Correction to Figurations 42 newsletter

The date for the planned conference at the University of Münster is 8–11 September 2016, NOT 15–17 September as announced in Figurastions 42.

Our apologies for this mistake.

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INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL THEORY CONSORTIUM 18-19 June 2015

This conference may be of interest to subscribers. The theme of “Reconstruction” is welcome. It begins to look as though “social theorists”  are rediscovering the real world after some decades of what Ernest Gellner called “the tidal wave of cheap relativism that threatens to swamp the coming fin de millénaire‘ (and did swamp it). Some figurational contributions would thus be timely. Abstracts have to be submitted by 15 March.

Stephen Mennell

http://socialtheory.org/upcoming-conference.html

14th Annual Conference of the International Social Theory Consortium

Cambridge, UK, 18-19 June, 2015

RECONSTRUCTING SOCIAL THEORY, HISTORY AND PRACTICE

CALL FOR PAPERS

With regard to developments in social theory, the past 30 years can be characterized as an Age of Deconstruction. Inspired by post-structuralism, post-modernism, critical theory, and science studies, as well as combinations of related approaches, theorists have endeavoured to shatter historical meta-narratives and struggled to include previously excluded standpoints in social thought. This important trend no doubt has informed our understanding of the role of discourse, difference and expertise in determining relations of power and inequality.

The central theme of the 2015 annual meeting of the International Social Theory Consortium (ISTC) will be “Reconstruction”, dedicated to taking account of and interrogating the possibility of picking up the pieces. Are there limits to the deconstruction project, and have these limits been reached? What are the possibilities for the ‘reconstruction’ of narratives of long-term historical change?  Is it possible to include and integrate the insights and contribution of various critiques of knowledge, while at the same time developing new forms of knowledge?  Can we submit the project of deconstruction itself to deconstruction?

Essential to such a project of “deconstructing deconstruction” would be a return to history—acknowledging its continuing importance as a social-theoretical category and frame, considering its persistent utility after decades of sobering realizations, and accepting the fact that, by most accounts, history has not reached its end. How would social science disciplines – e.g. economics – benefit from new perspectives on understanding long-term change?  What might, could and should a new philosophy of history – subsequent to so many ‘turns’ – look like?  What are the possibilities for practice in addressing social justice and democracy, with the benefit or in the absence of long-term historical consciousness?

While conference continues the ISTC’s tradition of encouraging…

Submission of abstract proposals on the entire range of topics under the general heading of social theory
…and we especially look forward to receiving submissions that…

 

  •   Frame contributions in terms of Reconstruction
  •   Relate existing research agendas and projects to Reconstruction
  •   Directly address the theme of Reconstruction

…including:
> Philosophy of History in an Age of Deconstruction
> Reconstructing Theories of the State and Politics
> The Limits, Horizons and Possibilities of Critique
> Knowledge, Authority and Expertise
> Historicizing Social Theory
> Reconstructing the (His)Story of Modern Societies
> Social Theory as the Link between the Past and the Future
> Social Theory after/beyond the Human
Please email abstracts to istc2015@socialtheory.org no later than 15 March 2015.
Organizers:
Eric R. Lybeck, Department of Sociology, Cambridge University
Harry F. Dahms, Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Please feel free to address any questions or concerns to Eric Lybeck (erl37@cam.ac.uk) or Harry Dahms (hdahms@utk.edu)

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Writing workshops with Farhad Dalal

Some subscribers to the blog may be interested in these workshops, taught by Farhad Dalal, the group analyst and Elias enthusiast.
Non-Fiction Writing in the Company of Others – one year
Supervision as Inquiry – one day

You can download flyers here – Writing workshop              Supervision as inquiry

Non-Fiction Writing in the Company of Others

A  Year Long Writing Workshop for Established and Aspiring Writers.

The workshop is premised on the belief that the activity of writing is not only an intellectual challenge, but that it is also fraught with emotional difficulties. Writing is not only a test of intelligence and creativity, it is also a test of courage and stamina.
The intention is to build a close-knit group culture that is safe enough to enable participants to risk revealing their work, as well as risk voicing their sincere views on the work of others. The primary mode of exchange within the group will not be didactic, but conversational and dialogical in ways that draw on participant’s reflected experiences of each other’s work.

For whom? This year long endeavour will be of interest to you:

  •  If you are already in the midst of a project that you are developing into a book, journal paper, or talk, and would like to work on it in the company of others.
  •  If you have an idea but have not yet embarked on your project, or perhaps are unsure how to begin.
  •  If you find yourself prevaricating with some form of writer’s block.
  • If you have a wish to write, but don’t know where or how to begin

Structure
Over the Year:

  • 5 Residentials in  Totnes – Bi-monthly – Fri eve to Sun noon.
  •  5 x 2 hr individual meetings: in-depth feedback on ongoing work.
  •  Reading and feedback on each other’s work.

Participants: 4 to 6 (max)
Cost: £900  + stay during  residentials

About me:
Farhad Dalal brings a mix of skills and experience particularly suited to the task of facilitating this venture. Before becoming a psychotherapist, he taught in secondary schools in London. Over the years he has taught and helped a number of trainees write their clinical and theoretical papers. In university environments he has supervised a number of doctoral level learning sets. He has a track record as an established  writer, having published numerous papers and three books to date. More info on www.dalal.org.uk

Supervision as Inquiry

A Workshop for Experienced Therapists Interested to Explore the Premises of their Evolving Practice

Date: Sat, April 18
9 am to 6 pm
 Venue: Totnes, Devon
Cost: £90 (Lunch included)
Participants 4 to 6 (max)

Rationale

Day to day psychotherapy practice continually tests established convention; one inevitably finds oneself breaking one or other of the ‘rules’. We either keep these slips to ourselves because of feeling ashamed, or we take them to supervision where they are often understood as some form of ‘acting out’. Despite this, over time this drift become consolidated as new norms which come to constitute ‘my way of working’. Consequently, therapists one can come to feel increasingly at odds with the ways of thinking in the community they trained with.

Are these really new ways of working and thinking, or mere lapses on the part of the practitioner born of drift, sloppiness and a lack of rigour? The workshop will invite participants to take up the transgressions as opportunities for inquiring into and questioning the taken for granted premises of the theories and ways of thinking that the therapist subscribes to.

Structure of the day
Group discussion will be the primary mode of engagement and learning.
Participants will be  required to prepare for the workshop by

  • doing some prescribed reading
  • bringing case material pertinent to the questions and themes of the workshop.

About me:
I am a training group analyst for the Institute of Group Analysis, London. I have supervised the work of counsellors and  psychotherapists from a range of schools working in a wide range of settings (statutory, voluntary, education & independent practice), for very many years.
My first training was in Humanistic psychotherapy, which was followed by a training in Group Analysis. I find that my way of working has drifted from a Humanistic ethos, to an ‘analytic’ stance, and then on  towards the ‘relational’.
Visit www.dalal.org.uk for two papers (and videos) that describe my  current  take on psychotherapy (‘Specialists without Spirit; Sensualists without Heart’: Psychotherapy as a Moral Endeavour’ and ‘A Rumination on Intimacy & its Defences in the Consulting Room’.

Copyright © 2015 SDPCS, All rights reserved.
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John Goodwin’s Inaugural Lecture at Leicester

Professor John Goodwin, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester, will give his inaugural lecture under the title The Sociogenesis of a Sociologist: Intersections of History and Biographyon Tuesday 24 March 2015.

The lecture will be at 5.30 pm in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Ken Edwards Building
Leicester LE1 7RH. A reception will follow afterwards in the City Lounge on the
first floor of the Charles Wilson Building.

 

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Civilizing Offensives: special issue of Human Figurations

The special issue of Human Figurations on Civilising Offensives is now published online at:

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/h/humfig/11217607.0004.1*?rgn=full+text

Contents:

Introduction to the Special Issue of Human Figurations on Civilising Offensives Flint, John; Kruithof, Bernard; Powell, Ryan
The Dutch bourgeois civilising offensive in the nineteenth century Kruithof, Bernard
Beschavingsoffensief (civilising offensive): from sociological concept to moral appeal de Regt, Ali
Home from Home: UK civilising offensives in residential childcare Vertigans, Stephen
Balances between civilising processes and offensives: Adult-child relations in Irish primary schools from the mid-nineteenth century Dolan, Paddy
Thatcher’s civilising offensive: The Ridley Plan to decivilise the working class Clement, Matt
Containing the Urban Poor – Coercion or Consent? Disciplining Missions and Civilising Offensives in the Netherlands van Ginkel, Rob
‘We are not long-haired hippies …’ Civilising offensives, suffering, doping and professional cycling Connolly, John
Civilising offensives and decivilising processes: between the emic and the etic Mennell, Stephen
Book Reviews
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Workshop: Sports, leisure and culture in the works of Elias

A workshop ‘Sports, leisure and culture in the works of Norbert Elias: connecting thoughts from unpublished material’ will take place on 9–10 April 2015 in Frankfurt am Main. The idea of the workshop is to present some unpublished manuscripts and discuss them with international experts, in order to evaluate the material’s potential to enrich figurational approaches to current research issues.

Colleagues interested in figurational sociology and the topics addressed are invited as listeners. No participation fee will be charged, but accommodation and travel costs must be paid at participants’ own expense. Official registration is required by 1 March 2015 via email haut@sport.uni-frankfurt.de. For further information please contact Jan Haut at the same address.

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New Norbert Elias Essay Prize

 

With some regret, the Norbert Elias Foundation has decided to discontinue the biennial Norbert Elias Prize for the best first book by a sociological author. Reasons included other prizes being established elsewhere for the same purpose, but especially the increasing administrative burden on the Foundation’s office in Amsterdam. In its place, however, it has been decided to establish a Norbert Elias Essay Prize, to be awarded every other year. Submissions will be requested for particularly topical and pertinent issues. The prize will be awarded to the paper which provides the most incisive and innovative figurational approach to the topic.

Our first call is for papers which explore the topic ‘Contemporary Crises as Social Processes’.

Today there seem to be more crises in the world than ever before: banking, financial and economic, climate change, health epidemics, war and humanitarian disasters across diverse locations such as Ukraine, Venezuela, West Africa and the Middle East.   All these crises have a social component to them and lead to the question ‘What can be said about the crises from the perspective of process sociology?’

Essays should be no longer than 5,000 words, and be submitted by email to elias@planet.nl by the closing date of 30 April 2015. Papers must be written in English, but allowance will be made and possible support given to submissions by those for whom English is not their first language. Professor Stephen Vertigans of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, will act as chair of the jury. The winning paper will be submitted for publication in Human Figurations and the author will receive a prize of 1,000 Euro. Any queries should be directed to elias@planet.nl.

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Two new GTA/GRA posts at the Dept of Sociology, University of Leicester

The Sociology Department at the University of Leicester is expanding. An integral part of this expansion involves the development and growth of its postgraduate research community. The latest opportunity is for two fully funded teaching or research assistant PhD posts. We have specified a number of key areas – sports, citizenship, historical sociology and migration – but welcome applications from research students interested in any areas that are broadly consistent with the interests of members of the Department.

Sociology at Leicester has a long association with the work of Elias. We would particularly welcome work that follows in the tradition of examining the social world in a processual and relational manner, albeit that there is no requirement that it need be directly or explicitly ‘Eliasian’!

Full details of the Graduate Teaching Assistantship/Graduate Research Assistantship can be found here.

Should you have any queries about the posts, please contact me directly on jason.hughes@le.ac.uk

 

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CFP: EASS Sociology of Sport Conference, Dublin

We encourage all figurational researchers with an interest in sport to submit abstracts to the next European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference, to be held in Dublin, Ireland, next June. Further details and online abstract submission are available through the conference website. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 January 2015.

The keynote speakers include Randall Collins, Anthony King and Roberta Sassatelli, and Joe Maguire and Katie Liston will lead one of the PhD workshops.

We look forward to welcoming you to Dublin!

Organisers: John Connolly (Dublin City University) & Paddy Dolan (Dublin Institute of Technology)

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New Norbert Elias Essay Prize

With some regret, the Norbert Elias Foundation has decided to discontinue the biennial Norbert Elias Prize for the best first book by a sociological author. Reasons included other prizes being established elsewhere for the same purpose, but especially the increasing administrative burden on the Foundation’s office in Amsterdam. In its place, however, it has been decided to establish a Norbert Elias Essay Prize, to be awarded every other year. Submissions will be requested for particularly topical and pertinent issues. The prize will be awarded to the paper which provides the most incisive and innovative figurational approach to the topic.

Our first call is for papers which explore the topic ‘Contemporary Crises as Social Processes’.

Today there seem to be more crises in the world than ever before: the banking, financial and economic crisis, climate change, health epidemics, war and humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine and the Middle East.   All these crises have a social component to them. What can be said about this from the perspective of process sociology?

Essays should be no longer than 5,000 words, and be submitted by email to elias@planet.nl by the closing date of 30 April 2015. Papers must be written in English, but allowance will be made and possible support given to submissions by those for whom English is not their first language. Professor Stephen Vertigans of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, will act as chair of the jury. The winning paper will be submitted for publication in Human Figurations and the author will receive a prize of 1,000 Euro.

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