A range of new faces have joined CYCJ in 2023. In this series we take the chance to get to know a little bit more about who they are, and the nature of the work they’ll be doing. Second in the series is Harvey Humphrey, who joined us at the start of the year as the Research Associate working on Men Minds.
Can you a tell us a bit about your background and interests, and how they’ve led you to CYCJ at this point in your career?
I completed a PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2021 in Sociology looking at trans and intersex activist relationships across the UK, Malta and Australia. In this project I used ethnodrama (ethnographic playwriting) in the thesis to explore these complex relationships using composite characters to protect participants’ identities.
Last year I worked in the School of Education on a project that brought this written ethnodrama to life as a play shown in the Scottish Youth Theatre with a trans and non-binary directing and production team. We had an incredible cast of actors who all had a connection to the LGBTI community and the majority of whom were queer and/or trans and defined the same way as the characters they played.
I also work as Senior RA on the Supporting Sexualities and Genders project at Northumbria University. This project uses creative methods to ask questions about the importance of gender and sexuality for young disabled adults who employ personal assistants. This is a co-produced project and the research is co-designed and co-delivered by a Participatory Advisory Group of LGBT+ young disabled adults.
In what feels like another life I used to work in Student Unions focusing on policy, campaigns and EDI.
What’s the nature of the work that you’re taking on with CYCJ, and what do you see as some of the biggest challenges and opportunities ahead? How are you settling in so far?
I’ve just joined the Men Minds project looking at mental health and masculinity across three groups of young men: migrant young men, young men in conflict with the law and LGBTQI+ young men. These are three quite different groups so some of the challenges will be figuring out what works best across those different strands of the project. The project is co-produced. Similarly to some of my other work it will be co-designed and co-delivered by members of these communities that will be directly impacted by the research. Often the challenges and opportunities in co-production are somewhat intertwined and I’m excited to get started with these co-production groups to make this research happen. It’s also likely to involve creative methods in some way. It’s still quite early days though and only this week did I discover how the printer works.
Beyond Men Minds, do you have any resolutions or big projects planned for 2023?
In my own work I’m thinking a lot about sharing research and relatedly who it’s for. The play of my research that was shown in the summer was filmed. I’ve got a screening of this at Strathclyde on March 15th as part of the Strathclyde Feminist Research Network. A few other screenings might be happening at other universities and maybe a conference too. This film is also up on Youtube so email me for a link.
I’ll be at the British Sociological Association conference in April and I’m speaking at a roundtable about ethical sexualities research in May for the European Sociological Association’s Sexuality Research Network.
Could you tell us a bit about your interests are outside of youth justice?
I am a poet. Maybe. I’m trying to be a poet anyway. I have a few poems published in magazines and collections. Look out for more coming soon! I’m trying to get more confident in reading my work so feel free to invite me to do that.
What’s the best way for people to get in touch, if they want to contact you or follow the progress of your research?
Strath Email: Harvey.email@example.com
Northumbria Email: Harvey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Men Minds Twitter: @menmindsproject
Supporting Sexualities and Genders Project Twitter: @supportgenders