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March – Sexology, Food, Wonder Women and SICK!

February 28, 2015

March Museum Meets events start with a talk by our Living Cultures Curator Stephen Welsh – Carry on Collecting; Sex, Gender & Ethnography at Manchester Museum as part of the Wellcome Collection’s Sexology Manchester season.

Also on 2 March in the evening there is Innocent until proven guilty? the first of three debates which are part of the SICK! Festival. Why be normal? is on Tuesday 10 March and Is there such a rational thing as suicide? on Tuesday 17 March. Check out the SICK! website for more events across, including at the newly reopened Whitworth.

English Corner our monthly drop in English Conversation class is all about food on Tuesday 3 March at 1pm. Kiera Gould our trainee curator, Living Cultures, will be on hand with lots of food related objects from our collections.

March also sees the return of the Wonder Women Manchester’s feminist festival.  From 1-31 March with debate, music, art, gigs, bike tours, football, live literature and more. Over 35 organisations are taking part to shine a light on some of the incredible, creative and campaigning women working in Manchester and Salford today.

Women scientists have played a big role in the history of Manchester Museum but for 2015 we thought we’d invite Biomolecular Archaeologist, Konstantina Drosou to talk about her work and lead a hands-on practical science workshop (part of our Lever prize award winning Real World Science programme). It’s already fully booked but check out the Wonder Women website for a month’s worth of events – and watch out as we might run the workshop again.

Carry on Collecting: Sex, Gender & Ethnography at Manchester Museum

Mon 2 Mar, 1-2pm. Ethnographic collections formed in Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were invariably informed by contemporaneous notions of gender and sex. The chiefly male collectors misrepresented and misappropriated objects associated with concepts of gender and sex, found beyond Europe, to fit their own particular colonialist world view. Sex was inextricably associated with child birth, women with domesticity and men with warfare and violence. This ethnocentric paradigm was reproduced in museum displays and interpretation. This talk is part of the Wellcome Collection’s Sexology Season www.wellcomecollection.org/sexologyseason

Innocent until proven guilty?

Mon 2 Mar, 7.30pm.

‘Only 1,070 rapists are convicted every year despite up to 95,000 people – the vast majority of them women – suffering the trauma of rape – according to the new research by the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics.’ The Independent, 10th January 2013.

In a supposedly progressive society which aims to protect the individual how can this be? Do our other values, such as the assumption of innocence until proven guilty have a role to play? Should this assumption be questioned for situations in which hard evidence beyond individual testimony is notoriously hard to come by? Or are there other ways in which the system needs to change to protect people from the most traumatic and often life-threatening crimes? Organised in partnership with SICK! Festival

Price: Book online, £4 (50% donated to St. Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre), adults

English Corner

Tues 3 Mar, 1-2.30pm. Free English conversation classes using the Museum’s collection as inspiration for discussion.

Price: Drop-in, free

Wonder Women

Sat 7 Mar, 1.30-4.30pm. To celebrate International Women’s Day and the Manchester Wonder Women season of events, take part in a hands-on practical science workshop with The University of Manchester Biomolecular Archaeologist, Konstantina Drosou. Konstantina will describe her current research, which involves extracting and analysing ancient human DNA. The workshop will explore the real-life applications of this research and will give you the opportunity to use our scientific equipment in The Lab at Manchester Museum. By analysing the available clues and completing a scientific practical, you can take on the role of a forensic expert to solve the mystery of some unknown human remains.

Fully Booked

Why be normal?

Tues 10 Mar, 7.30pm. The question Why Be Normal? is in one sense a challenge and a provocation: why do we have to act in conformity to long established cultural models, in particular with regard to our sexual preferences? Why not be different? From another perspective it asks us to consider why we do act and desire in the ways we do, either in conformity to, or divergence from a norm. It raises the question of personal choice and the effect of social or cultural context. In the background remains the persistent idea: We are what we are born with. Personal, cultural and biological factors are increasingly seen as interweaving to create the context in which we all individually answer the question: Why Be Normal?

Organised in partnership with SICK! Festival

Price: Book online , £4 (50% donated to the Lesbian & Gay Foundation), adults

Is there such a thing as a rational suicide?

Tues 17 Mar, 7.30pm. Suicide is so often seen as an essentially irrational act, wrapped up with misunderstandings of mental illness and the causes of profound unhappiness. ‘If only they had just thought this, done that’, ‘If only I could have been there. I know I could have made them see it differently’: These are common and not unreasonable feelings. But perhaps for some, it is a rational decision, made with a clear head, based on a reasonable response to conditions that are unchangeable and unmanageable. What are the implications of such a perspective for how we respond to suicide when it happens? How does this affect the nature of the role society needs to play in preventing suicide?

Organised in partnership with SICK! Festival

Price: Book online below, £4 (50% donated to charity), adults

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