Tackle controversial topics at the University of Worcester with experts  - The Worcester Observer

Tackle controversial topics at the University of Worcester with experts 

Worcester Editorial 5th Jun, 2024   0

UNIVERSITY of Worcester experts to tackle controversial topics in a new series at the Hive.

The ‘Talking Taboos Discussion Group’ will feature three free talks addressing issues such as fat activism, sex, and cancel culture.

The series kicks off with Robyn Platt’s talk on ‘Fat Activism in a Health and Image Obsessed World’ on Wednesday, June 5, from 12-2 pm. Platt will delve into the fat activism and body positivity movements, examining why societal beauty standards are so tightly bound to body shape, size, and condition, and how these perceptions reflect someone’s character.

The second session, led by Holly Barnes-Bennetts, will discuss ‘Sex, Consent and Cultures of Silence’ on Wednesday, June 12, from 4-6 pm.

Holly, a lecturer in media and film studies and a cultural studies researcher in consent, will explore the historical shift of sex from a public issue to a private one, and the resulting issues of shame and discomfort surrounding the topic.

Holly said: “Throughout human history, sex has moved from a fairly public act and issue to an increasingly private act. It now exists in darkness and is shrouded in issues of shame and embarrassment.

“We’ll also be talking about how that has created problems for us now and why that is the case, and why we feel so uncomfortable talking about sex.

“It’s aimed at encouraging people to get past that.”

The final talk, ‘Should We Cancel Cancel Culture?’ with Katy Wareham Morris, will take place on Wednesday, June 19, from 12-2 pm.

Katy, who conceived the idea for the Talking Taboos Discussion Group, will address the phenomenon of cancel culture and explore whether individuals or topics should be cancelled and the implications for free speech on internet platforms.

Katy said: “There are many social and cultural issues that people still feel apprehensive to talk about.

“They may discuss these at home, or with close friends but feel like perhaps they don’t have all the facts and feel quite nervous about speaking openly about these issues.

“My topic, ‘cancel culture’ was chosen because it has become one of those phrases which is either used too much, or gets used ineffectively and it raises questions people don’t have the answer to; who or what should be cancelled? What about free speech? It’s important that the topic doesn’t become conflated with purposeful and meaningful creation of open space which is needed for discussing complicated issues.”

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