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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


Professor Richard English: Nationalism, Terrorism and Religion @ Playfair Library, Old College
Mar 2 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Professor Richard English: Nationalism, Terrorism and Religion @ Playfair Library, Old College | Scotland | United Kingdom

Richard English is Professor of Politics, and Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, at Queen’s University Belfast.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 2 March 2017, 5.30 – 6.30pm

The lecture may be followed by questions. Latest finishing time is 7pm.

Venue: Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Ragged University: ‘News Stories and Popular Fiction’ plus ‘From the Problems of Our Nature’ @ The Castle Hotel
Sep 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'News Stories and Popular Fiction' plus 'From the Problems of Our Nature' @ The Castle Hotel | England | United Kingdom

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to socialise and a talk about how news stories reflect on popular fiction plus alternative views in mental health…


The first talk is:

News Stories and Popular Fiction by Julian Edge

I’ve always wondered if I could write fiction. I mean, inventing characters and having them populate a context in ways that other people will want to read about? Over the years, I once or twice thought of interesting set-ups for a novel, but never followed them through. I started to develop a story, a fiction, something that did not relate to any real people, no, but which did, yes, draw on the documented fact that such events as I was imagining, and my characters were experiencing, were, in principle, possible.

None of it is “true.” It’s all made up. But it’s made up against the backdrop of some basic events that occurred. Is that permissible? Where does that leave the possibly injured feelings of some of the real people about whom I am not writing, but whose actions created a news context that fed the creation of the story?…



During the break there is a chance to share food, conversation and a bite to eat.  Everyone is invited to bring an item of food to put on the table to share, as well as take away what is left at the end.  The second talk follows the break:


From the Problems of Our Nature, to The Nature of our Problems by Rowland Urey

Having been involved greatly in championing a re-reading of the evidence bases for views and approaches, in particular for what gets treated as Obsessional Compulsive Disorder, I want to put forward that there is something fundamental missing from how we are understanding people caught up with these clinical terms and labels.

I argue that there as emerged in the last few years that there is absolutely no evidence base in Mental Health Universally for The Brain Disease, Medical Model which underpins psychiatric interventions and practice. And I will be presenting an Evidence Base Alternative based on Emotional and Social Trauma.


Come along and put your feet up, have a bite to eat and enjoy picking over the subject with Julian in good company.  As usual, everyone is welcomed to bring an item of food to put on the table to share, but there is no obligation to do so.  It is free and open to everyone, so you are welcome to bring your friends.  No need to book…

Ragged University: ‘Multilingualism As An Investment’ plus ‘The Philosophy of Daoism’ @ Cabaret Voltaire
Oct 26 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged University: 'Multilingualism As An Investment' plus 'The Philosophy of Daoism' @ Cabaret Voltaire | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to Cabaret Voltaire (36-38 Blair St, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR), doors open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to learn about the philosophy of Daoism


Multilingualism; An Investment For A Better Society by Prof Antonella Sorace

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Bilingualism/multilingualism is a research field focused on learning more than one language over the lifespan and its effects on brains and behavior. I am a professor of developmental linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. I’m the founding director of the research and information centre Bilingualism Matters, which makes research results available to different sectors of society and has 17 branches all over Europe and the US.


Then there is a break when we get the chance to eat something, have a drink and a chat.  Everyone is invited to bring an item of food to put on the table, and help take away the food at the end so that nothing goes to waste.


Daoism; How The World Works And How To Live In It by Jan Conway

Daoism is one of the oldest philosophies there is. It was written down in only five thousand Chinese characters by a respected teacher called Laozi (604-531 BCE) before he travelled to the West. Because the language it is written in is so ancient, scholars have made many different translations. There are a few books in English but they are rather difficult.I have been teaching Chinese culture for fifty years and trying to practise Daoism all that time. As the years have gone by I find it easier and easier to understand, and in recent years new discoveries in geology and astronomy hae confirmed everything that Laozi taught.


Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh
Oct 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Reformation 500: Protestants and their Bibles from the Reformation to the Present @ Martin Hall, New College, Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

A Public Lecture from Professor Alec Ryrie, Durham University.

All welcome – Refreshments provided  afterwards in the Rainy Hall

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.

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.