Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nisha Kapoor success

Nisha Kapoor has been successful in her application for a 3 year ESRC Future Leaders Award on 'Race and Citizenship in the Context of the War on Terror'.

Many congratulations to Nisha!

A PhD Lunchtime treat

Many thanks to Hyangmi Choi (2nd year PhD Communication Studies) for preparing a lovely Korean lunch in the Graduate Village.  Many students and staff attended and we particularly enjoyed the pancakes although all the sushi was delicious as well.

Monday, 23 June 2014

"Faces for Fifty" Exhibition

Many congratulations to Kelly Benneworth-Gray who is included in the exhibition "Faces for Fifty" -- a celebration of those who have made a significant contribution to the University in its first fifty years.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations the University asked who had made a significant contribution to the University over the years.

The call for nominations resulted in a list of 83 individuals who were seen to have helped to make the University of York great: they have enhanced the experiences of staff, student and visitors to the University, as well as its global reputation.

This exhibition celebrates the contributions of those nominated through photography and quotes taken directly from the nominations.

Five other past  members of staff from the Department of Sociology have been included in the exhibition:
  • Dr Laurie Taylor
  • Prof Paul Drew
  • Dr Margaret Silcock 
  • Dr Barry Sandywell
  •  Prof Andy Tudor
  • Prof Paul Drew

    Margaret Silcock

    Laurie Taylor

    Andy Tudor
    Barry Sandywell

    Friday, 20 June 2014

    Book Launch: Law, Religion and Homosexuality

    On Wednesday 18th June, Paul Johnson launched his new book Law, Religion and Homosexuality at the Conway Hall in London. The event was supported by the National Secular Society and its President, Terry Sanderson, gave a talk in which he described the importance of the book in understanding the historic role of religion in shaping law relating to homosexuality. Paul, and his co-author Robert Vanderbeck (University of Leeds), both gave talks about the ways in which religion continues to influence the legislative process, highlighting examples of how this is often to the detriment of sexual orientation equality. The event was very well attended and there was a lively discussion about the issues addressed by the book. More information about the book and Paul’s other recent work can be found here:

    Tuesday, 17 June 2014

    The Networked Young Citizen: Social Media, Political Participation and Civic Engagement

    A new book has been published by Routledge which has been edited by Brian D. Loader, Ariadne Vromen, and Michael Xenos

    The Networked Young Citizen: Social Media, Political Participation and Civic Engagement

    The future engagement of young citizens from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in democratic politics remains a crucial concern for academics, policy-makers, civics teachers and youth workers around the world. At a time when the negative relationship between socio-economic inequality and levels of political participation is compounded by high youth unemployment or precarious employment in many countries, it is not surprising that new social media communications may be seen as a means to re-engage young citizens. This edited collection explores the influence of social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, upon the participatory culture of young citizens.

    This collection, comprising contributions from a number of leading international scholars in this field, examines such themes as the possible effects of social media use upon patterns of political socialization; the potential of social media to ameliorate young people’s political inequality; the role of social media communications for enhancing the civic education curriculum; and evidence for social media manifesting new forms of political engagement and participation by young citizens. These issues are considered from a number of theoretical and methodological approaches but all attempt to move beyond simplistic notions of young people as an undifferentiated category of ‘the internet generation’.

    Copies of the book are available from the Routledge web site at

    Monday, 16 June 2014

    The Great Meeting Place: A Study of Bradford City Park

    Nathan Manning, together with colleagues Anna Barker (Bradford University) and Ala Sirriyeh (University of Keele) held a report launch and impact event for research they conducted on Bradford’s City Park on Monday, 9th June. The team presented their findings which focused on the following 3 key areas:
    1. The contribution of the park to the regeneration of Bradford city centre
    2. The park’s ethos as an inclusive and accessible public resource
    3. Behaviour and regulation of the park
    Professor Sophie Watson from the Open University provided a commentary on the research and the broader importance of public spaces like City Park.

    This was followed by a panel discussion which included Shelagh O’Neil (Bradford Council), Sargent Beth Pegnillo (West Yorkshire Police) and John MacCleary (Gillespies) from the Park’s design team.

    The event was well attended by local practitioners and academics and spurred some useful discussion. The research team are now preparing journal articles based on the research.

    A copy of the report can be found by following this link: 

    Or by contacting Nathan:

    Thursday, 12 June 2014

    Gönül Bozoğlu presents at International workshop on Turkey in Transition

    Blog entry for an international workshop on Turkey in Transition on the Anniversary of the Gezi Park Protests: a deadlock or an opportunity for the future of politics in Turkey?, Cambridge University, June 2014

    It is just over one year since the wide-scale civil unrest in Turkey prompted by the state-endorsed project to redevelop Gezi Park – events that were broadcast around the world, led to several fatalities and changed international perceptions of contemporary Turkish civil politics. In this public international workshop I co-presented one of four papers reflecting on the protests in relation to discussions of politics, democracy and protest in Turkey. My paper focused on the role of history both in the redevelopment plans for Gezi and in the subsequent contest between protestors and the state. Other papers analysed the protests from political science perspectives, looking at electoral issues, the state’s continuing regulation of Gezi as a site of protest and media freedom, for example in relation to digital activist broadcasts. After the short papers there was a long and highly-charged discussion between speakers and the audience, ranging from competing ideas about democracy to speculation about the short-term future with the Presidential election on the horizon.

    My paper explored the Gezi protests in relation to a number of bodies of theory, most notably those concerned with place, place history and place identity, but also about protest, civil disobedience and complexity. In part this is to examine the competition for history that has taken place in Gezi and to some degree in Taksim more generally. From a nostalgic perspective the current administration’s redevelopment plan can be seen as an attempt to ‘bring back’ a lost history of place – an Ottoman history erased from the place through 20th-century commemorations of Atatürk, İnönü and the Republic, modernist building (the Atatürk Cultural Centre) and town planning. I also examined the role of the symbols of the competing histories in the protests and in the state response to them, to understand the complex roles of place history within events.

    Gönül Bozoğlu

    Tastes in Practice

    Tuesday 15 July 2014, 9.15AM to 17:45


    The Research Centre ECCE and the Sociology Department at the University of York are pleased to announce a one-day seminar on tastes at York. The seminar is jointly organised by the Stratification and Culture Research Network developed by Sam Friedman (City), Mike Savage (LSE), Andy Miles (Manchester) and Laurie Hanquinet (York) (

    Presentation of the event

    Understanding people’s tastes has proved to be one of the most difficult tasks for cultural sociologists. This seminar will investigate the meaning of tastes – lying between the social, the aesthetics and morality – and show why studying tastes matters in the understanding of social inequalities, social values and conventions. Why and how do people develop tastes for certain cultural objects and activities rather than others? How do people make sense out of them? What are the subtle and complex links between tastes on the one hand and social stratification and identities on the other? How can we explore tastes to understand their social relevance?


    Antoine Hennion (MINES-ParisTech/CNRS)
    Mike Savage (LSE)
    Steph Lawler (Newcastle University)
    Lisa Mckenzie (LSE)
    Aaron Reeves (University of Oxford)
    Stijn Daenekindt (Universiteit Gent)
    Thomas Franssen (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Sam Friedman (LSE)

    Tuesday, 10 June 2014

    Canadian Game Studies Association, conference in Toronto

    Written by Mark Johnson, 3rd Yr PhD Student.

    At the end of May I attended the “Canadian Game Studies Association” conference in Toronto thanks to the department’s generous funding. The conference was part of the larger "Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences", a yearly Canadian conference which consists of many smaller components. As an ex-professional card player and independent game developer in my spare time, I’m seeking to move my academic studies in the same direction upon completion of my doctorate and this was part of that move.

    The conference was over two days and perhaps eighty or ninety people turned up in total; there were a number of talks including a fascinating discussion of the difficulties of writing “video game history” in a medium so replete with hacks, mods, bootlegs and international versions; subcultures devoted to the appreciation of games commonly considered to be of no redeeming value; the use of death as a core mechanic in many games; the definition of “genre” in games and whether clear definitions of the formal characteristics of game genres are even possible to create; the use of various types of games in learning environments for children and teenagers; the “surveillance architecture” of the Xbox 360; and many others.

    My talk was on the semiotics of “roguelikes”, a niche genre of games originating around 1980 which even now almost universally eschew modern graphics for an appearance of a game focused around text. This means that walls, floors and all foes and items are represented by ASCII characters, such as ‘#’ (often walls), ‘]’ (often pieces of armour) or ‘$’ (often piles of money). 

    My paper first explored the ways in which these symbols develop epistemes unique to each game and show that they demand forms of knowing that players have to be “trained” to comprehend. Secondly it explained how these symbolic choices create conventions and paradigms specific to each game and what these forms of categorization mean for the player’s understanding of what is on screen. Thirdly and lastly, this paper sought to build on earlier work on “reading” games, the relationship of this act to the semiotics of games, and argues that in this regard the act of reading a roguelike, and the significance of the symbols within the game, are unique. I now hope to build this paper up into a full journal article and continue pursuing my game studies metamorphosis. 

    Many thanks again to the department for the funding without which I wouldn’t have been able to attend – it was an amazing conference and I look forward to many more.

    Monday, 9 June 2014

    Gonul Bozoglu: international workshop on ‘Bridging the Gap between Museums and Archaeological Sites: Insights for Turkey’, Ertegün Scholarship Programme in the Humanities, University of Oxford, May 2014

    Gonul participated in an international workshop on ‘Bridging the Gap between Museums and Archaeological Sites: Insights for Turkey’ at the Oxford University on 23 May 2014. The workshop aimed to bridge the gap between museums and the archaeological sites themselves in Turkey by questioning the role of museums in achieving effective heritage management, conservation and presentation of archeological sites. It also aimed to question the role of on-site museums in increasing public engagement with a site. 

    A number of the papers related to management, preservation and presentation of museums and sites were presented by addressing current practices, such as the privatization of advertising, ticket offices, cafés, and souvenir shops and new cultural investment and sponsorship in heritage conservation and museum construction. This was done through different case studies, such as Sagalassos and Gre Amer Hoyuk. On the other hand, Sharon Macdonald’s introductory talk on ‘Anthropological Perspective on Museums and Heritage’ provided very interesting and broader ways of thinking about heritage and museums. Her talk set a theoretical framework for the workshop and brought other aspects of heritage and museums (new musicological (from the 1990s) critical perspectives (Marxist, Foucauldian, postcolonial theory etc), understandings of the meanings of objects, complexity, variations (where not everything works everywhere) affect and information, community involvement and neglected heritage. Her comments and questions also provided insights into other ‘gaps’, for example the gap between the state and museums and heritage sites in terms of national narrative. 

    Gonul's talk on ‘Republican and Ottoman Histories in Contemporary Identity Politics in Turkey’ examined how Republican and Ottoman histories are used for the maintenance or construction of different ideal Turkish identities at the state level. However, the other two papers in my session presented work on the cultural heritage, memory and representation of some Turkish minorities. This session opened up a discussion about the gap between state representations of the nation and the minority groups’ identities which are excluded from the national story. 

    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...