Call for papers! ‘New Perspectives: Postgraduate Symposium on the Humanities (NPPSH)’


Calling for contributions by postgrads (this includes MA-students too!), this conference at the University of Maynooth (which is not far from Dublin, actually) tackles the theme of ‘Progress and Degeneration’. This is the  complete CFP:

‘New Perspectives:

Postgraduate Symposium on the Humanities (NPPSH)

Maynooth University, Ireland

19 and 20 October 2017

Call for Papers

We invite submissions to the annual New Perspectives: Postgraduate Symposium on the Humanities (NPPSH), which will take place on the 19 and 20 of October 2017 in Maynooth University. Designed and organised by postgraduate students, for postgraduate students, NPPSH is aimed at highlighting the scope and depth of emerging humanities research. This year, we are also extending our call to our international counterparts, with a view to creating links between humanities research at home and abroad.

The inaugural NPPSH was organised in 2016 by postgraduate researchers in Maynooth University, with the support of An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University’s Humanities Research Institute, and also the Department of Media. Held over two days in October 2016, this symposium proved a huge success, bringing together a wide range of scholars working in diverse areas of research – from the works of Jane Austen to the cinema of South America, and from online historical role-playing games to the AIDS ‘Quilt’ project – to explore the ways in which we are re-thinking and re-examining humanities research.

This year’s symposium will be centred on the theme of ‘Progress and Degeneration’. In the radically changed political and cultural environment that has emerged globally in the last few years, the discourse of progress underpinning many of the traditional narratives of western change and development has come to be increasingly questioned. The phenomena of ‘post-truth’; the re-emergence of nationalist politics; the increasing conflict between corporate and environmental values; the breakdown of established political alignments, as witnessed most clearly in Brexit; and the rise of information as the battleground upon which ideological struggles are waged. Do such trends represent a radical break with old narratives, one that threatens old modes of being while generating new values? Or are we being confronted with problems and opportunities long thought vanished or defunct? Is it now time to re-evaluate the significance of received ideas of ‘progress’ and ‘degeneration’?

We invite submissions from PhD and Masters students for short papers (10 minutes), long papers (20 minutes), and posters (size A0 portrait) centred around this theme of ‘Progress and Degeneration’. Students working in a non-humanities field who are conducting research with potential impact on the humanities are also encouraged to submit. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Post-truth – the humanities in a time of propaganda and ‘fake news’
  • Ideas, norms and cultures in social transformation
  • The role of representation in enabling social agency
  • Building walls and breaking barriers – xenophobia and resistance
  • Society in an era of mass-migration
  • Inclusion and intersectionality
  • Climate change – representing and responding to environmental threats
  • The role of activism in the humanities
  • The emergence and significance of Digital Humanities
  • Peripherality – economies, cultures, and the emergence of the precariat
  • The forms and functions of nationalism in post-Brexit Europe
  • Communal identity and collectivism in a networked age
  • Identity and cultural politics
  • Learning from history – linking past and present
  • ‘Progress’ and ‘degeneration’ in other historical eras

Abstracts of between 300 and 500 words should be submitted through the NPPSH website by 5PM on Wednesday 31 May 2017. Please also include a biography of no more than 100 words. All proposals will be evaluated by Humanities faculty at Maynooth University.

All conference participants will afterwards be invited to submit their papers or presentations for consideration in a peer-reviewed publication that will be edited and distributed by the NPPSH committee. The journal will be edited and peer-reviewed by university faculty members prior to publication, and will be openly accessible to NPPSH presenters and attendees through the website. Specific details and guidelines for journal publication will be circulated to presenters at a later date.

The New Perspectives symposium is again being organised with the support of An Foras Feasa, in association with the Maynooth University Graduate Studies Office. More details, including information on how to register, will be added to the NPPSH website in the coming weeks. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @NPPSHie or #NPPSH17.’


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