Author Archives: Rebekah

OLH reopens applications to flip subscription journals to open access

The Open Library of Humanities (OHL) is accepting expressions of interest from subscription journals. 

A book open with pages flicking towards the right

The Open Library of Humanities is currently accepting expressions of interest from subscription journals in the humanities seeking to move to a gold open access (OA) publishing model without author-facing charges (‘diamond’ OA).

The Open Library of Humanities is an award-winning, scholar-led, gold open-access publisher of 28 journals with no author-facing charges. The publishing platform is funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined OLH in their mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future. OLH’s mission is to support and extend open access to scholarship in the humanities – for free, for everyone, forever.

The reopening comes following the generosity of OLH’s higher-tier supporters in enabling the OLH to expand its portfolio of 28 peer-reviewed open access scholarly journals, and the invaluable ongoing support received from the over 300 member libraries and institutions that make this work possible.

OLH welcomes expressions of interest from journals interested in flipping to gold open-access without author-facing charges, and which meet the following requirements:

  • Must be peer-reviewed
  • Has been established for at least five years
  • Currently funded through a subscription model
  • Journal is based in a humanities discipline
  • Has an international editorial board

OLH also welcomes areas within the humanities not currently covered by its existing journals, and expressions of interest from international, multilingual, and learned society journals, although all expressions of interest will be considered. Initial expressions of interest and exploratory conversations may be made without commitment. Shortlisted expressions of interest will then be invited to make a full application.

“We are delighted to be able to launch this initiative to help make scholarly research more openly accessible. By supporting more subscription journals to transition to open access, we aim to ensure the open availability of knowledge as broadly as possible, as per our charitable aims and core mission”, said Dr Rose Harris-Birtill, Acting Director of the Open Library of Humanities. “These criteria are in place to help create savings for library budgets, to stimulate the commercial business sector to adopt new models for open access scholarship, and to ensure the highest journal quality for our supporting members.”

Journals wishing to join the platform should fill in the expression of interest form. For institutions and libraries who would like to contribute to helping OLH continue this vital work, please contact Paula Clemente Vega.

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Birkbeck Pride and LGBTQ+ Pandemic & Lockdown Experiences Results and New Project

Birkbeck is looking for participants in a major new interview study on the well-being of LGBTQ* adults during the pandemic.

The Pride Rainbow flag partially covering the sun in the sky

Image credit: http://www.quotecatalog.com/quotes/inspirational CC-BY-2.0

As we reach the end of Pride month with events outdoors, online, or rearranged, we have news of the latest in our series LGBTQ+ experiences during the pandemic and lockdowns. At Birkbeck Fiona Tasker and Marie Houghton have been researching the vulnerability and resilience of LGBTQ+ adults since the start of the pandemic. The British Academy /Leverhulme funded project aims to develop understanding of UK LGBTQ* young adults wellbeing experiences. Together with colleagues in Brazil, Chile, Israel, Italy, Mexico Portugal, and Sweden we aim to combine our findings and build up a bigger picture of LGBTQ+ psychological wellbeing across Europe and South America. The UK project based at Birkbeck is directed by Dr Fiona Tasker (a Reader in the Department of Psychological Sciences) who has been involved in research with LGBT+ communities since she arrived at Birkbeck in 1995.

The animated owl holding the Pride flag Our second survey shows a lot of uncertainty and variability in how LGBTQ+ people have experienced the pandemic and associated lockdowns or restrictions. Over half of those taking part said they’d had problems with well-being or mental health and many felt lonely and isolated. But other people had experienced positive gains especially in terms of online services and outreach activities had stepped up. You can read more about our results via the report on our website.

In our new research project, we want to do some individual online interviews to find out more about the personal stories of how LGBTQ+ adults have been over the pandemic. What’s helped and what hasn’t in terms of family, friends and support? Why have some LGBTQ+ people experienced more problems and why have some gained in strength during the COVID-19 pandemic? We particularly want to hear from LGBTQ+ people who are aged between 18-35 years old but we would also be pleased to hear from anyone over 18 who is keen to talk to us. Our project — One Year On: LGBTQ+ Pandemic Experiences Interviews — has been given ethical approval by Birkbeck University of London. Please do get in touch – see flyer for details – as we would be pleased to tell you more about our interview questions.

If you would like to take part in the interview survey or get in touch with any questions please contact Fiona Tasker and Marie Houghton.

Please note that participation in this research is voluntary. Anyone signing up has the right to change their mind and withdraw at any point before or during the interview. Birkbeck is committed to ensuring that your personal data is processed in line with the GDPR and DPA 2018. 

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How words can misfire in a foreign language. A look at the impact of our research on the role of multilingualism in psychotherapy

In this blog, Jean-Marc Dewaele, Professor in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism in the Department of Applied Linguistics & Communication, discusses the origins of his research and why multilingualism needs to considered in the practice of psychotherapy.

Two women speaking

Two women speaking

Early experiences in life can shape future research interests, just as a butterfly flapping its wings in one place can ultimately trigger a typhoon across the world.  I remember standing in a little beach restaurant in Crete, aged 10, amid the sound of waves and the smells of thyme in the summer heat. I was with my new Greek friend. We communicated almost entirely in gestures because he did not know Dutch or French and I only knew a few words of Greek.  He had just convinced me to walk to the table where his dad was having an Ouzo, and firmly utter the mysterious word “μαλάκας”.  Little did I realise that I was about to call a colonel in the Greek army a “wanker”. I planted myself in front of the dad, looked him in the eye, said the word, and watched with astonishment as he went pale and then very red, before noticing his son smiling behind a pillar.  Though I have forgotten whether or not I was punished, I remember being amazed that a word that was gibberish to me could have such a powerful impact on somebody else.

This embarrassing episode triggered a research question that came to fruition thirty years later, as I embarked on a series of studies on the language preferences of multilinguals in communicating emotions.  I demonstrated that multilinguals’ first language(s) (L1) typically have more emotional resonance than foreign languages (LX), and that L1s are typically preferred to communicate emotions (Dewaele 2010).  The reason is that L1(s) are more embodied, having been acquired in early childhood, a period of intense affective socialization, when languages develop together with autobiographical memory and emotion regulation systems.  In contrast, LXs are acquired later in life and typically in a classroom, where words lack any rich emotional connotations, making those words feel uncalibrated and “detached”.  Although this perception may disappear after intense secondary affective LX socialisation, many LX users may occasionally struggle with emotion words and emotion-laden words.

The detachment effect of the LX has both positive and negative psychological consequences. LX users may feel inauthentic expressing their emotions in the LX, but its reduced emotional resonance can also allow them to talk about topics that would be too painful to discuss in the L1. Cook (2019) observed this in her interviews with refugees who had had been tortured in their L1.  Although some complained about feeling blunt and clumsy in English LX, they also considered it to be a liberating tool, which enabled them to bear witness to their trauma, and which contributed to the [re]invention and performance of a new self.

The insight that LX users may switch languages unconsciously or strategically in discussing their emotions was a central point of Dewaele (2010). It led Dr Beverley Costa, a psychotherapist who ran a counselling service that offered therapeutic support to Black, Asian and minority communities in the UK, to contact me. There began our joint interdisciplinary mixed-methods research into the problems facing both therapists and patients who are English LX users (Costa & Dewaele, 2012, 2019; Dewaele & Costa, 2013; Rolland et al., 2017, 2020).  It was the first research in the field to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from large numbers of multilingual patients and therapists in the UK, and thus marked a departure from the traditional approach in the field which was based on case-studies.  Statistical analyses and thematic analyses of interview data revealed that patients who are LX users in English sometimes struggled with expressing their emotions, and felt alienated when therapists ignored their multilingualism and multiculturalism, which are a central part of their identity. Many therapists were reluctant to allow other languages but English in the session for fear of losing control.  These fears were very much rooted in the monolingual ideology that dominates mental healthcare in the UK. There is very little training for therapists and counsellors to equip them to treat multilingual and multicultural patients.

In order to raise awareness about multilingualism, we have jointly presented our research to charities and service providers.  Costa trained over 3,640 British therapists between 2013 and 2020.  This training had a significant effect on the therapists’ beliefs, attitudes and practices regarding their multilingual patients. The sessions increased practitioners’ confidence about working with patients’ multilingualism, and how it could be a therapeutic asset in treatment (Bager-Charleson et al., 2017).  The techniques developed from our research are helping LX-using patients dealing with anxiety and depression more effectively (Costa, 2020).  The key points of our research have been incorporated into the core competencies for supervisors for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and in training programmes for clinical supervisors for the NHS at Universities of Reading and Southampton.

References
Bager-Charleson, S., Dewaele, J.-M., Costa, B., & Kasap, Z. (2017) A multilingual outlook: Can awareness-raising about multilingualism affect therapists’ practice? A mixed-method evaluation. Language and Psychoanalysis 6, 56-75.
Cook, S. (2019) Exploring the role of multilingualism in the therapeutic journey of survivors of torture and human trafficking. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Birkbeck, University of London.
Costa, B. (2020) Other Tongues: Psychological therapies in a multilingual world. London: PCCS Books.
Costa, B., & Dewaele, J.-M. (2012) Psychotherapy across languages: beliefs, attitudes and practices of monolingual and multilingual therapists with their multilingual patients. Language and Psychoanalysis 1, 19-40. Winner of the Equality and Diversity Research Award (2013) from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Costa, B., & Dewaele, J.-M. (2019) The talking cure – building the core skills and the confidence of counsellors and psychotherapists to work effectively with multilingual patients through training and supervision. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 19, 231–240.
Dewaele, J.-M. (2010) Emotions in multiple languages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dewaele, J.-M. & Costa, B. (2013) Multilingual clients’ experience of psychotherapy. Language and Psychoanalysis 2, 31-50.
Rolland, L., Dewaele, J.-M., & Costa, B. (2017) Multilingualism and psychotherapy: Exploring multilingual clients’ experiences of language practices in psychotherapy. International Journal of Multilingualism 14, 69-85.
Rolland, L., Costa, B., & Dewaele, J.-M. (2020) Negotiating the language(s) for psychotherapy talk: A mixed methods study from the perspective of multilingual clients. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/capr.12369

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Championing a more inclusive post-pandemic digital investment landscape

In this blog, we hear about the efforts of  Professor Kevin Ibeh, from the Department of Management, to encourage inclusivity in the post-pandemic landscape. 

A man with a book under arm.

Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash

Birkbeck Professor of International Business, Professor Kevin Ibeh, is among a select group of international business scholars recently invited by the official journal of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Transnational Corporations, to offer perspectives on the longer term implications – global, regional and sectoral –  of the COVID-19 pandemic for international production and investment flows.

The Focused Section on COVID-19 published in September 2020 comprise insightful contributions from leading international business researchers and policy thinkers based in Denmark, Geneva, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The themes addressed include the balance between globalisation and regionalisation in the post-COVID-19 world; human rights issues, efficiency and resilience tensions and digital transformation of global value chains; and digital investments in Africa and a more inclusive post-pandemic world.

Professor Ibeh’s contribution focuses on the last mentioned theme and advances policies for promoting the intraregional and international investment prospects of African digital multinationals in the post-pandemic era. These policy ideas are organised around four main areas, organizational capabilities, funding access, digital infrastructure and regulatory environment, and they seek to promote a more globally inclusive investment landscape in which African-born digital multinationals would no longer be a rarity. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic’s amplification of humankind’s shared and digital future, Professor Ibeh calls on policymakers and influential stakeholders at all levels to intensify the push for a more inclusive global digital economy.

This work is part of Professor Ibeh’s influential and continuing research on African multinationals, which has attracted coverage in international media outlets such as The Economist and the Global Finance magazine.

 

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