegg

Lucy Skaer’s exhibition The Green Man is an exploration of irrationality in collections. In the traditional museum, time is linear and free from ageing, order is presented and the body is absent. Skaer asks what happens if desire, change, empathy and fallibility were instead to become the organising principles. Throughout her practice, Skaer mines and manipulates pre-existing imagery – from art and history, as well as from her own oeuvre and personal history – transforming and destabilising relationships between materials and meanings. For this exhibition, Skaer has selected items from the collections of the University of Edinburgh, inviting fellow artists to inhabit the galleries of Talbot Rice alongside her – Fiona Connor, H.D., Will Holder, Nashashibi/Skaer and Hanneline Visnes.

To Skaer, the Green Man is a deeply irrational figure, spewing leaves and vines in place of language. Present in both pagan and Christian imagery, the Green Man made a resurgence after the plague, when wilderness and weeds took over much of the arable land. Skaer has selected items from the collection, bringing them into dialogue with her own constantly shifting works. Where before there was stability, she has opened windows into the Gallery, allowing light in that may cause them to sprout, grow and form a thicket of ideas. In calling the exhibition The Green Man, Lucy Skaer likens the spontaneous generation and evolution of form in artworks such as Sticks and Stones (2015–18) to the symbol of destruction and renewal found in carved stone faces made of leaves and vines.

Amongst this scene are: Hanneline Visnes’ paintings which comment on the representation and control of nature using stylised motifs of animals and plants; Will Holder’s interpretive re-publishing of H.D.’s Palimpsest; Nashashibi/Skaer’s film that revisits the tableaus of Gauguin; and Fiona Connor’s exposure of the Gallery’s secret places. All contribute to the exhibition’s exploration of collections, forms, print and language. The Green Man includes a number of new works commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery for the exhibition, carving playful new ways for the collections of the University to speak to our visitors, and representing Skaer’s most in-depth exhibition in the UK to date.

A few paragraphs the speaker:

James is an Assistant Curator for Talbot Rice Gallery. Passionate about contemporary art he has curated and helped to curate lots of exhibitions for the Gallery since 2010. He is specifically interested in artists that work across disciplinary boundaries and he works hard to create meeting points for different types of practitioner and different types of audience. This includes public events that see academics, performers and poets coming together to create new dialogues around specific ideas. It also includes talks and tours with a range of different groups, including ones connected to the Scottish Refugee Council, Crisis Scotland and various colleges and adult education groups.

Sep
27
Thu
Resilience to Succeed; A highly Interactive Approach to Restoring, Recovering and Overcoming by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire
Sep 27 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Resilience to Succeed; A highly Interactive Approach to Restoring, Recovering and Overcoming by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire

Come along to Cabaret Voltaire (36-38 Blair St, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR), doors open at 6.30pm and the talk starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to socialise and get involved in a discussion on psychology and behaviour modelling…

 

 

Resilience to succeed – A highly interactive approach to restoring, recovering and overcoming by Leon Paterson

How do people deal with difficult events that change their lives? The loss of a job, illness, relationship breakup and other traumatic events: these are all examples of very challenging life experiences. Many people react to such circumstances with a flood of strong emotions and sense of uncertainty.

Yet people generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful conditions. What enables them to do so? It involves resilience, an ongoing process that requires action and not reaction. It involves responding to life’s challenges and actively resisting against adversity.

Research has shown that people commonly demonstrate resilience in everyday situations. However more often than not it’s not something they’ve consciously learned. But has been a natural process they’ve picked up though their development.

The good news is resilience is a skill that can be improved and developed. And in this highly interactive practical introduction. You will quickly begin learning new skills in how to recover from any situation.

 

 

 

Sep
29
Sat
Ragged University: Field Visit to St. Columba’s Hospice on Edinburgh Doors Open Day by Danuta Orlowska @ St Columba’s Hospice
Sep 29 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Ragged University: Field Visit to St. Columba’s Hospice on Edinburgh Doors Open Day by Danuta Orlowska @ St Columba’s Hospice

Come along to St Columba’s Hospice (15 Boswall Road, EH5 3RW) for 11 am to visit the open day where we will find out about the hospice, discuss and think about the questions Danuta has for us…

St Columbas Hospice

Open between 11.00 and 16.00 on Saturday 29 September 2018, this is an opportunity to come and meet staff and volunteers at St. Columba’s Hospice and find out more about the work we do. Ragged University previously hosted a talk by Danuta Orlowska, one of the Lecturers in Palliative Care from the Hospice, who now extends an invitation to visit on Doors Open Day…

Taking part in Edinburgh Doors Open Day is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a city-wide event in which we welcome members of the public into St. Columba’s Hospice to find out about what we do. The atmosphere will be very informal with refreshments available and a variety of musical interludes during the day.

Staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and tell you about their roles and you can also meet some of our Therapets! Come along at a time to suit you between 11.00 and 16.00. You will be able to visit the historic Challenger Lodge (our administration building) as well as Day Therapies and other outpatient areas all in our beautiful setting overlooking the Firth of Forth. [Inpatient areas will not be accessible.] We will be gathering feedback and we are interested in what people think having visited. Do come along!

A few questions for you to think about:

  • What do you think a hospice offers patients and their families? (please think about this before your visit)
  • What did you learn about the work of St Columba’s Hospice?
  • Anything which surprised you? If so, what.
  • To what extent are we able to talk about death and grief in contemporary Scottish society?

There will be free refreshments (tea/coffee/water/juice and cakes) in the Murray Room and a few places indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) where you are welcome to sit and chat. You could also buy some lunch (sandwich/toastie/soup) from our Iona café. Afterwards why not visit other buildings on the Edinburgh Doors Open Day list or take a walk along the sea wall.

 

 

Oct
9
Tue
Ragged University: Film Screening of Unrest; Award Winning Documentary on M.E. followed by Q&A with Knowledgeable Patient by Elizabeth Moncrieff @ St John’s Church Community Hall
Oct 9 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged University: Film Screening of Unrest; Award Winning Documentary on M.E. followed by Q&A with Knowledgeable Patient by Elizabeth Moncrieff @ St John’s Church Community Hall

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the film starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a film screening and discussion on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis…

Unrest: screening of the award winning documentary on M.E. (CFS or CFIDS) followed by Q&A with myself a knowledgeable patient by Elizabeth Moncrieff

The film shows the hidden lives of people with severe M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and was filmed by Jennifer Brea who was a Harvard PhD student when she became ill. Jennifer was full of life and about to marry when she contracted this devastating illness. This is a beautifully shot film which is informative, whilst being heart-warming, sad and even funny at times. Fundamentally it is a documentary but it is also a love story as her new husband also has to cope with a very different life from his expectations. It raises many issues.

 

 

I developed mild ME, in 1966 after a bout of flu during which I was hallucinating but once I had recovered and back at school various symptoms were dismissed as growing pains, laziness, mild infections, whilst other symptoms I put down to being unfit and/or just odd in the way that pins and needles and stiches are odd, and so never mentioned them.

Over the years it gradually got worse until, by 1984, I was too exhausted to continue my lecturing career at Napier. Surprisingly I was just puzzled by my word finding difficulties and concerned about being a poor lecturer rather than seeing it as a symptom of an illness.

I have read extensively on the subject with a particular interest in the research which gave me hope, and fortunately for me, the basis of some helpful medication. Unfortunately as they were small studies I don’t know of any other patients who get these treatments on the NHS. Research has not been financed by Governments so there are no large studies into biomedical causes and so no big breakthroughs, but over 9,000 small studies all producing biomedical/physiological evidence of the disease.

 

 

Oct
13
Sat
Ragged University: Prison and Dehumanisation; Film Screening and Talks on Crime, Prison and Us @ St John’s Church Community Hall
Oct 13 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Ragged University: Prison and Dehumanisation; Film Screening and Talks on Crime, Prison and Us @ St John’s Church Community Hall

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 2pm and the event starts from 2.30pm. Come along for a bite of food, a film screening and discussion on prison and dehumanisation…

 

Prison and Dehumanisation – film screening and talks on crime, prison and us

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • Film screening
  • Discussion on rehabilitation and the prison system
  • Discussion on reform and rehabilitation

A few paragraphs on your subject:

Prison and Dehumanisation – film screening and talks on crime, prison and us. Screening of award-winning prison documentary and talks by the director of Injustice, Tabitha Wilkins from Prison Rehabilitation Coordinator and Alex Dunedin from Ragged University. After a whirlwind roadshow of screenings across the UK the controversial documentary film Injustice will be screened at St John’s Church Hall on 13th October 2018.

At the moment there are 80,000 prisoners in England and Wales and more than 7,000 in Scotland, but who are these people and what happens to them?

Around half of prisoners have mental health issues, half have addition problems, nearly two thirds were unemployed, and nearly half were excluded from school as children. Each year in English and Welsh prisons are 40,000 assaults each year, with nearly a death a day in prison and a suicide on average every three days.

Prisons are not holiday camps!

Nor do prisons reduce crime – around half of people released from prison reoffend within the first year. People released from prison are given £46 to survive and face enormous difficulties in finding accommodation and employment on release, with homelessness and unemployment often compounding the problems that led them to prison in the first place.

There are around 10 million people with convictions in the UK at the moment, leading us to ask – if the prison system doesn’t reduce crime or rehabilitate people, what’s the point of it?

Ultimately we are locked into a prison system that the public and media promote as a system of punishment and vengeance against those who have made mistakes. Finding a way out of this mess is key to creating a safer society for all of its members. Yet successive governments seem beholden to the press narrative about crime and punishment, which in the past 300 years has never succeeded in achieving its stated aims.

Governmental inaction means that crime rates continue to be high, people who’ve committed crimes are as likely as ever to be excluded from society and driven into further criminal activity and in the mean time the public is being failed. We must address the question of crime and punishment as a society.

Outside England and Wales there have been successful initiatives address this perennial problem, whether by creating better societies in the first place, or creating a system that prioritises reform over harm. This even will provide and open space to listen and speak on the issues that affect us all.

The award-winning film Injustice investigates the prison and criminal justice system, interviewing ex- prisoners, campaigners and academics to shine a light on this dark zone of our society, asking who the prisoners are, how the criminal justice system treats them, what happens in prison and what life is like on release. The Prison Rehab Company and Dr Wood join the panel discussion to report on their work with prisoners and give insight to the reality of the prison system.

About the panel:

Lee Salter is the director of Injustice

Lee Salter is a film maker, writer and researcher. After his 15-year academic career came crashing to a half with his 2016 conviction, he immersed himself in the worlds of the fellow convicts he found himself among. Taking notes of each story he encountered he began writing about the lifeworld of people with convictions, and began making contacts with a range of ex prisoners. Having made 3 feature documentaries in the style of Third Cinema he interviewed the “ex-prisoner” Gethin Jones while making a film to help launch his consultancy Unlocking Potential, and followed the leads he generated, which eventually led to the production of the documentary Injustice.

 

Tabitha Wilkins is the founder of the Prison Rehab Company

My name is Tabitha and I am the “Prison Rehabilitation Coordinator”. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades, and have had many job roles over the years! I have taught young offenders, facilitated addiction groups, managed community order offenders and worked in bail hostels with prison leavers. I have been involved with the homeless community for the last 8 years, and am also a qualified social worker – currently practicing in a child protection team. I have personally experienced a variety of challenging circumstances throughout my life, and feel that these struggles have allowed me to become a resilient, empathetic practitioner who can work with people from any walk of life without judgement.

Oct
21
Sun
Ragged University: The Art of Argumentation: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Röck @ St John’s Church Hall
Oct 21 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Ragged University: The Art of Argumentation: Philosophy, Reason and the Universe; The Mind and the World by Tina Röck @ St John’s Church Hall

Come along to the St John’s Church Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ) at 2.30pm and take part in discussion about philosophy. It is a friendly and informal gathering to discuss topics with food in good company. It is entirely free and open to everyone

Meeting on 21st of October:

In the first part of this meeting, we will develop those critical thinking skills and chat about Schopenhauer’s The art always being right. (see link provided) We will discuss the rhetorical third to fifth trick Schopenhauer presents (generalisation, concealment and false premises), and talk about whether we have had them used on us and what to do when someone uses one of these tricks in a discussion.

The general context of our question: The mind and the world, part II

This is second meeting about this philosophical topic. But it will be a stand-alone, so feel free to come along, even if you missed the last talk.

  • Think about it. How do you know that anything you think you experience is actually real?
  • How do we know that we don’t live in a computer simulation (think Matrix) or in a really elaborate dream from which we just do not wake?
  • How do you know you are not dreaming right now?
  • And if something just exists in your mind, or in your dream, does that mean it is less real – even though it appears absolutely real to you?

All of these questions circle the relation between mind and world, and there are many ways philosophers have attempted to investigate this relation.

  • They did, for example, ask, what is consciousness and how does it relate to the world?
  • Or, how do the mind and the body interact?
  • Is everything structured and distorted by our minds?
  • What is the difference between the mind and the physical brain?
  • If our mind depends on the physical interactions in the brain, are our thoughts then determined by causal interaction?

On the 21st of October, we specifically be looking at one set of answers given to these questions, namely the ones provided by the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger

Oct
26
Fri
Visit, Listen, Think, Discuss, Write; The Inner Level – Author talk with Profs Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett @ Grassmarket Community Project
Oct 26 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Visit, Listen, Think, Discuss, Write; The Inner Level – Author talk with Profs Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett @ Grassmarket Community Project

Come along to the Grassmarket Community Project (86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, EH1 2QA) at 5pm sharp for a visit to an external event and have a discussion. The event finishes at 7pm but a short discussion can carry on in a nearby establishment where in particular one of the aims will be to write about what we have learned; the writing is optional. You MUST register for a ticket on EVENTBRITE to attend this event as availability is limited…

Title of talk:

The Inner Level – Author talk with Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett

The event is free however registration is required, here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-inner-level-with-richard-wilkinson-kate-pickett-tickets-51016486685

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett will introduce the evidence and discuss the implications for us all from their most recent book, The Inner level and reflect back on its pre-cursor, The Spirit Level.

There will be a chaired Q&A to discuss how the analysis in the book should inform policies, strategies and their implementation to address inequality, including health outcomes and particularly mental health.

 

 

A few paragraphs on your subject:

The Inner level, published in June this year, sets out the evidence for the health implications, including on mental health, of inequality in society. Not just for those at the poorest, most heavily impacted end of the spectrum but at all levels.

The Spirit level, published in 2009 compared countries worldwide against a range of measure -health, education attainment, longevity, crime amongst others to demonstrate that the higher the range of inequality the worse the outcomes.

Wilkinson & Pickett set up The Equality Trust to continue to engage with interested parties of all types, policy makers, think tanks and those delivering services in the public and charity sectors and continue to promote this message with talks such as this.

A few paragraphs about you:

My Fair Edinburgh is a new, growing group of folks who care about reducing social equality in Edinburgh and is affiliated to The Equality Trust which works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic and social inequality.

Both books are published by Penguin Random House and will be sold at the event by the Lighthouse Radical Bookshop

The NRS Mental Health Network & NHS Lothian are sponsoring the event which is being held at The Grassmarket Community Project, a social enterprise venue in the heart of Edinburgh

Nov
14
Wed
Ragged University: ‘What is Feminism’ plus ‘Teachers in Bangladesh’ @ The Castle Hotel
Nov 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'What is Feminism' plus 'Teachers in Bangladesh' @ The Castle Hotel

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for some food, some socialising and a two talks in an informal setting…

 

What is Feminism ? by Brigitte Lechner

What is feminism? Ask ten people this question and you might get ten different answers. It’s not that I claim to have the one right answer but rather that I do have one I have settled on and I am pleased to share it with Ragged members. My generation of women has seen enormous changes in our lives. I hardly recognise myself as the young woman who always sat quietly in one corner or another. To me, that is proof of feminism as an agent of personal growth and empowerment; one more reason to share what I know about it.

Feminism to me is a political sisterhood because it aims to challenge the dominant social force generally known as patriarchy. Some people get very precise and define it as capitalist patriarchy or imperialist capitalist patriarchy, even imperialist patriarchal capitalism. I suppose one’s view is always determined by where one stands.

My talk therefore aims to clarify what a plain and simple patriarchal society is, how it is structured and how feminists have over time risen to the challenge of the ways in which patriarchy disempowers and even harms women as a sex class; a thing feminists call patriarchal oppression. Moreover, whilst women are doing different things differently today than they did fifty years ago they are still doing it for themselves and often for men as well. Mine will be a whistle-stop tour through an immensely rich and complex cultural landscape but I hope there will be enough time left to take questions.

 

 

During the break we have a bite to eat and a chance to socialise.  Everyone is welcome to bring an item of food to put on the table to share and take away what is left at the end so nothing goes to waste

 

Teachers in Bangladesh; Ways of Seeing and Expressing Reality by Taslima Ivy

In this presentation I hope to share my story of researching ICT integration in education with rural female teachers from an island in Bangladesh. I will particularly focus on how I attempted to tap into teachers’ own ways of seeing, feeling and expressing life.

Firstly, I will talk about how I used multimodal artefact production- a method through which teachers have shared significant day to day experiences with me,- through a mode and genre of their choice-sometimes they chose images, sometimes video clips, audio clips while sometimes poems and journal entries.

Then I will talk about the distinct Bengali genre of ‘golpo/ adda’ (informal chatting) which I used in my research as an attempt to enable my participants’ experiences to emerge through their own discursive style. I will conclude by sharing how these two processes made me aware of my own ‘gaze’ and maybe helped me understand my participants from the position of a female-the position of a teacher- rather than the power position of a researcher.

 

 

 

Nov
27
Tue
Ragged University: ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics’
Nov 27 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'The Art of Not-Knowing' - plus - 'Medical Imaging Physics'

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm. Come along for two talks, a chance to socialise and a bite to eat.  The two talks are ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ by James Clegg – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin’ by Tommy McMullan.  All are welcome….

The Art of Not-Knowing by James Clegg

I would like to talk about how it is okay not to know what you feel about an artwork or even contemporary art in general. That it isn’t your problem or failure if you don’t ‘get it’. BUT, how feeling uncertain can be the start of a really interesting set of questions and the beginning of you genuinely finding your creative self. ‘Getting it’ might turn out not to be such a good thing after all!

In order to make a convincing case I will need to draw from a broad set of reference points. So, more formally, I would like to talk about: How contemporary art practice is driven by a process of discovery, a not-knowing relationship to materiality that delights in the unexpected coming-together of disparate ideas.

Some of the roots of contemporary art practice, particularly those that emphasise experience, a transient not-knowing that is distinct from structural thinking. A not-knowing set of concepts drawn from thinkers like Giles Deleuze, Karen Barad, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Donna Haraway and Jacques Rancière. AND, how you might defend not-knowing (as a life-affirming position that enables a much richer understanding of the world) against a context in which it is often being politically, economically and culturally undermined.

All events are free and open to everyone but people who do come along are warmly invited to bring an item of food along to put on the table and take it away at the end.

Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin by Tommy McMullan

With advances in technology, doctors no longer need to perform surgery to see inside the human body. Today we have imaging technology which provides a safe, non-invasive way of seeing complex anatomy and physiological function. The imaging technologies can be split into two groups, which are characterised by the type of radiation used – ionising or non-ionising.

The modalities that use ionising radiation are X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and Nuclear Medicine. And the modalities that use non-ionising radiation are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Each modality is suited to different clinical situations, and knowledge of each is crucial to ensure proper diagnosis and patient care.

During my talk I will introduce the listener to the basic principles behind each of the imaging techniques mentioned. The talk will be presented with minimal technical jargon and will be illustrated throughout using images to tell the story.

 

 

Nov
29
Thu
29th Nov 2018: Mind Management Workshop; Learn and Explore the Realistic Benefits of Mindfulness, Meditation and Self Hypnosis for Managing Your Mind by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire
Nov 29 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
29th Nov 2018: Mind Management Workshop; Learn and Explore the Realistic Benefits of Mindfulness, Meditation and Self Hypnosis for Managing Your Mind by Leon Paterson @ Cabaret Voltaire

Come along to Cabaret Voltaire (36-38 Blair St, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR), doors open at 6.30pm and the talk starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to socialise and get involved in a discussion on psychology and behaviour modelling…

Mind management workshop – Learn and explore the realistic benefits of mindfulness, meditation and self hypnosis for managing your mind.by Leon Paterson

According to research we are exposed to over 5000 adverts a day – social media, billboards, 24 hour news all compete for our attention. Many people’s thoughts are passively following where their attention leads. This is because they have learned to respond almost automatically to the world.

Yet most people are able to concentrate their attention effortlessly in situations that demand it. What enables this to be achieved is party down to the context. A working environment for example will activate you into becoming focused on what’s important… your work! What is more challenging is managing your attention independently.

We have incredible purposeful minds that alert us to things that seem important. They just might not be important at that particular moment. Going over and over an argument you had, or repeatedly replaying something you regret doing. Are examples of unwanted thoughts that can seem automatic.

Research demonstrates people who are better able to manage their thoughts and attention have a better quality of life, are more in control of their emotions, and have a range of ways to view the same situation. The good news is these are skills that everybody can learn and develop. And in this highly practical introduction you will learn how to apply mind management skills for your own personal development.

 

 

 

Dec
6
Thu
Ragged University: Tremble Tremble and At the Gates; Tour and Discussion by James Clegg @ Talbot Rice Gallery
Dec 6 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Ragged University: Tremble Tremble and At the Gates; Tour and Discussion by James Clegg @ Talbot Rice Gallery

Come along to the Talbot Rice Gallery (The University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL) at 11.30 am – 1.30pm for a talk by James on the Tremble Tremble and At the Gates exhibition and a leisurely lunch kindly provided by the Talbot Rice Gallery. The event is open to all and a chance to hear thoughts in relation to the art which he helps curate…

Tremble Tremble and At the Gates; Tour and Discussion

Inspired by the tidal wave of change that has been sweeping the world Tremble Tremble and At the Gates are exhibitions celebrating the distinctive and powerful voices of artists engaging with social histories and personal politics. Often brushing up against the law, or institutions of power, the works in these exhibitions have amplified the global struggle towards female self-empowerment, and in the case of Ireland’s historic fight against the Eighth Amendment, the right to bodily self-determination.

Jesse Jones’ Tremble Tremble speaks to the struggle against the oppression of women across the ages, and particularly in relation to the law. Originally created to represent Ireland at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, it was conceived in the context of Ireland’s then-growing momentum to attempt once again to repeal the Eighth Amendment, and effectively legalise abortion. The artwork takes a woman’s body as the primary ground of her exploitation and resistance to capitalism and the state, and creates a new law to supersede man-made laws, the law of In Utera Gigantae. Tremble Tremble has been re-designed and expanded for the Georgian Gallery and is performed each day during the Gallery’s opening hours, looping after 30 minutes.

At the Gates presents seven international artists and collectives who rub up against the law or institutions of power, in artworks that tell stories of violence, campaigning, rehabilitation and exploitation in and around women’s histories. Drawing strength from Tremble Tremble, the exhibition is motivated by the complex struggle of women to find, protect, and even rehabilitate their voice. These artists and their individual projects attest to the volume of these voices, images, banners, objects and artworks as they amass and become part of a public discussion.

The title, At the Gates, is partly inspired by Franz Kafka’s parable Before the Law. This is a story about a man who spends his life standing at the gates of the law awaiting permission to enter. The title also borrows from American suffragist Lavinia Dock who said in 1917: ‘The old stiff minds must give way. The old selfish minds must go. Obstructive reactionaries must move on. The young are at the gates!’

These exhibitions celebrate artists who are not waiting for permission, to quote Ailbhe Smyth (co-chair of Together for YES, Ireland’s official abortion rights campaign) speaking at the opening of Tremble Tremble in Dublin, ‘It is about understanding that you first have to disturb, you first have to disrupt, there first has to be an upheaval… Where flesh becomes stone, and stone becomes flesh… you knew, in witch-like fashion, exactly what we needed to do and to hear and to see and to fear.’

In the context of these two exhibitions we are delighted to host Silvia Federici for a public lecture on the 23rd November in partnership with Collective. We are also thrilled to announce that Silvia Federici will be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Something of a spirit-guide for these exhibitions, Federici’s writing is very much part of both Tremble Tremble and At the Gates. With sincere thanks to all of the collaborators, supporters and lenders, but most of all to these magnificent artists, and their inspiring artworks.

 

Dec
16
Sun
Ragged University: ‘Civil War; Ranters, Quakers and Revolution’ plus ‘Loneliness and Social Isolation’ @ St John’s Church Hall
Dec 16 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Ragged University: 'Civil War; Ranters, Quakers and Revolution' plus 'Loneliness and Social Isolation' @ St John’s Church Hall

Come along to the St John’s Church Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ) at 5.30pm for two talks, a bite to eat and some company. Join this friendly and informal gathering to discuss topics with food in good company. It is entirely free and open to everyone

Civil War; Ranters, Quakers and Revolution by Richard Gunn

My aim is to share with you the riches of a historical period. In the mid seventeenth century, Britain was plunged in a revolution. In the course of the revolution, ‘church courts and the censorship broke down. The result was an upsurge of popular and radical thinking – much of it thinking of an apocalyptic kind. (The term ‘apocalyptic’ is one which I shall explain but, in this note, I pass over it in silence.) Not the least important feature of the uncensored period of the civil war period is its impact on generations of subsequent radical thought.

Frequently, commentators on radicalism look back only to the early decades of the twentieth century, when Lenin and Luxemburg debated what was termed the ‘problem of organisation’. It is assumed that, beyond Lenin and Luxemburg, only nineteenth-century social democracy was worth considering. My proposal is that such a view of radicalism’s sources is too narrow.

The talk will be exploring the history of mid 17th century, Britain during a time of revolution, commentators of radicalism and the origins of radical and grassroots thought Ranters and Quakers.  There is an accompanying essay as a handout which gives people a deeper insight.

 

 

During the break there will be a chance to have some food and conversation.  You are invited to bring along an item of food to put on the table to share and help take it away at the end so that nothing goes to waste.  It is a bring your own bottle event.

 

Loneliness and Social Isolation by Alex Dunedin

There has been a great increase in the attention which has been paid to loneliness in the last few years.  Lots of research and charities has been formed around studying this social phenomenon as it badly impacts people’s health and wellbeing.  Lots of different factors seem to be involved in creating social isolation in the United Kingdom as the means for people being able to socialise and create social connections are becoming sparse.

The social and economic landscape of the UK has suffered from various kinds of fragmentation and this is now being seen in increases in the mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, a spike and rise in deaths due to overdose.  If we look at the rises in these problems their increase seems to be connected with the austerity policies, the rise in the costs of living, and the diminishment of social spaces available to people.

There is a parallel in behaviour and health when we look at what happens with animals that are kept in captivity.  The impact on cognitive function and the development of the brain is striking when we compare wild animals to domestic ones.  The development of stress behaviours and stress related illnesses is well known and understood in the context of keeping animals in zoos and aquariums; put simply, if they do not have the space and features of the environment which allow them to express their natural behaviours then they become ill and suffer behavioural problems.

 

 

Apr
3
Wed
Ragged Uni: Betting on Famine – plus – The Free Project @ Gulliver’s
Apr 3 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged Uni: Betting on Famine - plus - The Free Project @ Gulliver’s

Come along to Gulliver’s (109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW) at 7pm to listen to a couple of talks, share a crust of bread, and a chance to socialise around learning….

 

 

Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin

Jean Ziegler said in an interview with Gilles Toussaint: “There are more and more people who understand that hunger is man-made, that we live in a cannibal world-order maintained by multinational companies and their mercenary organizations, that is, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank” – Jean Ziegler: “L’ordre cannibale du monde” Gilles Toussaint Publié le samedi 15 octobre 2011

In an interview with Philipp Löpfe for the Swiss national paper Tages-Anzeiger he said: “According to the World Food Organization, there is enough food on the planet for 12 billion people. If people still starve today, it’s an organized crime, a mass murder. Every five seconds a child under the age of ten starves to death and one billion people are permanently severely malnourished”

These quotes from the former United Nations special rapporteur to the Right to Food highlight the reality of human made famine. In this talk I am going to go through some of the research which he has published in his book ‘Betting on Famine; Why the world still goes hungry’ supplementing it with other information with the aim to have a conversation after the talk.

 

 

 

There will be some food provided and breaks to socialise.  All are invited to bring an item of food to put on the table to share and then take away what is left at the end so nothing goes to waste.

The Free Project; Opening Doors To Freedom by Emma Hammond

The Free Project CIC (Community Interest Company) was set up by myself, Dr Craig Hammond and another director several years ago after we realised that offering soup and socks out of the back of the car on a local car park was not enough. We had a team of volunteers and we sourced a building where we could offer daily opening hours. We had food, clothes, essential items as well as staff who were there to listen and offer a friendly face.

In Blackburn, where we ran the project, there are several privately run hostels. These establishments are run for profit and as such the welfare of the residents always seemed to take a back seat. I was incensed to hear the horror stories regarding the food and basic needs of individuals living in these places.

The project we ran was based on dignity, respect and non-judgement and as such we welcomed anyone from any background (over the age of 18) to our place. To come to sit and chat, or rest, to eat and get warm, to wash their clothes and get supplies of basics such a toilet roll and toothpaste. Unfortunately, after 5 years both volunteers and funding dried up and the project became unsustainable with 4 volunteers and no money to pay the rent and utilities. And we made the heart-breaking decision to close our doors and the outdoor Sunday night feed.

 

We hope that you can come along and join in the discussion…

 

Ragged Uni: Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin
Apr 3 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged Uni: Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin

Come along to Gulliver’s (109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW) at 7pm to listen to Alex ’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and hear the reflections he has to share…

 

 

Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin

Jean Ziegler said in an interview with Gilles Toussaint: “There are more and more people who understand that hunger is man-made, that we live in a cannibal world-order maintained by multinational companies and their mercenary organizations, that is, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank” – Jean Ziegler: “L’ordre cannibale du monde” Gilles Toussaint Publié le samedi 15 octobre 2011

In an interview with Philipp Löpfe for the Swiss national paper Tages-Anzeiger he said: “According to the World Food Organization, there is enough food on the planet for 12 billion people. If people still starve today, it’s an organized crime, a mass murder. Every five seconds a child under the age of ten starves to death and one billion people are permanently severely malnourished”

These quotes from the former United Nations special rapporteur to the Right to Food highlight the reality of human made famine. In this talk I am going to go through some of the research which he has published in his book ‘Betting on Famine; Why the world still goes hungry’ supplementing it with other information with the aim to have a conversation after the talk.

The way the stockmarket and multinational corporations are operating today is no doubt pathological. Understanding just how this form of finance functions in our world allows us to formulate how we respond to the problems which we are presented with. There are complexities which just are not spoken about like the role which pension funds play in the proliferation of scarcity as they are invested on our behalves in whatever returns dividends for the pension holder.

At the same time we are faced with a never ending series of charities and ‘voluntourism’ organisations which speak to us of helping underdeveloped nations in hard times. Which of these charities are also pressing for the lifting of economic restrictions on these ‘underdeveloped nations’ ? When organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and multinational corporations are causing the hard times, what should be done ?

 

We hope that you can come along and join in the discussion… There will be some food provided and breaks to socialise

 

 

 

Ragged University: Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin @ Gulliver’s
Apr 3 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin @ Gulliver’s

Come along to Gulliver’s (109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW) at 7pm to listen to Alex ’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and hear the reflections he has to share…

 

Betting on Famine; Why The World Still Goes Hungry by Alex Dunedin

Jean Ziegler said in an interview with Gilles Toussaint: “There are more and more people who understand that hunger is man-made, that we live in a cannibal world-order maintained by multinational companies and their mercenary organizations, that is, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank” – Jean Ziegler: “L’ordre cannibale du monde” Gilles Toussaint Publié le samedi 15 octobre 2011

In an interview with Philipp Löpfe for the Swiss national paper Tages-Anzeiger he said: “According to the World Food Organization, there is enough food on the planet for 12 billion people. If people still starve today, it’s an organized crime, a mass murder. Every five seconds a child under the age of ten starves to death and one billion people are permanently severely malnourished”

These quotes from the former United Nations special rapporteur to the Right to Food highlight the reality of human made famine. In this talk I am going to go through some of the research which he has published in his book ‘Betting on Famine; Why the world still goes hungry’ supplementing it with other information with the aim to have a conversation after the talk.

The way the stockmarket and multinational corporations are operating today is no doubt pathological. Understanding just how this form of finance functions in our world allows us to formulate how we respond to the problems which we are presented with. There are complexities which just are not spoken about like the role which pension funds play in the proliferation of scarcity as they are invested on our behalves in whatever returns dividends for the pension holder.

At the same time we are faced with a never ending series of charities and ‘voluntourism’ organisations which speak to us of helping underdeveloped nations in hard times. Which of these charities are also pressing for the lifting of economic restrictions on these ‘underdeveloped nations’ ? When organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and multinational corporations are causing the hard times, what should be done ?

Come along listen and take part in the discussion

 

 

 

 

 

Nov
21
Thu
Ragged University: ‘Human Library’ – plus – ‘DADA and the Drum Kit’ @ The Castle Hotel
Nov 21 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'Human Library' - plus - 'DADA and the Drum Kit' @ The Castle Hotel | England | United Kingdom

You are invited to the open event at The Castle Hotel  (66 Oldham Street, Manchester) on November 21st from 7pm to 10pm to enjoy two talks, some free food.  It is an open door event, no tickets required; just come along, put your feet up and bring your friends.

Human Library – Challenge your prejudices by Helen Harvey

The Human Library is where people become books. Visitors to the library will sit down with living ‘books’ for intimate and challenging conversations. Through fascinating stories with local people from all walks of life the reader will re-think prejudices and assumptions. The Human Library® is a global innovative and learning platform. We are embedded in high school to higher learning, medical training to civic engagement to better our understanding of diversity in order to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, religious, social and ethnic differences.

Click Here For More Info

As usual, everyone is invited to bring an item of food along to put on the table and help take away what is left at the end.  During the break there is a chance to have a bite to eat, fill the glass and have a chat

DADA and the Drum Kit by Aiden Pilling

A DADA approach to any artistic concept or cultural idea is to be free from the constraints of conformity and be daring to explore that which is random by nature for the benefit of creativity. I believe that it is through this exploration of the abstract that – in the context of music – we can develop new ideas, and so I intend to present, play and philosophize using my formula for learning and playing the drum kit. I do hope that this discussion can inspire those with mental blocks that obstruct the pathway to novel thought.

Click Here For More Info

Jan
16
Thu
Ragged University: The Extended Mind @ Talbot Rice Gallery (
Jan 16 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Ragged University: The Extended Mind @ Talbot Rice Gallery ( | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to the Talbot Rice Gallery (The University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL) on 16th Jan 2020 from 2 – 4 pm for a leisurely introduction to the ideas of Distributed Cognition by Doug, lunch, and a tour by James…

The Extended Mind talk and tour at Talbot Rice Gallery by James Clegg

The Extended Mind is based on the idea that our bodies, objects, language, institutions, other people and environments, expand our capacity to think, feel and orient ourselves in the world. This idea, that cognition is not simply something that takes place in the brain, is often called distributed cognition. A curatorial and academic endeavour, the exhibition grows from a collaboration between Talbot Rice Gallery and a research project called The History of Distributed Cognition.

The History of Distributed Cognition (2014-2018) aimed to show the relevance of distributed cognition to the arts and humanities. It revealed links to practices and ideas throughout Western Europe, from classical antiquity through to the twentieth century. The Extended Mind exhibition asks how this relates to contemporary art practice.

Across the work of 12 international artists it includes videos of robots that learn through embodied interactions; sculptures that reveal our cognitive relationship with objects; critical engagements with technocratic forms of anonymous and distributed labour; vicarious trips to the Amazon jungle; and artificial intelligence and spiritualist responses to the internet age. It invites you on journeys to other real and imagined places, demonstrating how art plays a vital role in scaffolding new forms of understanding.

The event will consist of:

  • An introduction to the key themes of Distributed Cognition by Doug Cairns, Professor of Classics.
  • Lunch with a discussion about how we all use our bodies and the world to extend the capacities of our brains, whether orientating ourselves, remembering things, navigating or calculating.
  • A tour of The Extended Mind exhibition – including the work of 12 contemporary artists – at Talbot Rice Gallery, led by curator James Clegg.

Click Here For More Information

Feb
9
Sun
Ragged University: Annual General Questions and a Walk and Talk @ The Terrace Cafe in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Feb 9 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Ragged University: Annual General Questions and a Walk and Talk @ The Terrace Cafe in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along at 1pm to The Terrace Cafe in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR) for a cup of tea before walking around the gardens where Alex Dunedin will answer any questions about the Ragged University project

 

Annual General Questions

Ragged University has been running for over ten years now and has been an informal education project where everyone is welcome to share what they are interested in through talks and activities.  In 2019 Alex Dunedin did not coordinate any events in Edinburgh but Susan, Craig and Emma in Manchester continued coordinating theirs.

Charitable status was kindly applied for with the promise of getting support and funding, however, the third sector and the way it is structured (i.e. the paperwork, the stipulations which come with funding, the competitive nature of funding, the imposition of metrics, etc) did not fit with the social activity which is at the core of the project.

With this in mind, Ragged is being wound up as a charity so it can continue as a social practice – as it has always been.  The project has informally involved all sorts of individuals from various backgrounds, especially (unsurprisingly) people who are involved in academia and formal learning.  This year, a number of academics have invited Ragged Uni to be a part of the Working Class Academics Conference in Blackburn (https://workingclass-academics.co.uk/).

With a lot of research, writing and individual conversations happening in the background, this event is a casual opportunity to have a chat with Alex Dunedin, the Edinburgh coordinator, and have him answer any questions about what has been happening, the thinking behind decisions which have been made, the upcomming plans for the year plus an opportunity to have a bit of a social chat and enjoy the surrounds of the Botanics.

We will be meeting at The Terrace Cafe in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which you can get to via bus to Inverleith Row.  The Terrace Cafe is the cafe right in the middle of the Botanics on the hill (see the map below).  The plan is to have a blether and then go for a walk around the gardens and enjoy taking in some of the scenery.

Come along dressed in warm clothes and bring an umbrella, as the weather might not be the best for light clothes.  After a cuppa or two the plan is to go for a wander around the gardens to pick up one fact from the flora which you find interesting.  Food and drink will not be provided in this event so please bring enough to get yourself what you would like.

Feb
14
Fri
Ragged University: Visit, Listen, Learn, Write – Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest @ People’s History Museum
Feb 14 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Ragged University: Visit, Listen, Learn, Write – Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest @ People’s History Museum | England | United Kingdom

Come along to the People’s History Museum (Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER, United Kingdom) at 2pm where we will go around the ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ exhibition before having a chat in the cafe about any thoughts which came to mind.

Visit, Listen, Learn, Write – Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest

The event is an informal visit to an exhibition taking people through the history of the Peterloo Massacre which happened in 1819.  The aim is to visit the museum, take in the exhibition and history through listening and conversation, and – for those who want to – they can write an article on what they have learned.

The People’s History Museum celebrates our radical past with the aim to inspire and motivate people to take action and shape a future where ideas of democracy, equality, justice and co-operation are thriving.

This exhibition is part of the national commemorations marking 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in 1819.  The exhibit tells the story of Peterloo and highlights its relevance today, examining issues within our democracy that people are campaigning for 200 years on.

The exhibition features objects, including original Peterloo artefacts, brought together for the very first time, alongside pieces telling more recent stories of various protests.  It includes a specially commissioned short film which brings to life the story of Peterloo, protest, and the road to democratic reform.

Also there is a creative space within the exhibition framed as a Protest Lab; an experimental gallery for individuals, communities and organisations to use to share and develop their views and ideas for collective action.

 

Click Here For More Information

Feb
27
Thu
Ragged University: The Reduction of Economics and Life to Finance @ Safari Lounge
Feb 27 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ragged University: The Reduction of Economics and Life to Finance @ Safari Lounge | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to the Safari Lounge (21 Cadzow Pl, Edinburgh EH7 5SN) at 6pm to listen to a talk about economics and finance by Alex Dunedin, have a drink and socialise around learning. All events are free and informal…

 The Colonisation of Economics and the Reducton of Everything to Finance by Alex Dunedin

This presentation is the start of a series in which I examine the impacts of a market driven society as related to homo sapiens as social mammals. The effects of the reductive pressures of finance are to create underclasses through exclusion from cultural production damaging their ability to develop and contribute to a mutually recognitive whole.

These underclasses are vulnerable to exploitation through their dehumanisation and devaluation. Education has been explored as a tool in this process and is linked to a history of reducing the field of political economy to expressions of finance.

To scrutinise this cultural schema I bring in natural history perspectives to help us analyse from a third perspective the effects of ‘opportunities reduced to finance’ on our species. I argue that education is human development  and as such is a vital element of the habitat of homo sapiens as a social mammal.

 

Click Here For More Information:

https://www.raggeduniversity.co.uk/2020/02/18/27th-feb-2020-the-colonisation-of-economics-and-the-reducton-of-everything-to-finance/

 

Click here to join the Meetup Group:

https://www.meetup.com/raggeduniversity/

 

Mar
26
Thu
Ragged University: Philosophy and Truth Series by Tina Röck @ Safari Lounge
Mar 26 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ragged University: Philosophy and Truth Series by Tina Röck @ Safari Lounge

Come along to the Safari Lounge (21 Cadzow Pl, Edinburgh EH7 5SN) at 6pm to join the discussion about Philosophy and Truth…

Philosophy and Truth Series by Tina Röck

We are all aware that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish fact from fiction in our fast-paced information society. This has led some to announce the end of truth, or to consider ours a post-truth society. I would like to be a little more careful. Instead of simply proclaiming the death of truth, it seems to be more appropriate to claim that we are living in a time of crisis – a crisis of truth.

What we believe to be true still guides our actions, therefore in a practical sense, there can be no doubt that truth matters. It is simply not the case that modern western societies in general do not care at all about truth anymore (though there might be individuals that do not care), the core problem seems to be that it has become impossibly hard to find the truth. In this talk series I want to discover with all of you what you think truth is and give you some philosophical tools to think about truth

 

For More Information:

www.raggeduniversity.co.uk/2020/02/27/26th-march-2019-philosophy-and-truth-by-tina-rocke