Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Sexual Migration and the ESOL Classroom (University of Leeds)

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By Ibrar Bhatt, School of Education, University of Leeds

In November 2012 there was an interesting and lively debate on an ESOL Research mailing list about LGBT issues in ESOL classrooms. It seems that recent legislative changes, such as the 2010 Equality Act and subsequent revisions to the Ofsted framework, have brought to the fore issues such as sexual orientation, civil partnerships and gender reassignment and how they impact on ESOL provision. In order to undertake more research, provide a forum for the discussion of these issues, and ultimately to take the debate of the ESOL Research list further, we are thrilled to have secured funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to hold a series of 6 seminars. The seminar series aims to explore the wide ranging challenges faced by ESOL practitioners in ensuring that the protected characteristics outlined in the 2010 Equality Act (specifically, sexual orientation, civil partnership status and gender reassignment) are appropriately addressed.

The first of this seminar series was held at the Institute of Education in London, and opened the debate by examining the nature of the evolving legal frameworks regulating the lives of those identifying themselves as LGBT and the resulting challenge for ESOL provisions.

The second in the series will be held at the University of Leeds on 29th March 2014.  It will address phenomena of sexual migration, will explore the complex trajectories of sexual migrants and asylum seekers, and consider how these complex identities impact on ESOL provisions as they respond to evolving legal frameworks.

Speakers and sessions for the seminar are as follows:

1) Holly R. Cashman (University of New Hampshire, USA) Queer Latinidad in the US: Identities, communities and language practices

2) Richard Mole (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL) Russian LGBT migrants in Berlin: between the ethno-national and the queer diasporas

3) S. Chelvan (Barrister, No5 Chambers) How can I prove who I am? Examining the barriers and hurdles which face the LGBTI refugee

4) Calo Giametta (Aix-Marseille Université) Sexuality as a rights-claiming object and the politics of humanitarianism

5) Workshop groups on LGBTQ migration stories in the ESOL classroom: what are the issues? (With follow up feedback session with John Gray)

The seminar is free, but places are limited. ESOL practitioners, research students and LGBT activists can apply for funding to attend. For more information contact Ibrar Bhatt (edib@leeds.ac.uk) or Mike Baynham (M.Baynham@education.leeds.ac.uk).

To reserve a place or apply for funding to attend, please complete a booking form and send to Ibrar Bhatt (edib@leeds.ac.uk). For further information and updates, please check the series website. The seminar series aims to bring together researchers, activists, and practitioners from a range of disciplines and areas of professional activity with a view to exploring its themes from a multiplicity of perspectives.

This is a unique opportunity to engage and interact with researchers, practitioners and activists working at the intersections of LGBTQ issues in education. Please complete a booking form and join us.

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2014 by in Academic seminar and tagged , .
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