Subjectivity and Sovereignty: Tracing the Modern through Time and Space, 1850 - Present.

Tuesday 28 May 2019, 9.30AM

Today, politically engaged groups across the globe, from indigenous land activists to the #MeToo movement are carving out new critical and aesthetic spaces that are responsive to received notions of autonomy and discursive practice. Each seeks to realise a particular notion of subjecthood and to challenge the concept of sovereignty as the sole preserve of the nation-state. Instead,  global political, economic, social or cultural spheres are mobilising new geographies: previously submerged identities, voices, affective experiences, art practices and aesthetic movements come to the fore. This poses new challenges to the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; what is ‘modern’ subjectivity and how is it indexed creatively and theoretically?; how do the meanings and applications of subjectivity and sovereignty vary across time and space?; how does subjectivity and sovereignty apply to the modern body?; and how do we trace and explore these genealogies in interdisciplinary terms?

The Centre for Modern Studies Subjectivity and Sovereignty: Tracing the Modern Through Time and Space 1850 - Present postgraduate symposium offers a platform to debate these challenging questions in a one-day event taking place on Tuesday 28 May 2019. The day will consist of a keynote speech by a leading academic in the field, a series of panels, and a wine reception. It aims to generate stimulating new conversations on key themes from diverse methodological angles and provides an inclusive and welcoming space in which students from across disciplines and faculties can present their research. We invite abstracts on any topic including (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • Identity, resistance and the body

  • Borders, marginality and displacement

  • Coloniality, decoloniality, race, post-colonialism

  • Subjecthood and sovereignty in modern/contemporary art and politics

  • Ways of knowing/epistemologies

  • Religious sovereignty and secularism

  • Aesthetic modernity and the modern in artistic practice

  • Innovation and experimentation in the modern world

  • Theoretical responses to issues of subjectivity and sovereignty in the modern world.  

MA, PhD students and ECRs are invited to submit an abstract (200 words) and brief bio (100 words) to 28th of April 2019. We are open to receiving standard and non-traditional presentation/paper formats. Those selected will be required to present for 20 minutes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the conference team at the above address.


Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building