Leeds School of Social Sciences

PsyCen funds creative pilot project

Dr Paula Singleton discusses the work of the Stigmatised Sexualities and Sexual Harm (SSSH!) research group and a creative pilot project they have launched.

People listening in focus group setting

In May 2020, PsyCen (Centre for Psychological Research) awarded a small grant to Psychology’s Stigmatised Sexualities and Sexual Harm (SSSH!) research group to work with Jenny Wilson of Irregular Arts to explore creative and collaborative ways of connecting their academic work with wider communities.

The first stage of this activist-in-the-academy project, led by Dr Singleton, is now drawing to a close, and we are working together to submit a bid to Arts Council England to continue this very successful work. Here’s what we have done so far.

Firstly, Jenny took the time to (virtually) meet and/or get to know the interests and work of everyone within the research group: three senior lecturers, six research students, one local practitioner, and our two interns - final year undergraduate students. She discussed ideas related to consent, creativity and collaboration with the group, with a view to holding an online event to connect our work with wider consent communities. Jenny then discussed our work and ideas with other artists, and with Kitty Stryker (Editor of the book “Ask - Building Consent Culture”) about connecting with this work.  Kitty agreed to include the online consent discussion with SSSH members as part of the online International Festival of Consent, co-curated with Jenny.

The online discussion event explored the nature of shame and stigma as limiting beliefs, and the ways they make a practical impact personally and professionally.  The discussion was watched via web and social media reaching a small audience of individuals and academics working globally with an interest in this field.  The recording is held on the website of the International Festival of Consent and can be viewed below.

The group will submit a bid to Arts Council England in the summer to further this work, and hope to continue our work with Jenny for several years to come. For updates on this project, check out @SSSH_research on Twitter or contact Paula Singleton at p.singleton@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

SSSH Shame, Stigma, Sex and How we do research

Dr Paula Singleton

Senior Lecturer / Leeds School Of Social Sciences

Paula Singleton is a critical psychologist with specialist expertise in qualitative methods, and phenomenology in particular. She has carried out research with a community drugs treatment service and collaborated with Stanford University on a study of a rare pregnancy complication.

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