Blog from December, 2018

9th & 10th January 2019
University of Nottingham

Registration for Philosophy in Progress 2019 Postgraduate conference is now open. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors it is free, however, numbers are limited, and therefore all attendees must register to avoid disappointment. Please visit




TaPRA 2019 PG Symposium - In collaboration with SCUDD

Wednesday 13th March, Faculty of English, University of Oxford

Dissonance implies conflict or discord, whether that be cognitive, or cultural, or perhaps, musical. According to Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance (1957), people are psychologically motivated to engage in behaviour orientated towards reduction of disharmony, in preference of an internal consistency. In practice, this theory suggests that when confronted with something that challenges our perception of ourselves, or our way of behaving in the world, we instinctively try to resolve the feeling of dissonance. Ziva Kunda (1990) developed this concept further, observing how motivation affects reasoning, resulting in a rationalization, an altering of our perception of the factors involved, to justify behaviour and confirm bias. The existence of the dissonant problem, thus becomes obscured. Yet, Chantal Mouffe’s agonistic model of democracy highlights that unresolvable, incommensurable conflict is both natural and necessary (2013). Rather than collude in a fallacy of consensus she argues in favour of embracing a more pluralistic approach that acknowledges and allows for difference, replete with its disagreements and antagonisms.

In the contemporary context of performance research, dissention and antagonism is palpably evident. Socio-politically, the rise of populist movements worldwide, the impact of ten years of austerity measures in the UK, and the continued experiences of intersectional inequalities discriminating difference, including race, gender, sexuality and disability, contradict neoliberal assumptions of social progress. Within academia, there is renewed debate around issues relating to access, value and modes of research. In particular, universities have been challenged to decolonise and de-canonise curriculums that have obscured non-western contributions to knowledge (Bhambra, Gebrial and Nisanciaglu, 2018). Yet, the work of diversity within institutions is perhaps conflated with reactions towards complaint and becomes particularly difficult when, as Sarah Ahmed notes, ‘to locate a problem is to become the location of a problem’ (2017). More broadly, the act of research, and also the process of encountering performance, might be considered as an openness to a chance encounter that might well contradict or, at least unsettle, pre-conceived ideas of what we think we know. Marissa Fragkou suggests that, in theatrical performance, staging dissonance might be used as an ethico-political tool to ask ‘difficult ethical questions’ about issues of social justice (2018). The theme of this symposium, therefore, invites discussion of the ways in which performance practice and/or performance research might engage with dissonance.

We invite presentations that relate with the theme of ‘Engaging with Dissonance’ in all forms of theatre practice, performance, performance studies, formal and informal performer training, stagecraft and theatre/drama in education. Themes might include, but are not limited to:

  • Dissonance in performance, as an aesthetic or political practice.
  • Conflicting ideas in research and/or performance – the process of doing research and practice today.
  • Encountering moments of discord in practice and research.
  • Challenging canons or repertoire or concepts.
  • Doing and disseminating research differently.
  • Revealing or performing antagonisms.
  • Practices of conflictual consensus. 

    Papers (15mins), provocations (10mins) and alternative presentations (15mins) from postgraduates at all levels of study, postdoctoral researchers and early career academics, are welcome. Please note that this will not be in a performance studio, so technical requirements are limited, although we welcome suggestions for alternative forms of sharing work. As we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, please let us know if there are any access provisions that would better enable you to participate.  

    The symposium will include a rehearsed reading of an extract from JC Niala’s play Unsettled, collected in the new anthology, Contemporary Plays by African Women(published January 2019), which JC Niala will introduce. There will also be a panel curated and hosted by SCUDD’s PG officer, Harriet Richmond on ‘Transitions into the Academy: Advice for Early and Second-Career Academics’. 

    The symposium is free and open to all postgraduatescurrently enrolled on a postgraduate course and early career researchers. 

    Abstracts should be 250 words in length. All abstracts should be sent to When submitting your abstract, please also include a short biography (no more than 50 words) and a brief note on technical requirements (if any) in the same document. Those wishing to use alternative approaches to presenting research, such as performance lectures, are asked to include an additional 100 words detailing your intended presentation methods.

To support access to participation in this event TaPRA and SCUDD have allocated funds for a number of bursaries to cover travel costs and/or any other required access costs. Should you wish to be considered for a bursary, please include a statement with your proposal to support your request, including an estimated cost of travel/access costs of up to £100. A selection panel of TaPRA and SCUDD executive members will award bursaries based on:

  1. Quality of presentation proposal,
  2. The extent to which the applicant will benefit from attending,
  3. The financial need that might otherwise impede participation.

Our intention is that those who may not otherwise be able to participate in the event are supported to do so. 

All correspondence should be directed to Hannah Greenstreet and Cathy Sloan via

The deadline for submitting your proposal is 5pm on 1stFebruary 2019. We will be unable to accept submissions after this deadline. Notifications will be sent by the end of February 2019.

Hannah Greenstreet and Cathy Sloan (TaPRA PG representatives)  


University of Durham | University of Newcastle

11-13 April 2019

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers and Call for Posters for the 13th Annual Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium (EMASS).

EMASS welcomes proposals for papers and posters by postgraduates and early career researchers on any aspect of the early medieval period (broadly defined as the 4th to 12th centuries AD), across all geographical regions. Proposals from international researchers are especially welcome, though please note that the symposium is conducted in English. There is a small number of bursaries to support participants, please include your interest in your application to receive further information

Full information on how to submit your abstracts (including the different deadlines!) can be found on the attached CfPs and our social media pages:



Twitter: @EarlyMedArch


Call for Papers 

The editorial team of Creative Industries Cluster Journal (CICJ) invite creative practitioners, PhD, MA students and BCMCR staff to submit 300 word abstracts for the second issue of the journal. 

The theme for this issue is ‘“Borders and Hinterlands”. We would like to explore creative and cultural practice that exists beyond the margins of cultural policy and commercial markets. This issue will platform original perspectives on the functioning, role and value of cultural activity that exists beyond the reach of official policy and commercial cultural production. This takes in, among other things, activity that is often conceptualised as ‘grassroots’, ‘voluntary’, ‘amateur’, ‘homemade’ ‘everyday’ or ‘alternative’ cultural production and consumption.

In this issue we want to ask: Where are the edges of ‘official culture’ and/or ‘mainstream’ culture? How are cultural borders and hinterlands formed or altered? What sustains marginal activity in a cultural hinterland? What is the role of ‘hinterland’ culture in addressing complex societal issues? How do cultural borders and hinterlands relate to identity, belonging, cultural value and social capital?

Contributions can either address the theme of ‘    Borders and Hinterlands’ directly, or critique existing research by considering its implications through the lens of the ‘borders and hinterlands’ theme.

Submissions can include media responses (Podcasts, video, images, games etc). Video or Audio submissions should not exceed 45 minutes in length and be in a file format suitable for hosting on Word Press. Written submissions should be 2,000-4,000 words.

Four contributions will be published on the 14th June 2019. The URL for the journal is Editorial guidelines can also be found on this website.  

Deadline for 300-word abstracts is 1st February 2019

Please include your name, institution, contact email and bio. 

Full submissions will be invited by the 15th February and expected by the 15th April. The Journal edition will be published 14th June 2019. All contributions published by CICJ will be considered by the whole editorial panel, and peer reviewed by two editors before publication.  

Please email proposals to the Editors: 

Managing Editor: Martin Cox

Editor: Jill Robinson

Please note The Creative Industries Cluster Journal (CICJ) shall be entitled to first use of the contribution for the online platform, but the author remains the copyright owner and can republish their contribution without seeking the journal’s permission. CICJ reserve the right to decline to publish contributions if they are submitted after the agreed deadline and without the assigned editor being informed (and agreeing to) a new submission date.



A symposium on constructing character and identity

in real and fictional worlds

10th May 2019

Language allows us to engage with others and provides a means through which we can project and reveal our character and identity to the world. It also provides a means through which we can attribute the characteristics of other people, both real and fictional. We regard literary and everyday use of language as a continuum and we are interested in research that spans the interface between literary and non-literary texts. Our symposium, therefore, seeks to explore questions such as:

• What are the similarities, continuities, and differences in the representations of real-life and fictional people?

• Can textual representations of real people and fictional characters be analysed in the same way?

• What can literary and non-literary disciplines learn from each other’s approaches?

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers and are particularly looking for contributions that explicitly attempt to link assumptions and/or practices from related disciplines and illustrate such links through specific textual analysis.

Relevant approaches include (but are not limited to):

• Stylistics

• Cognitive poetics

• (Critical) Discourse analysis

• Pragmatics

• Sociolinguistics

Those interested in participating should submit an abstract of around 300 words and up to five keywords by Friday 1st February 2019. Abstracts should be submitted as a Word attachment and sent to (please remember to include your name and affiliation).

Participants will be notified by Friday 1st March and registration will be open from this date.

The Stylistics & Discourse Analysis Reading Group

British Library Doctoral Open Days – registration now open!

Our Doctoral Open Days are a chance for PhD students who are new to the Library to learn how to make the most of our research materials, get to grips with the practicalities of using the Library and its services, and find out how to navigate our physical and online collections. They are also a great opportunity to meet our expert and friendly staff and other researchers from all disciplines.

Each day concentrates on a different aspect of the Library’s collections and most take an inter-disciplinary approach.  Students are welcome to choose the day they feel is most relevant to their studies – the full list is at the end of this email.

All events take place in the British Library Knowledge Centre at St Pancras, London (except for the event on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at Boston Spa, though please note that this is already fully booked). 

For further details of the all Open Days and how to book please see below or our website. Places cost £10.00 including lunch and other refreshments.


Registration for Philosophy in Progress 2019 Postgraduate conference is now open. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors it is free. Please visit to register.

Date and time:
Wed 9 January 2019
10:30 – 18:00
Thurs 10 January 2019
09:00 – 16:00

University of Nottingham, Humanities Building, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Keynotes: Phillip Goff (Durham University) & Kathy Puddifoot (Durham University).

Sponsors and partnership: Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, Analysis Trust, University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham

Please direct any enquiries to

For more information, visit the conference website


Employability Placement Opportunity with The AfterShakespeare Collaboration

The AfterShakespeare Collaboration is dedicated to the ongoing research of how and why Shakespeare was able to do what he did, and how this work can be best kept alive.

This is an opportunity for someone who is motivated to push knowledge boundaries through a questioning, testing, and analytical approach.

 They are looking for an employability placement student who can bring their enthusiasm and research skills to help with some or all of the following:

  • Devise a living research methodology to capture our work so that forms a cohesive argument of interest to scholars and theatre practitioners
  • Identify how this work can be made more accessible to other interested individuals and organisations.
    • Documenting and cataloguing the work we have done to date
    • Analysing the work to establish what outcomes have been achieved
    • Establishing a 'living research' methodology
    • Sharing conclusions by means of publications and sharing with interested researchers/practitioners

The placement student will have full access to records/material created over the 15 years we have been on our journey. Frank Bramwell, our Director, will make himself freely available for the duration of the placement.

Skills, knowledge or experience needed:

A lively and open-minded approach to work, Research methodology skills and knowledge, Knowledge of the life and works of William Shakespeare, Interest in finding out what Humanitarian insights Shakespeare’s works can show us, Experience of creating and performing Theatre (desirable but not essential)

Next steps: If this is an employability placement (up to 3 months) that you would be interested in pursuing or would like more information on, please get in touch with: Frank Bramwell, Director about creating a project that fits both your interests and theirs:

If you have any questions about the process, please get in touch with Leslie Bode, your placement manager


"Corroding the Now: Poetry + Science | SF" is a forthcoming academic conference set to take place on April 12-13, 2019. Featuring papers, panels, poetry readings, performances and other responses from scholars and practitioners, "Corroding the Now" sets out to explore the tensions and affinities between poetry, science and science fiction. 

We are interested in academic papers and panels, creative responses, poetry readings and performances. We welcome scholars, poets, critics, scientists, science fiction writers, students, and all others. We are also interested in submissions of A2 size posters featuring critical, creative and other work. These will be on display for the duration of the conference. Poster submissions from PGR students will be given priority over those from other sources. "Corroding the Now" is committed to promoting diversity whenever possible and encourages proposals from people of all backgrounds.

For individual papers, responses, or performances, please send proposals of up to 300 words. For multiple participant formats (e.g. discussion panels, group readings, etc.), proposals may be up to 500 words long. Multiple participant panels or performances that are all-male will not be considered for inclusion in the conference. Posters should be sent in both high res (300+ DPI) jpeg and pdf formats. Both posters and proposals should be accompanied by 50 word participant bios. All submissions should be sent to by 14thJanuary 2019. Applicants will receive a response by 4th February 2019. Enquiries in the meantime should be addressed to

Confirmed conference guests include: Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes University), Melinda Gebbie, Allen Fisher, and Iain Sinclair.

For more information, please visit