The project Gender @ Work is carried out by our colleague Kate Carruthers Thomas (Birmingham City University). We asked her to contribute to this website because we think she is doing amazing work as an organisational poet. Below, you can find a description of the project and two of her poems: PROLOGUE and CEILING II.
“As an academic researcher I work critically on gender, drawing on geographical, sociological and educational theories and methods to research contemporary higher education (HE). As the Project Manager for the Athena SWAN Charter I work in gender, overseeing and innovating activities in relation gender equality. Glass is a unique performative poem, voicing selected findings from my recent institutional research project: Gender(s) At Work which explored gendered experiences of work and career trajectory in a modern UK university through narrative interviews and visual mapping tools combining research and poetry. Glass comprises four free-verse sequences: Ceiling, Escalator, Closet, Cliff, distillations of selected, found material ie: research participants’ words drawn from interview transcripts. These are linked by intervening narrative pieces which are more classically framed, drawing on Shakespearean traditions of narrative prologues, epilogues and commentaries.
When I perform Glass, I do so against a simple graphic backdrop. I also move around the performance space (a classroom, meeting room, lecture theatre). Delivering research data in this way disrupts audience expectations, appeals to different sense phenomena and can lead to different ways in which audiences hear and interpret the material.