The Centre for Modern Studies Postgraduate Forum provides a platform for research students working within the modern period to present pieces of work and to share ideas with other students from across the humanities disciplines. Our aim is thus twofold: firstly, we offer opportunities for research students to develop and hone their presentational and discussion skills in an informal atmosphere amongst their peers, and secondly we hope to supplement the interdisciplinary research community based around the Humanities Research Centre. By focusing on the interdisciplinary role of the forum, we hope that a fruitful exchange of ideas and perspectives can be achieved in a manner that disciplinary segregation is simply unable to provide.
The seminar programme for each term will normally consist of five events per term, with the first opened by a keynote academic speaker. The subsequent events consist of two student presentations followed by group discussion. We try to pair speakers together who can present topics of relevance to one another, and thereby to spark a discussion which can draw from the content of both presentations.
If you would like to submit a paper for presentation at one of the forum events, please attach the text document to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have a paper ready, but know that you would be interested in presenting something to the forum, or if you would like some experience at chairing a discussion, please feel free to contact us at the above email address.
The forum is also fostering close links with the University of Leeds’ postgraduate community, and two related seminar series at the university. We encourage postgraduates interested in the forum to look into both: Philosophies of History (http://philosophiesofhistory.blogspot.co.uk/) and Quilting Points (http://quiltingpoints.blogspot.co.uk/).
This is a showcase of the work presented to the Centre for Modern Studies Postgraduate Forum. Papers given during the Spring 2012 meetings of the Forum and our summer conference will be, subject to the consent of the speakers, published below. The committee will also be contacting past speakers of the forum to ascertain whether or not they would like their work published here.
31/05/2012 Janelle Rodriques - Making a bad ting good: Hybridity and Authenticity in the BBC's Rastamouse children's series
31/05/2012 Michael J. Kelly - The Democratic Authenticity of Spontaneous Public Protest
31/05/2012 Katherine Rollo - The Posthuman Bildungsroman: The Clone as Authentic Subject
31/05/2012 Lotika Singha - Customised Authenticity in the Home: domestic experiences of first-generation, higher-educated, middle-class migrant Indian heterosexual couples
15/03/2012 Andy Munzer - American Spaces, American Stories
15/03/2012 Tim Lawrence - The Narrative of Economics, the Economics of Narrative: Realist Structures in The Wire
1/3/2012 Matthew Rounds - Why is it rational to experience emotions towards characters and situations we believe to be fictional
18/06/2011 Chiung-Ying Huang - The Confrontation between Subjectification and Objectification in Waterhouse's Lamia
18/06/2011 David Matcham - Surveillance and the Death of God
17/05/2011 Jay James May - These Mingle Joys of Art and Erudition: Pleasure in Materialist Film
01/03/2011 Dominic Shaw - From Ontology to History
UNIVERSITY OF YORK CENTRE FOR MODERN STUDIES THIRD ANNUAL POSTGRADUATE SYMPOSIUM
Bowland Auditorium, Humanities Research Centre, Friday 31st May 2013
Keynote Speaker: Dr Jo Littler (City University London)
Call for Papers
Commercial speech – advertising – makes up most of what we share as a culture . . . As the language of commercialism has become louder, the language of high culture has become quieter.
– James B. Twitchell, Twenty Ads that Shook the World
Throughout the modern period, advertising and consumer culture have dominated everyday life; moreover, the trappings of commercialism permeate much of supposed ‘high culture’. Commodities clutter the pages of novels from Dickens and Zola to Bret Easton Ellis; works by Joyce and DeLillo are enlivened by advertising jingles and slogans; brands and trademarks pervade the practice of artists from Picasso to Warhol and the visualisation of consumer desire is appropriated and challenged in the work of Richard Hamilton and Martha Rosler.
Whether celebrating or critiquing advertising and consumer culture, art reflects our enduring fascination with them, despite research into the psychological effects of advertising, concerns over the evils of consumerism, and the often sinister nature of market research. The recent television show Mad Men, for instance, has revivified interest and scholarly debate surrounding the power of advertising and the consumer, as well as restaging debates around sexism, truth and the heteronormative ideal. Meanwhile, sociology in the wake of Erving Goffman continues to explore advertising’s uses and abuses of gender, identity and desire. Countervailing against consumerism and advertising’s many critics, theorists such as Michel de Certeau and the critical movement Thing Theory have endeavoured to examine advertising and consumer culture from a standpoint that goes beyond the model of the ‘passive consumer’ or Marx’s account of commodity fetishism.
We invite abstracts for 20 minute papers from postgraduate students and early-career researchers working in the modern period (1850-present day) across the humanities and social sciences. This conference aims to provoke interdisciplinary discussion about advertising and consumer culture. We therefore welcome papers that address these topics from historical, sociological, political or anthropological perspectives, as well as papers that analyse advertisements themselves and the representation of advertising and modern consumer culture in literature, film, television, theatre, and visual art.
Topics for discussion may include but are by no means limited to:
Abstracts for papers should be no more than 300 words in length, and submitted by Monday 25th March 2013 to email@example.com. We ask that applicants also include a short biography. For further information about the symposium or the CModS Postgraduate Forum, please contact us at this address, or visit http://www.york.ac.uk/modernstudies/postgraduate-forum/
Dr Jo Littler is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Industries at City University London and the author of Radical Consumption: shopping for change in contemporary culture (Open University Press, 2009). She has published widely on consumerism, particularly as it intersects with the politics of globalisation; accordingly, her work has addressed topics such as ethical consumption, anti-consumerism and the culture industry.
The second annual symposium of the CModS postgraduate forum, entitled 'Authenticity' took place on Thursday 31st May 2012.
Submissions are now open for our Third Annual Symposium: Advertising and Consumer Culture, 31 May 2013
Click here for our call for papers:
This term's seminars
Monday 16 May, 5:15pm 'Cinematic (ab)normality'
- Monday 24 June, 5:00pm 'Anti-Happenings/ Anti-Politics: Experimental Art in Late Socialist Central Europe'