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Empowered: Agency, Authority, and its Limitations: SHU Humanities Postgraduate Conference 2018

May 31, 2018 - June 1, 2018
SHSU Postgraduate Research Students’ Society

United Kingdom

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Following last year’s successful inaugural Sheffield Hallam University Humanities Postgraduate Conference, we are delighted to announce that in 2018 SHU and SHSU will host ‘Empowered: Agency, Authority, its Limitations. Once again, the event will take place across two days and incorporate a guest keynote speaker from outside SHU, a further research presentation by a member of our Development and Society faculty, and a series of 3-paper parallel panels of postgraduate research papers from as broad a range of academic disciplines as possible. We have again chosen a theme that is interpretable enough to speak to the research interests and themes of those working across and beyond the boundaries of the humanities. This will build on the engaging and stimulating broad exploration of last year’s theme ‘Break-up: Separations, Estrangements, and Disjunctions’.

This conference seeks to examine and discuss different conceptions of agency, empowerment, and authority in imagination and practice. It will look to explore intellectual ideas underpinning the realities of authorisation, power, dispossession and contestation, and address the complex web of relationships between empowerment and markers of difference within and between social groups or individuals.

Interpretations of the theme of interest to the conference may include:

  • Narratives of empowerment, or the winning, conferring or growth of agency or authority
  • Experiences of disempowerment, removal or undermining of agency or authority, real or imagined
  • Clashes of agency and authority between social groups and/or individuals
  • Intersections/conflicts of identity, overcoming taboos or restrictions – ethnicity, nationality, gender, class
  • Considerations of moral agency, self-interest, authority in concept or practice
  • Power relationships – equal or unequal, nurturing, subjugating
  • Discourses of agency, authority and credibility, or disempowerment and dispossession
  • Intersections of artistic and creative expressions of empowerment with social and political experiences

The conference will take place at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union on Thursday 31st May and Friday 1st June 2018. There will be no fee for attendees. Advice on travel and accommodation will be provided nearer to the time.

We are particularly keen on encouraging debate and collaboration across a broad spectrum of disciplinary boundaries and interests. These may include history, heritage studies, literature, linguistics, philosophy, politics, geography, sociology, tourism, art history, film studies, architecture, anthropology, and academic public engagement in any field.

Please view our Call for Papers. Applications should be submitted to  by the deadline of 1st March 2018. Please direct any further inquiries to the above email address. We are also on Twitter so please follow us @shsuprssand keep in touch.

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