Friday, 1 May 2015
Credit: Anthea Sieveking, Wellcome Images
Dr Leah Tomkins has a background in classics, then worked in industry for 20 years, including as Director of Change at the Cabinet Office. Like me, she retrained in psychology at Birkbeck and then completed her PhD. She now works in the field of Organisational Studies. I invited Leah because of her understanding of how organisations succeed, and particularly because of her work around the notion of the 'caring leader' and the Heideggerian idea of 'care'. I am also currently collaborating with Leah on a project about experiences of happiness. One area of interest is how achievement and happiness can be bound together - but can involve experiences of anxiety and shame as well. I see Leah's interests fitting well with Michael's and my work on relationships (Leah is also an expert in the IPA method and the phenomenological psychology approaches we use) and foresee her being involved the 'relationships and connectedness' stream, but also she will contribute to our stream on 'individuals and hierarches' as well.
Dr Andreas Aresti and the British Convict Criminology group are committed to developing critical insider perspectives on prison and the experiences of prisoners. Andreas is both an ex-prisoner and an academic. As such, he researches with communities and individuals who are impacted by the prison experience and co-founded the British Convict Criminology movement, which is an emerging theoretical perspective (originating in the US) led by ex-convict/non-convict academics. The group takes a critical perspective to existing criminal justice issues. In particular he has looked at resettlement. I am keen to work with Andreas and other members of British Convict Criminology on the 'relationships and connectedness' stream, to explore further how relationships succeed during time inside, and during the difficult resettlement period. Andy also shares expertise in the IPA methodology, but also works in more collaborative participatory ways with groups and individuals. As well as working academically, he is involved in shaping policy and doing community work, such as mentoring. With his personal and academic experience I also think Andy will be a great contribution towards the 'social contexts and alternative cultures'.