Latest Event Updates
Conference Review: Sights and Frights – Interdisciplinary Conference on Victorian Visual Culture, Horror and the Supernatural
The Sights and Frights conference took place at the University of Sussex on Thursday 19th June 2014. The conference was sponsored by The Centre for Visual Fields at the University of Sussex & supported by the Doctoral School’s Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) Fund. Today’s blog post has been written by the organisers of the event.
The aim of this one-day conference was to explore and interrogate cultural cross-currents between nineteenth-century visual culture and the literature, science and social practices of the period, particularly where these were concerned with attitudes to and instances of, the supernatural and horrific.
The conference attracted a variety of international delegates, including research students and academics, as well as professionals working in such diverse fields as museum curating, fiction writing, publishing and contemporary art – evidence that the ghostly and ghoulish is a widely popular area of interest.
Professor William Hughes of Bath Spa University commenced proceedings with his keynote lecture Talking Heads: Reconfiguring Post-Mortem Testimony in the Ghost Story. This fascinating talk discussed how the supernatural and evidential converge in the ghost-story trope of the re-animated corpse.
The six panel discussions showcased the inter-disciplinary nature and exciting range of research being conducted in the field. The topics covered included spiritualism, ghost fiction, werewolves, mummies, phantasmagoria, enfreakment, miasma and spirit photographs – to name but a few.
A very special and unique addition to the conference was a magic lantern demonstration (pictured above), delivered with great humour and erudition by Trevor Beattie. Delegates were treated to an hour of genuine nineteenth-century slides, including ‘chromatropes’ or fake fireworks; a ‘smoking monkey’ and a ‘man swallowing rats’(!) – a spectacular and memorable show that was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
The final keynote speech of the day was given by Dr. Tatiana Kontou, a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and Sussex alumnus. In The Haunted Lens: Mourning and Proof in Post-Mortem and Spirit Photography, Dr. Kontou examined how the aesthetics of the post-mortem photograph permeated other kinds of nineteenth-century imagery. A particularly sensitive and touching observation was how the post-mortem photograph – particularly those featuring children – facilitates mourning by reconfiguring bereavement as a new kind of relationship – one with a dead, rather than a living, loved one.
We are very grateful for the support of the Doctoral School’s Researcher-Led Initiative Fund, which enabled this conference to take place. For more information and full abstracts of all papers please see www.sightsandfrights.com.
The Regional Studies Association
Early Career Conference 2014
Call for Papers
Abstract submission deadline: Friday 29 August, 2014
The Regional Studies Association encourages submissions of abstracts to our annual Early Career conference, to be held in Sheffield in October 2014. This exciting conference, sponsored by new open access journal Regional Studies, Regional Science, will provide PhD students and early career researchers with the opportunity to network, collaborate and socialise with others working in regional studies and science. The objective of the conference is bring together students and early career researchers to present and debate their work in a welcoming and stimulating environment, with a view to getting invaluable feedback and new ideas and learning more about how and where to publish their research results. One session will focus on how the publishing environment is changing and the new opportunities it creates. A number of distinguished Plenary Speakers will be in attendance, in addition to the Editors-in-Chief of Regional Studies, Regional Science. Participants working in the following areas are invited to submit an abstract, though we welcome all submissions with a regional studies or regional science focus.
- Urban and regional development and policy
- New challenges in urban planning
- New economic geography
- Big data and regions
- Climate change and sustainability
- Urban and regional governance
- Politics and territory
- Innovation and knowledge
- City regions
- Regional mapping and visualisation
- Clusters and smart specialisation
- Labour markets and migration
- Spatial justice
Abstract submission will be available online from April 2014. For more information and updates on this event, please go to:
The conference will begin and end with a series of plenary lectures. In between these sessions a number of parallel workshop tracks will be held, all within the ICOSS building at the heart of the University of Sheffield’s city centre campus. Papers will be grouped thematically after submission. We will also hold a special ‘how to get published’ session with journal editors and devote one session to more innovative presentation formats.
Information About the Venue
The conference venue is 300m from the nearest tram stop, which connects directly to Sheffield train station (accessible directly from most major UK cities). For international visitors, there is a direct train from Manchester Airport to Sheffield. There are many bars, restaurants and hotels within walking distance of the venue.
For more information, please go to: http://www.regionalstudies.org/conferences/conference/regional-studies-association-early-career-conference-2014
What do researchers do next?
26 June, 2pm UK Time, #PostAcStory
Join a live Q&A with doctoral graduates for Vitae’s FREE #PostAcStory Google Hangout on 26 June (Thursday) from 2pm UK Time! The moderator will be joined by researchers turned consultants as well as researchers working in and outside academia to discuss what it’s like to do their jobs, how they got there and how they decided what to do next after their PhD or Postdoctoral grant.
Respond to invitation here: http://bit.ly/1hyxEJk
Career opportunities for researchers cover a wide range of sectors including higher education, manufacturing, finance, business and IT, health, and public administration. Recent trends demonstrate that over half of researchers will go on to pursue a career outside academic research or teaching on completion of their doctorate. So how do you decide which career to embrace? How do you find out which career would suit your strengths, values and interests?
The panellists will help you answer the following:
- How do you realise what strengths and talents you have?
- What have other researchers done?
- What kinds of career paths do researchers follow?
- What is it like to stay in academia as research staff?
- What is it like to do research in a different setting?
- Which qualifications and experience are required for various careers?
- Work-life balance in various post-PhD careers
To meet the panellists and read more about the event, please, go to: http://bit.ly/1x19AmG
JOIN the conversation on the 26 June.
What is a Google Hangout?
Vitae Google+ Hangouts are live online video events of Q&A sessions with a group of expert panellists.
As the video is streaming live online you will be able to watch and gain real insights, top tips and also have an opportunity to get involved in the conversation, ask and answer questions on a discussion board or on Twitter.
Can anyone attend the Hangout?
Yes, whether you have a Google account or not, you will be able to watch our live hangout when it is streamed on 26 June!
However, only by joining our Google Plus event page or using #PostAcStory on Twitter, will you have the opportunity to guide the discussion and tailor advice with your own questions.
How can I ask questions?
The Google Hangout Q&A app will be used for the event which is the easiest and the most effective way to get your questions noticed. The questions will appear on the right side of the screen as the video is being streamed.
The App is now live – Simply click “Ask a new question” and it will be answered during the hangout.
Researching Sex and Intimacy in Contemporary Life:
An Interdisciplinary Symposium
July 18th, 9:00 – 18:00
School of Law, Politics and Sociology
Friston 108, University of Sussex
This symposium brings together researchers across the disciplines to address some key current questions and explore ways of researching and thinking about sex and intimacy. It will reflect a wealth of exciting, innovative research and thinking currently in this area. There has been a recent proliferation of research and publication spanning such diverse areas as mediated intimacies, mapping intimacies, asexuality and intimacy, enduring love, liquid love, intimacy and living alone, living apart together, seduction communities, cross-national intimacies, intimacy landscapes, intimate citizenship, sexual citizenship, plastic sexuality, sexualisation, sex work, sex and material culture. There is scope for interdisciplinary thinking and researching from a range of disciplines including Sociology, Cultural studies, Gender Studies, Anthropology, Politics, Law, International development, Education, Psychology and beyond. It is anticipated that future networking and opportunities for collaboration will arise from this event.
Confirmed speakers include Professor Andrea Cornwall, University of Sussex and Dr Meg Barker, Open University.
For more information please contact Charlotte Morris on email@example.com
Limited places available – book early to avoid disappointment.
This event is supported by the Doctoral School’s Researcher-Led Initiative Fund.
SAGE Research Hive Scholarships 2014-15
The Library and Doctoral School are now recruiting for next year’s Hive Scholar roles. There are three, ten-month Scholarships with an attached bursary of £3250, and the deadline for applications is Sunday 8th June 2014.
The Library’s Research Hive is a space dedicated for use by the research community at Sussex, open exclusively to doctoral researchers and academic staff. The Library, in partnership with the Doctoral School, is offering three SAGE Research Hive Scholarships to support the Research Hive and the needs of the research community at Sussex. Each scholarship attracts a fixed bursary of £3,250 for a ten-month duration: from September 2014 to the end of June 2015.
The scholarship holders will be required to contribute on average 25 hours per month for the duration of the scholarship period to provide support for the Research Hive. These hours will be flexible and dependent on any planned events. Some of this time will be spent on-site in the Hive at times to be agreed, but the Scholars will also be expected to spend time in Schools and Departments finding out about the needs of the research community at Sussex and actively promoting the Hive. The Scholars will need to work together effectively and flexibly as a self-managing team, including regular contact by email/other social media and monthly face-to-face meetings. The role will include some evening and weekend working, with emphasis on raising awareness of the Research Hive and the benefits it has to offer; generating ideas and arranging events to support the research community; and evaluating the facility.
These scholarships will provide an ideal opportunity for doctoral researchers to develop professional skills in a number of areas including: organising events; marketing; communication; project management. The scholarship holders will be able to improve and expand their professional research networks, and to gain valuable insight and knowledge of issues affecting researchers at all stages of their careers. There will also be an opportunity to find out more about academic publishing and develop links with SAGE.
With support from the Doctoral School’s Researcher-Led Initiative Fund, Music Materialities in the Digital Age is a 2 day interdisciplinary conference taking place at the University of Sussex on 27th and 28th June.
Music, while summoning notions of intangibility, transience and loss, is also associated with material objects that serve to ground the musical, make the transient permanent and defer loss. Unearthing music’s association with materiality reveals a fascinating array of artefacts, including instruments, scores, transcribing devices, sound recordings and much more. Such artefacts provide vital reference points for historical research as well as inviting new creative uses, rediscoveries and (re)mediations. They also add to the ever-growing archives of past objects, whether stored in ‘physical’ or digital forms. Music’s material traces serve as vital ways of mediating memory, whether in private collections or public exhibitions. Furthermore, the use of musical ‘ephemera’ such as record sleeves, programmes, flyers and posters as a primary means for putting the popular musical past on display in museums and galleries has highlighted the ways in which such objects are not so ephemeral after all.
The persistence of musical artefacts and musical materialities following the period of their initial use value poses interesting questions. What is the fate of musical artefacts once they become obsolescent? What becomes of music and its objects once relegated to archives? What is the role of musical artefacts in helping us to understand the past? What is the relationship between the physical and the digital in terms of music’s objects? To what extent does a focus on music’s objects challenge the idea of music as a social process? Conversely, what role does musical materiality play in the maintenance and development of rituals long associated with music? What rituals reformulate musical materiality? What does the remediation of the musical past via ‘media archaeology’ have to tell us about present desires, anxieties and needs? What is the role of museums, galleries, sound archives and libraries in these processes?
Working from the premise that musical materiality matters, the aim of this two-day interdisciplinary conference (welcoming speakers from media studies, music studies, cultural studies, museum studies, memory studies and other cognate disciplines) will be to reflect upon the materialities of music objects/technologies in the digital age, with an emphasis on:
- Processes of remediation
- Residual media of ‘dead media’
- Cultural waste
- Media archaeology (and particular manifestations relating to sound and music, e.g. ‘vinyl archaeology’)
- The recycling of memory and material culture
- The digital archive
- The future of music creation and consumption
- Nostalgia and ‘retromania’
- Music as ‘thing’ and/or ‘process’
Scheduled papers cover a variety of topics, including contexts of reception, production and circulation of digital objects; analysis of residual media and formats (playback devices, vinyl records, cassettes, etc.); the meanings and implications of digitisation; archives, museums and sound curating; musical materiality and digitality in education, the implications of streaming for producers and consumers of music; the evocative power and physicality of music objects. The full programme will be published on the conference website later in May.
Keynotes will be provided by Professor Will Straw and Dr Noel Lobley.
Will Straw is Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and Professor within the Department of Art History and Communications Studies at McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Straw received his BA in Film Studies from Carleton University (Ottawa) and his Masters and PhD degrees from McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50s America, and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock. He has published widely on music scenes, the music industry and the relationship of music to media.
Noel Lobley is a sound curator who is currently working as an ethnomusicologist Research Associate at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, where he is developing the music and sound collections through a series of curated experiential sound events. His interdisciplinary research in the anthropology of sound and music explores recorded heritage as a key method for understanding the relationships between archival field recordings, culture and environment.
The conference will include a specially convened panel featuring sound curators Andy Linehan and Cheryl Tipp of the British Library. This session, convened by Professor David Hendy (University of Sussex), is in collaboration with the British Library and the Sussex-based Public Culture Hub.
Registration and Fees
Registration for the conference is now open. Please register by completing the booking form and paying the appropriate fee using one of the payment methods listed on the registration page.
** DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX CAN APPLY FOR A REDUCED CONFERENCE FEE! **
The organisers of the conference ‘Musical Materialities in the Digital Age’ are delighted to offer up to 30 Sussex students the opportunity to register for this 2-day conference at the reduced rate of £25. This represents a 50% saving on the current early-bird student rate and a 60% saving on the regular student rate. The reduced rate is open to any student currently registered at the University of Sussex and covers conference registration, delegate fees, lunch and refreshments on both days of the conference.
To request an application form for the reduced rate please e-mail R.Elliott@sussex.ac.uk.
Completed forms must be received by 13th June 2014 to be eligible for the fee reduction, but bear in mind that applications will be dealt with as received so early submission is advised. Details of how to pay the reduced fee (£25) will be provided with confirmation of successful applications.
For more information please visit the Music Materialities In the Digital Age website.
Researcher Development Planner: Launch Event
Thursday 5th June 2014
12:30 – 14:30
In the current economic climate, personal and professional development planning for researchers has become increasingly more important to maintain your progress and make key decisions about your future career.
On Thursday 5th June, we are organising an event for researchers, to introduce you to the Researcher Development Framework Planner, and the free trial we are running.
The planner is designed to help you:
- Reflect on your achievements and set aspirational goals
- Consider skills and experiences that will enhance your prospects of success in particular career areas
- Identify opportunities for further professional development
- Create a personal record of progress, backed up by evidence
- Develop an action plan
- Highlight, articulate and evidence the transferability of your skills in your CV, in job applications and at interviews
- Articulate your skills and attributes in a language employers outside as well as inside academia will recognise and respect
- Prepare for one-on-one reviews with your supervisor, research manager or principal investigator where you will be discussing your professional or career development
If you are interested in testing out the planner join us at this event, and help us to decide whether this will be a useful tool for researchers in the future. It is important that you book a place, so we can arrange access to the planner.
Click here to book your place!
If you would like to be involved in the trial, but can’t attend the event please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org