CSSR researchers present a range of papers at International Society of Critical Health Psychology conference 2015

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CSSR researchers present a range of papers at International Society of Critical Health Psychology conference 2015

The International Society of Critical Health Psychology held its 9th Biennial conference at Rhodes University in 2015. A range of papers and symposia were presented by CSSR researchers including:


  • Well-intentioned may not be enough: Rethinking responses to gender-based violence - a symposium - presented by Annie Fleishack, Werner Böhmke, and Kim Barker
  • Abortion in Africa - a symposium - presented by Catriona Macleod, Jabulile Mavuso and Malvern Chiweshe
  • Health Communication in Contexts: Conversation analysis as critical analysis - a symposium - presented by Ryan du Toit, Clare Jackson, Merran Toerien and Elizabeth Peel
  • Critical reflections on school-based sexuality education in South African contexts - a symposium - presented by Nicola Jearey-Graham, Dennis Francis, Emmanuel Mayeza, Sisa Ngabaza and Tamara Shefer
  • The intersection of culture and gender in constructions of ‘ukuzila'(spousal mourning) among AmaXhosa in the Eastern Cape - an individual paper - presented by Hlonelwa Ngqangweni
  • Precocious little monsters and the birth of puberty science: Tracing early puberty as a health matter - an individual paper - presented by Pedro Pinto
  • Exploring the emancipatory potential of nursing practice in relation to sexuality: A systematic literature review of nursing research 2009-2014 - an individual paper - presented by Mercy Nhamo-Murire
  • Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction: silence and protest against sexual violence; the politics of visibility; historicising 'puberty'; and the right to buy antenatal healthcare – a Pecha Kucha – presented by Catriona Macleod, Jacqui Marx, Tracey Feltham-King and Pedro Pinto

The CSSR researchers found the conference to be an enriching experience in a variety of ways. Below are some reflections from those who participated.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the conference. The opportunity to present my work and hear invaluable insights from others doing similar work and the privilege to hear (important) work being done by others in this field were priceless. The key note addresses got me thinking about the histories of psychology and about the kind of knowledges we produce today. A memorable experience!
Jabulile Mavuso

The International Society of Critical Health conference provided a platform to reflect and engage in critical health cutting edge research. Apart from many valuable aspects, which I know I will take with beyond the conference.  One of the keynote speeches I enjoyed was that of Michelle fine on, ‘toward an epistemology of precarity: critical theory and participatory methods in times of widening inequality gaps’. I was captivated by two of the seven strands of precarity. The first was precarity of the elite and the second is precarity as a space to rethink of identities, hope etc. It made me reflect on my position as a critical health psychologist how psychology is interwoven with politics, economics, race and social discourses. Overall, all the presentations I attended were unique making it difficult to mention one. Finally, this is a conference I would recommend to any critical health psychologist to attend because of its nuanced dialogue and a space for collaborative work around current issues within the field. It was a great honour to present my work, meet with other international scholars and researchers and listen to some experts in the field. No words can sum it all, but it is such a privilege to be part of the conference and the critical studies of sexualities and reproduction (CSSR).
Mercy Nhamo-Murire

It was such a privilege to be part of the ISCHP conference, with my only regret being that I couldn't be in three streams simultaneously - there were so many interesting presentations that I couldn't get to because I was attending other interesting presentations! The organisation was also seamless, and the Gala Dinner was a wonderfully celebratory affair.
Nicola Jearey-Graham

The workshop Resisting the neoliberal construction of academia' or, how to survive your PhD in critical health psychology in the face of work, life and pressures to 'perform' provided an engaging space for students to talk about and reflect, interactively, what it means personally, professionally and academically to be doing a PhD in current times. I left the workshop with a new perspective regarding my PhD and some ideas of how to ‘resist’ the neoliberal ideals of academia and what it means to be a researcher.  

Each day was jammed packed with an array of highly thought provoking presentations which made picking which sessions to attend a difficult task! All of the presentations I attended were interesting and generated much critical discussion and debate afterwards.  On the second day I presented in a symposium on conversation analysis with established researchers from the UK. It was an incredible privilege to present papers with, and to observe such passionate conversation analysts present their research.

ISCHP 2015 provided the wonderful opportunity and space for a diverse range of critical thinkers to showcase their research, network and engage in debate concerning many critical health and socio-political issues. Thank you to all that made the conference a special learning experience!
Ryan du Toit