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Virtual Grad School

The Virtual Graduate School runs in parallel to the real-space Graduate School and provides academic and social space for all graduate students at Goldsmiths. It is an arena for discussion and debate across Goldsmiths, and for student networking. It promotes student access to information about postgraduate training and funding, academic and social events, and support. We hope that this will enhance interdisciplinarity, and help you to feel part of a wider community.

Call for papers - CNR Graduate Research Day, To Think is To Experiment
Call for papers - CNR Graduate Research Day, To Think is To Experiment - 30th April, 2014

Call for Papers

To thiNk is TO Experiment Postgraduate Research Day 

The Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), in collaboration with NOVELLA (Narratives of Varied Everyday Lives and Linked Approaches), organise the 13th annual Research Day for graduate students on 30 April 2014, at University of East London. We look forward to meeting participants from all over the UK and Europe for a friendly and productive day of presentations and discussions, as we did over the past years. 

To 'Think is to Experiment' has been a narrative space for postgraduate researchers from various disciplines for more than a decade. The event has been home to stimulating presentations and intense conversations on the multiplicities in narrative-based research, approaches and experiences. The programme and abstracts from previous years can be viewed on this link

This year, we invite papers that are constructed with a problem-based approach. The papers will focus on a challenge which postgraduate researchers tackle while analysing narrative material that they work with. We are also interested in the researcher's strategies for getting past the challenge. Our understanding of narrative material is purposefully broad within the context of this invitation. Defining and identifying 'narrative material' itself can be considered as a challenge around which applicants may construct their papers.

This is a call for papers for all postgraduate researchers. Participants can contribute with a paper (15-30 minutes long) or a poster. Please send an abstract (150-200 words) to Cigdem Esin, by 10th March, 2014. Applicants will hear back from us by 15th March, 2014.

Please note that this is a free event but places are limited. 

All best wishes,
CNR team

Centre for Narrative Research

Narratives of varied everyday lives and linked approaches (NOVELLA)
Wed 30th Apr 2014
Call for Contributions

There is an assumption that architecture emerged around fire. For instance Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth, or Vesta, the Roman one, were both central in architectural space and in the life of the city. Fire is at the beginning of architectural creation thus also the latter’s first memory.

Historically, most major cities in the world have been partly or fully destroyed by fire. Yet fire is still a lurking threat to contemporary urban environments. Urban fires are usually accidental but sometimes even deliberate. Cities in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Tunisia suffered fire destructions during the Arab Spring; Athens has repeatedly been burnt during protests against austerity; London and other cities in the United Kingdom were severely burnt during the riots in 2011. Regardless of how an urban fire starts, buildings and the urban landscape are silent victims, and fire is their last memory.

This event will look at different ways that fire can act as a methodology to access and explore memory in architecture. Considering that fire is an imminent threat to architectural memory, what is its impact on building heritage? Can this element be understood as a methodology to reconceptualise heritage and sustainability? Given that fire is commonly used as a tool to (re)claim civil rights, can it also be perceived as a methodology to reconceptualise citizenship?

We invite contributions in the form of talks, workshops, installations,
exhibitions, and performances. Multi-­‐disciplinary and group submissions are also welcome.

Please email your proposals and a short bio to / by 21 March 2014

This event is part of Cities Methodologies 2014 annual exhibition organised by UCL Urban Laboratory and will take place at the Slade Research Centre, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0HB
‘Buildings on fire: towards a new approach to urban memory’
Wed 30th Apr 2014
Migration, Faith, and Action: Shifting The Discourse
University of Oxford, May 8th and 9th, 2014
Sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and Las Casas Institute

Call For Papers
In a time when globalization emphasizes the free flow of ideas, goods, and capital, migration appears at the forefront of political agendas in many countries around the world. Discussions on migration tend to focus on the economy, emphasizing the protection of the working class and the attraction of highly skilled migrants; on national identity, emphasizing nationalism and “us versus them” sentiments; and on national security, emphasizing protection from external threats. Economists, politicians, and media outlets primarily shape the discussions around migration, while religious and faith traditions play, at best, a marginal role in defining the discourse.

The conference will explore two themes:
Faith: What discourses do faith traditions provide surrounding migration?
Action: What is the role of faith communities and faith-based organizations in the complex landscape of migration?

We encourage submissions that reflect on the following related items, among others:
What narratives do the theological and faith traditions have about migration, migrants, and those who receive them?
Does the blessed life, does the good life, involve migrating or receiving migrants?
What practices prevail now in the theological traditions regarding migration?
Which values or specific attitudes should prevail regarding migration?
How are narratives from faith traditions manifest in the world through the projects and programs of faith-based organizations?
Could a fresh way of speaking or discourse generate new approaches to migration in law and policy?

The first day of the conference will feature a documentary screening and discussion with Norma Romero, a member of “Las Patronas”, Mexico’s 2013 National Human Rights Award winners.

Submission Guidelines
Please submit abstracts (300 words max) with title to with “Migration, Faith, and Action” as the subject line by 15 March 2014. If you have any questions please contact the organizers, Robert Heimburger, Alejandro Olayo-Méndez, Lena Wettach, Paul Kellner, at
Please note: Travel funding for this conference is the responsibility of participants.
Call for Papers - University of Oxford - Migration Faith & Action
Thu 8th May 2014
Rethinking Quant and Qual in Social Media Research
Organised by: David Moats
Presenters: Noortje Marres, Dhiraj Murthy, Brian Alleyne
Date: Monday 12 May: 10:00 – 17:00
Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London
Contact: David Moats

There are few social science researchers today who do not at some point confront social media data or the Internet, in the course of their work. These sources of data invite us to rethink the division of labour between quantitative and qualitative methodologies: qualitative researchers can now extend their work to different scales with quantitative tools and visualisations and quantitative researchers can more easily engage qualitatively with individual cases and texts rather than only aggregates. Yet both quantitative and qualitative researchers must be wary that if this so called ‘transactional data’, if approached uncritically, can influence our research agendas in perhaps undesirable ways.
This one day interactive workshop, open to up to 15 phd students or early career researchers, will introduce participants to some of the basics of Internet research including scraping, archiving and analysing data with a focus on freely available web based tools. The program will begin with a brief welcome by Noortje Marres, convener of the Digital Sociology MA program, followed by presentations by Brian Alleyne and Dhiraj Murthy on their recent work. David Moats will then explain the capabilities and limitations of various existing tools (including the Google Scraper, Issue Crawler, Twitter Archiver and Facebook application Netvizz) with hands on exercises. Finally we will split into small groups to experiment with some of these approaches. The goal will be for students to approach digital data, and new methods with open minds but equipped with more critical faculties.
To apply, please send a brief bio and cover letter detailing the data you work with and how this workshop could aid your research, to Participants will be selected based on the relevance of their work to the topic of the workshop. No experience using Digital Tools is required.

Students may also be interested in a more advanced workshop the following week entitled ‘Digital Tools for Qualitative Research’ which builds on these existing approaches to propose and develop new quanti-qualitative tools.

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Radical Negativity: Interrogating productive possibilities for negative states of being
Friday 13 June 2014
Goldsmiths, University of London
Conference Keynote: Lisa Blackman, Professor in Media and Communications, Goldsmiths

Supported by the Centre for Feminist Research, Department of Media and Communications, and the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths.

Proposals are due by Friday 14 February 2014
More recent feminist and queer scholarship has begun to productively address the dark aspects of human subjectivity perceived to have a detrimental impact on the self-constituting practices of the positive self, such as shame, trauma, unhappiness, loss, pain, and melancholia, and reconceptualise them not only as integral to the process of subject formation, but critical and productive affective states in which to engage political action.

This interdisciplinary conference addresses the ways in which feminist and queer research may be informed by embracing philosophical oppositions, the ‘negative double’ of the positive value. The conference will interrogate what can be learned from interventions focused on the interconnections between the negative and human agency, and how such a frame can inform ideas of feminist and queer practice.

Borrowing from Eve Sedgwick, this conference proposes that forms of the negative are “not distinctly ‘toxic’ parts of a group or individual identity that can be excised; they are instead integral to and residual in the processes by which identity itself is formed. They are available for the work of metamorphosis, reframing, refiguration, transfiguration, affective and symbolic loading and deformation (Sedgwick and Frank, 2003, p.63).”

If, like Sedgwick, we take up this challenge to valorise negative states of being as key conditions both for the production of meaning and being and as organising principles of identity, then we hope explorations into such states may provide the potential to open up new possibilities for politics and connection.

We invite papers and panel proposals that explore how negative states and conditions of being such as unhappiness, irresponsibility, passivity, vulnerability, failure, shame, hesitancy, pain, dispossession, rage, madness and depression may provide loci from which action and political engagement can arise.

Submission Guidelines
Please submit paper abstracts of 300-500 words along with a short biography of 100 words.
Panel proposals should include a 300-word description along with accompanying paper abstracts for the panel of 300-500 words. Please provide a short 100-word biography for each presenter.
Email submissions to: by Friday 14 February 2014.

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Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference, 21-22 June 2014

What is home? A place or a state of mind?

On the most literal level we can understand the home as a physical construction which allows for an enclosed, inner space, that provides shelter and protection to an individual or individu- als. Although the form that homes take may vary over the world, the needs they fulfil and the range of feelings they evoke are universal: protection, comfort, warmth, safety and privacy.

So, if home means all the above, what does it mean to be homeless? This Postgraduate con- ference, jointly organised by 3 schools of the University of Kent and with the support of the Kent Graduate School, aims at exploring the topic of homelessness across disciplines and fields of study. We therefore welcome 250-words abstracts for 20-minute papers and posters from all academic disciplines.

Keynote speakers:
Prof Gordana Fontana Giusti, Kent School of Architecture (University of Kent, UK) Dr Marianne Amar, Musée de l’ Immigration (Paris, France)

For further information please contact or visit us: Email-address:
Homeless Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference
Sat 21st Jun 2014
Narratives of Varied Everyday Live and Linked Approaches (NOVELLA) is one of the current Phase III National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Nodes. NOVELLA conducts research concerned with the everyday practices of families. These are frequently taken for granted, but people's habits and their relation to society are often negotiated within families. Over nearly three years, NOVELLA researchers have conducted secondary analysis on family narratives about a variety of everyday lives and a range of family practices as well as new empirical research on what people do, what they say they do.

On 7 July 2014 NOVELLA will hold a one day conference at St Catherine’s College Oxford to discuss their methods and showcase the findings and their implications for family identities, practices and policies on environment, food, parenting, food blogs and qualitative ‘paradata’. The keynote address will be given by the leading international scholar on narrative analysis, Professor Cathy Riessman. There will be opportunities for both methodological and substantive discussion. 

The conference will be held the day before the start of the NCRM Research Methods Festival in the same venue. Accommodation will be available on the nights of 6th and 7th July as well as dinner on the night of 7th July. If you would like to register your interest please visit our online store and the full programme and booking information will be sent to you when published.

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We are pleased to confirm that the 2014 ESRC Festival of Social Science will be taking place across the UK from 1-8 November.

The call for applications is now open. The closing dates for:

Sponsored applications is 16.00 on 9 May
Non-sponsored applications is 16.00 on 16 May

If you are applying from the University of Aberdeen, Bristol or Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University or Queen's University Belfast, please view details of how to apply to hold events via your university.

Please email if you would like any additional information or assistance.

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