Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Thresholds - A pop-up symposium

22 September 2017
University of York
Call for Papers

This event platforms scholars working across the humanities and social sciences around the theme of ‘thresholds’. It explores perspectives on the liminal edges of everyday, organisational and social life. What and who reside beyond or within different types of thresholds? Who has to cross thresholds? What prevents people or things crossing? How does power operate through different thresholds? How do thresholds articulate with limits, extremes, dangers and tipping points? These are just some of the questions explored in this one day symposium.
Thresholds is intended to bring together diverse disciplines including sociology, politics, history, anthropology, women’s studies, critical management, human geography, social policy. The format will be short papers (10 mins) followed by discussion.

Organisers: Joanna Latimer, David Beer, Nik Brown, Rolland Munro

SATSU – Sociology – University of York

Time and Place: 10:30 to 15:30; Berrick Saul Building, The Treehouse - University of York

To Present: send a title and short abstract (100 words) to sarah.shrive-morrison@york.ac.uk
by 25 August


Supported by: the University of York ‘Culture and Communication’ Research Theme; The Department of Sociology; Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU)

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dates confirmed for 2017/18 'suite' of CA skills training courses

Skills based training courses in Conversation Analysis (£360 per course)

Turn-Taking: 28-30 November 2017
Sequence Organisation: 12-14 December 2017
Repair: 17-19 April 2018
Word Selection: 22-24 May 2018
We offer a ‘suite’ of four courses (each 3 days) designed to provide ‘hands-on’ training in conversation analytic skills:
These courses are open to anyone who has some familiarity with conversation analysis (we prefer you to have taken an introductory course)
Courses 1 (Turn-taking) and 2 (Sequence organisation) can each be taken as a ‘stand alone’ course; however completion of courses 1 and 2 is a pre-requisite for taking courses 3 and 4
Completion of all 4 courses is highly recommended – and will equip you with an essential ‘toolbox’ of skills for doing conversation analysis
Register for 2 courses at the same time: get 1/4 off the 2nd
Register for 3 courses at the same time: get 1/2 off the 3rd
Register for 4 courses at the same time: get 3/4 off the 4th 
Enquiries: Please contact Sarah Shrive-Morrison: sarah.shrive-morrison@york.ac.uk

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy

The Department of Sociology at the University of York and the Institute of Comparative Media and Communication at the Austrian Academy of Sciences are jointly organizing an international symposium on Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy. It will be held on 21-22 September 2017 in Vienna. Keynote speakers include Barbara Pfetsch , Josef Seethaler, Brian D. Loader, Maren Beaufort, W. Lance Bennett, Michael X. Delli-Carpini, and Jörg Matthes. More details can be found at:

A selection of the best papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Information, Communication & Society (iCS) in April 2018.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Imagining the History of the Future: Unsettling Scientific Stories

27-29 March, 2018 | University of York, UK

The future just isn’t what it used to be… not least because people keep changing it. Recent years have seen a significant growth of academic and public interest in the role of the sciences in creating and sustaining both imagined and enacted futures. Technological innovations and emergent theoretical paradigms gel and jolt against abiding ecological, social, medical or economic concerns: researchers, novelists, cartoonists, civil servants, business leaders and politicians assess and estimate the costs of planning for or mitigating likely consequences. The trouble is that thinking about the future is a matter of perspective: where you decide to stand constrains what you can see

With confirmed plenary speakers Professor Sherryl Vint (University of California, Riverside, USA) and Professor Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent, UK) this three-day conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, and activists to explore ways in which different visions of the future and its history can be brought into productive dialogue.

Focused on the long technological 20th Century (roughly, 1887-2007) and looking particularly at the intersections between fictional/narrative constructions of the future, expert knowledge, and institutional policy development, the themes of the conference will include but are not limited to:

The relationship between lay and expert futures, especially futures produced by communities marginalised in public dialogue by ethnicity, gender, sexuality, species or political orientation

How have different forms of fiction (novels, films, games, comics) created different visions of what’s to come? How have their audiences responded to and shaped them

The role of counterfactuals/alternate histories, as well as factional accounts and popular science: how have different forms of writing positioned the future?

What’s the relationship between past and present scenario planning in government or commerce? How have they fed into wider cultural conceptions of impending developments?

Disciplinary influences: how have different academic disciplines – sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences – fed into developing futures? Has this changed over time?

The role of futures past: how can we recover them, and what do they tell us about futures present? What are the forgotten or marginalised sites of future-making

How have different themes – time, the apocalypse, the individual, among others – changed over the last century of future-thinking?

Twitter: @UnSetSciStories #ImaginedFutures
We invite proposals based broadly on these themes. Individual papers should take the form of 20 minute presentations, but we would also be delighted to consider three or four paper panel submissions on a related topic, workshops or round-table discussions.

Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a short author biography (100 words). Panel proposals should also include a short (150 words) commentary on the overall theme. Please email proposals to unsettling-science@york.ac.uk (as email attachments in Word format) by FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER. Authors will be notified of decisions by Friday 27 October. Prospective organisers of other formats should contact the steering committee by email as soon as possible to discuss possibilities.

Please direct all enquires to unsettling-science@york.ac.uk.

This is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded event, run by the Unsettling Scientific Stories project based at the Universities of York, Aberystwyth and Newcastle.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sociology achieves Bronze Award from Green Impact

We're delighted to announce that Sociology has achieved a Bronze Award from Green Impact for our efforts at greening the department.  We were particularly proud of managing to raise sufficient funds to twin two of our toilets (see: http://www.yott.info/)!  We couldn't have achieved the award without our fantastic student helper - Katy Forsyth - who was trained by the central Green Impact organisers, and is also a student in Sociology.  Beyond supporting our team, Katy also organised a vegan cake sale to support St Nicks (see: http://stnicks.org.uk/) and helped pot up baby spider plants to give away to fellow students.  

For more information on sustainability at York, see: http://www.york.ac.uk/about/sustainability/

L to R: Will Patterson, Merran Toerien, Saul Tendler

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Border Zones: Documenting Life and Work Carried Out under Precarious Conditions

Wednesday 14 June 2017, 4.00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken
From NGOs, activist and arts-based projects to programs of research, feminists have sought and secured space for re-presenting women in the visual field. Feminist projects grounded in visual methods have tended to be under-theorized, however, in relying on the power of the image itself - particularly images of female suffering - to subvert the male gaze. Since visual images often invoke the spectator experience of unmediated access to the inner world of the subject, the evocative power of photographic images may readily reproduce forms of voyeurism.
Professor and filmmaker Jan Haaken takes up these theoretical, ethical and methodological dilemmas in a presentation preceding the screening of her recent film, KUWEPO (running time 24 minutes)
KUWEPO” (“Being There” in Swahili) follows the daily lives of providers in Kenya as they work within the 2010 liberalized constitution to provide post-abortion care for women.  The film shows how providers in a range of neighborhoods and clinical settings operate within this new political landscape, even as reforms in the law continue to put women at risk for medical problems and death from unsafe abortions.
The screening is followed by discussion moderated by Professor Maggie O’Neill.
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker.  Haaken is author of Pillar of Salt: Gender, Memory and the Perils of Looking Back and Hard Knocks; Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling. She has directed and/or produced six feature-length films, including “Diamonds, Guns and Rice,” “Moving to the Beat,” “Guilty Except for Insanity,” “Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines,” and “Milk Men: The Life and Times of Dairy Farmers.” She has directed five short films, including two recent films on abortion providers produced through a team at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor that carries out anti-stigma research.
Location: Environment Building ENV/005
Admission: FREE (Eventbrite ticket)

Fully funded PhD in STS available from October 2017

SATSU has available a fully funded (fees and stipend) PhD, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Programme. This will be to work on understanding the role patient charities play in shaping biomedicial innovation. Full details are at: