The popular Profs in the Pav talks, which went virtual before Covid-19 restrictions on events were lifted, return to campus with experts diving into the worlds of sport, storytelling and celebrity.
Associate Professor Matt Slater kicks off the series on Monday 4 October with Teamtalk: The psychology of high performing sport teams and successful leadership. Following a sensational summer of sport, Matt will explain how a high performance culture switches the thinking from “me and I” to “we and us” and how relationships between athletes and a “sense of togetherness” is the key ingredient for success.
He said: “In sport, teams win matches, but teams with togetherness win championships, make history, and have an enduring legacy.
“In our research studies at Staffordshire University, we have found that in teams where leadership creates a strong sense of togetherness, athletes exert more effort – they are more committed to the group.”
On Monday 1 November, Harry Potter meets the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Associate Professor Alke Groppel-Wegener will explore how far we’ve come since the opening of Disneyland more than 60 years ago and some of the fantastical ways in which audiences can now consider stories they are familiar with in the context of real-world experiences.
In December’s Profs in the Pav, Professor Ian Brown will assess how celebrity culture can commodify an audience’s attention, basing the presentation on a series of artworks he has produced as part of artists’ group Common Culture.
Other highlights in the events calendar include a special lecture to mark Black History Month on 25 October by Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards. Kanya will share her personal story and how the right attitude, persistence and self-discipline will help move the needle on fairness, inclusivity and diversity.
This autumn also sees the launch of Live at Staffs, a series of live public performances from music to theatre and spoken word. World famous guitarist Martin Simpson opens the series on 29 September, playing a mix of English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions.
Off campus, the Mitchell Arts Centre will host the first live screening of a film shot on location in and around Stoke-on-Trent with help from film Staffordshire University students. Running Naked will be screened on 21 October followed by a Q & A with the film’s producers Andy Paton and Mike Knowles, film lecturers at the University.
University Events Manager Klaudia Tomkowiak said: “We are incredibly excited to be welcoming students, staff and the wider community back onto campus. After a difficult 18 months, our upcoming talks, screenings and performances are an ideal opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues. We look forward to seeing you there!
“Following the success of our virtual events during the pandemic we will also share recordings of all our on campus talks for anyone who can’t join us person.”
For more information about all public events visit www.staffs.ac.uk/events
Wednesday 29 September, Studio One at 6.30pm (tickets £15)
Monday 6 October, Pavilion Café at 5.30pm (free)
Thursday 21 October, Mitchell Arts Centre at 6.30pm (tickets £7, includes a drink)
Monday 25 October, Science Centre at 6pm (free)
Monday 1 November, Pavilion Café at 5.30pm (free)
Monday 6 December, Pavilion Café at 5.30pm (free)