CUSP, Psychology, Social Psychology

CUSP Launch

You are cordially invited to the launch of Culture and Social Psychology (CUSP), a new research nexus stemming from the Open University’s School of Psychology. Alongside director Professor Paul Stenner’s introduction, the launch event will feature talks by Professor Lynne Segal (Birkbeck) and Professor Peter Hegarty (University of Surrey).

The event will take place on 15 June, 2-6pm, at The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, NW1 8NP

The schedule of the day:

2.00pm – Introduction to CUSP by Professor Paul Stenner

2.45pm – Professor Lynne Segal (Birkbeck): ‘Joy and woe are woven fine’  

3.15pm – Discussion piece by Dr Stephanie Taylor followed by open discussion

3.45pm – Refreshments

4.15pm – Professor Peter Hegarty (Surrey): ‘The courage for culture’ (ttbc)

4.45pm – Discussion piece by Professor Darren Langdridge followed by open discussion

5.15pm – Closing thoughts

5.30pm – Drinks and nibbles



CUSP is a new academic grouping based in the membership of the Social Psychology Research Group (SPRG) and the former CCIG Psychosocial Research Programme. The acronym ‘CUSP’ was chosen because this word designates a point of transition between two states (and hence also, geometrically, the pointed end where two curves meet). As such, it expresses the idea of a process of becoming in which something new is emerging, but has not yet become fully determinate.

Our research in CUSP takes this idea in two senses. First, in terms of our substantive interests we focus our social psychological research upon occasions of social transition, personal transformation and emergent and contested cultural and political issues. CUSP research provides new empirical insight into real-world issues relating to changing gendered, religious, sexual and political subjectivities in concrete contexts (including changing experiences of work, questions of movement across boundaries, practices of governance through subjectivity and affect, responses to emergent political issues such as Brexit, etc). Second, we think of social psychology itself as ‘on the cusp’ of emergence rather than as an already settled discipline.

We explore emergent forms of social psychological practice, including novel methods and theoretical perspectives that can grapple with embodied and socially embedded realities-in-process. We engage with social psychology beyond the classic experimental model, grappling with discursive psychology, social identities and representations, critical psychology, socio-cultural psychology and feminist psychology, each of which gives a new centrality to the concept of culture as core to human experience, interaction, power and development.  

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