Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review of the York International Social Sciences Post-Graduate Conference 2014: Access and Opportunity

The conference speakers and organisersThe annual York Social Sciences Post-Graduate Conference was held in the Innovation Centre on the University of York campus, 28th April 2014. As Prof. Ellen Annandale indicated in her opening address, the 2014 edition of the Post-Graduate conference was truly international. With universities across Europe (Poland, Finland, Netherlands and Russia) represented by their graduate researchers, as well as many UK institutions including Sheffield, Leeds, Goldsmiths, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leicester and Cambridge. In addition, the event was truly multidisciplinary with researchers in politics, sociology, history and anthropology participating. The organisers would like to extend their thanks to all those that travelled to York for the day.

Prof Ellen Annandale opens the conferenceThe day began with a fascinating keynote from Dr. Mark Elliot entitled Big Data, Whose Data? Followed by the first panel comprising David Honeywell, Catherine Atkinson and Kathleen Bassett considering discourses on education and gender in the context of prisons, schools and correctional facilities. Our second panel, Elsa Saarikkomaki, Robert Rydzewski and Joanna Resiak, covered topics of social exclusion, private/public spaces and ethnic gentrification in Finland, Macedonia and Poland.

After lunch Nils Klowait, Sam Burgum and Mark Johnson presented papers on the politics of research practise, including issues around translation for academics in Russia, gaining access to documents in high-tech industries, and the importance of acknowledging one's epistemological and ontological framework when undertaking empirical research. Our final panel, Ingrida Kerusaukaite, Retna Hanani and Saumya Saxena, covered the political and legal status of refugees, access to universal healthcare in Indonesia, and the intersection of religious politics and cultural identities in India. This was followed our second keynote speaker, Prof. John Urry discussing his latest book: Offshoring.

The decision of best post-graduate paper was an extremely tough call, and many congratulations are in order for Saumya Saxena, who won with the final paper of the day entitled: Cultural Identities and Social Justice: the Politics of Personal Law in Post-Independence India.

The organisers and winning speakerFinally, the organisers would like to thank Keynote Speakers Dr. Mark Elliot and Prof. John Urry for travelling from Manchester and Lancaster to share their insights into Big Data and Offshoring respectively, as well as our twelve postgraduate panellists. We are also grateful to the York post-graduate community who worked hard to make the event a huge success. 360-odd days until the 2015 event!

Jack Denham, Will Paterson and Piotr Maron.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Report on the annual conference of the Association for Ethnicity and Nationalism

Gonul Bozoglu, a PhD student in the sociology department recently participated in the annual conference of the Association for Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) on ‘Nationalism and Belonging’ at the London School of Economics on 1-3 April. This was a great opportunity to get to grips with the ways in which political theorists, economists and others think about nationalism and to become familiar with some of the latest ideas about belonging as a London School of Economics, LSE new way of thinking about identity. She particularly enjoyed sessions about the politics of national days (in Scandinavia) and theories of belonging.

A number of the sessions related to new ideas about the complexities of belonging and provided really interesting ways of thinking. There were also many sessions focusing on particular areas of the world, such as a session on the Middle East and Gonul’s own session on Turkey, where she co-presented ideas from a forthcoming publication about historical nostalgias and contemporary politics in relation to museum representations in Istanbul and Ankara.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Museum Narratives event report

Gonul Bozoglu, a PhD student in the sociology department reflects on the ‘Museum Narratives’ event held on 7th March.

There were two key speakers Dr. Sheila Watson from the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and Dr. Geoff Cubitt from the Department of History at the University of York. Both of them brought different perspectives to bear on the question of how museums create narratives about history. 

Dr. Watson talked about how museums in different countries create stories about national origins. She focused on a number of case studies drawn from the Eunamus research programme (, for example the Harbiye Military Museum in Istanbul. Dr Watson explained how museums create implicit narratives that relate to contemporary identities: ethnic, political and historical, and how this plays into questions of global politics. Dr. Cubitt discussed his work on the Bi-centenary of the Abolition of Slavery in Britain and showed how the abolition and slavery itself was turned into narrative through techniques of museum display.
In the discussion afterwards, in response to questions, the speakers reflected on some of the histories that they explored, and reflected on the ways in which ‘narrative’ works as an analytical framework for understanding the ways in which museums represent history and identity.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Withholding and Withdrawing Treatment from Patients in a Vegetative or Minimally Conscious State

Friday 9 May 2014, 9.00am to 5.00pm


We are pleased to welcome as our Keynote Speaker Mr Justice (Sir Jonathan) Baker of the High Court Family Division who has presided over a number of highly influential cases in the Court of Protection

Speakers will include:

  • Mr Justice (Sir Jonathan) Baker (Keynote Speaker) 
  • Professor Penney Lewis, Centre for Medical Law and Ethics, Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College London 
  • Professor Derick Wade, Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation, Oxford Centre for Enablement 
  • Professor Celia Kitzinger, Director of the York Chronic Disorders of Consciousness (CDoC) Research Centre, Sociology Department, 
  • University of York 
  • Dr Stephen Holland, CDoC Research Centre, Philosophy Department, University of York 
  • Professor Simon Halliday, CDoC Research Centre, Law School, University of York 
  • Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Director of the Cardiff Chronic Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, University of Cardiff 
Full information and a registration form is online at

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Prof Wooffitt's PhD Graduates published

Two of Prof Robin Wooffitt's PhD graduates have had chapters published in a new book.  Talking with the Spirits is edited by Jack Hunter and David Luke and includes chapters by both Dr Hannah Gilbert and Dr Tamlyn Ryan.

Talking With the Spirits is a cross-cultural survey of contemporary spirit mediumship. The diverse contributions cover a wide-range of ethnographic contexts, from Spiritualist séances in the United Kingdom to self-mortification rituals in Singapore and Taiwan, from psychedelic spirit incorporation in the Amazonian rainforest, to psychic readings in online social spaces

The book is available for purchase on

PhD Success

We are pleased to announce that three of our PhD students have met the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology and the awards have been approved by the University Standing Committee on Assessment:

  • Dr Triona Fitton (The quiet economy: an ethnographic study of the contemporary UK charity shop)
  • Dr Graham Geddes (Keyboard warriors: the production of Islamophobic identity and an extreme world view within an online political community)
  • Dr Melahat Sahin-Dikman (A Bourdieusian lens onto professions: a case study of architecture)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Dr Sam de Boise

Dr. Sam de Boise has been awarded a four year postdoctoral position in the School of Music, Theatre and Art at Örebro University, Sweden. He will be leaving the department of Sociology at York at the end of July. The postdoc will be looking to build on his doctoral thesis (Masculinities, Music Emotion and Affect) and recent research into gender and music and aims to explore inequalities through cross cultural differences in music use in the UK and Sweden. He wishes to thank all of his colleagues and friends for their help and support during his time at York.

MA - Bridge Scholarships for 2014 Entry

Thanks to generous donations from alumni, the University is able to offer four scholarships for certain postgraduate programmes.

The scholarships are available to Masters students applying for entry in Autumn 2014.
  • The scholarships are worth up to £10,000 each, 
  • The scholarships are tenable for up to one year.

Eligibility and Availability

In order to be eligible you must:
  1. Have applied for place on a full time Masters programme in the relevant department.
  2. Expect to begin your Masters studies in October 2014
  3. Have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent prior to commencing the Masters programme.

Application procedure and deadline

Potential applicants should discuss their interest and request an application form with Alison Taylor at

It is essential that you submit your application for a place on your selected programme of studies as soon as possible, as we anticipate these scholarships will be allocated by the middle of June 2014.

The deadline for application is Friday 2 May 2014

Friday, 4 April 2014

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Science and Technology Studies Unit

A 3 year full-time post-doc position is available in SATSU to work on a new ESRC-funded project on regenerative medicine. Click on the University Jobs page for more details.

The position will involve working closely with the Director of the Unit on a newly funded ESRC research project in the sociology of the biosciences, focusing on the field of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies: ‘Regenerative medicine and its development and implementation: an analysis of emergent value systems and health’.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage Equality Report and Photos

On Friday 28th March 2014, the Sociology Department held an event to mark the commencement of provisions in the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 that enable same-sex couples to solemnise marriage in England and Wales and give legal recognition to same-sex marriages solemnised overseas.

The event was organised by Dr. Paul Johnson and Prof. Celia Kitzinger on behalf of the whole Department, as a platform on which to showcase its research on sexualities and marriage. Well over 100 people attended the event and heard short talks by Paul, Celia, Prof. Stevi Jackson (Centre for Women’s Studies) and Maddie Boden (LGBTQ officer at YUSU).

The event was opened by Dr. Jane Grenville, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. As the photographs taken by Alison Taylor (Department of Sociology) show, the event was both interesting and fun!

All photographs are copyright of Alison Taylor

BSA Postgraduate Forum Event: The Promise and Perils of Researching Sensitive Issues

20 November 2018 (09:00-17:00) Call for papers Research concerning sensitive and emotionally demanding issues is vital but challenging...