Centre for Modern Studies Postgraduate Forum

About the forum

About the forum

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 cmods-pgforum@york.ac.uk. 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.

You can also follow our events by joining our Facebook group.


Annual symposium

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

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 hist526@york.ac.uk by 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.

Previous annual symposia

2016-17 Transculturation: Encounters in the Modern Period, 1830 - Present

2015-16 The Modern Body, 1830-present

2014-15 Mapping Identities in the Modern World, 1830-present

2013-14 Nature at War

2012-13 Advertising and Consumer Culture

2011-12 Authenticity

2010-11 Watching and Being Watched 

This term's events

For details of this term's events, see the forum's Facebook Group page

Annual symposium posters

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