UCD School of Sociology Seminar Series 2018-2019

Semester Two


Thursday 24 January

Dr. Elisa Bellotti - University of Manchester

'Counterfeit alcohol distribution: A criminological script network analysis'


This paper analyses a series of subsequent and connected investigations by a domestic European regulator on the network of distribution of counterfeit alcohol across two jurisdictions. The analysis mixes script analysis, a narrative framework for enhancing the understanding of how crimes unfold and are organized, with multi-node multi-link social network analysis, to observe the social structure in which crime scripts take place. We focus our attention on the key players that occupy strategic positions within the network of the crime commission process, from where they overview and control the various phases (scenes) and perform brokerage activities across the scenes, and on strategies of concealment of illicit products beyond the facade of legitimate business. Our findings indicate that actors in charge of managing the proceeds of the criminal activity are also the ones better positioned to monitor the entire process. The overall structure of the criminal network shows a good level of resilience and efficiency, although actors do not adopt common traits of a criminal lifestyle that facilitate secrecy and covertness. We believe that, by shifting the analysis from the nature of the group organization to the network of links between all the aspects of a crime commission process, the organizational structure and its weakest links
become more detectable, easier to compare across proto- and meta-scripts, and ultimately more prone to situational preventive measures.

I'm a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Manchester. I study social networks and how they shape and are shaped by our social environment. Topics I commonly investigate are gender, science, criminal networks, personal relationships, mixed methods. Previously I also studied consumption, and I am developing an interest in health networks.
I believe that by looking at social networks, at whom we interact with and how these relationship influence us, we can better understand how societies work and cultures emerge. I adopt the stance of relational sociology and I am interested in how it merges with other mainstream sociological theories. I strongly advocate the use of a variety of qualitative and quantitative tools that can be mixed to adjust the lenses through which we observe and explain the social world.


Wednesday 6 February

Carol Kidron - Haifa University

'The “Perfect Failure” of The Human Right to Genocide Memorialization in Cambodia: Productive Global-Local Friction or “Bone Business”?'

This lecture will take place in the Humanities Institute at 10am


Public memorialization of genocide has been deemed essential for post-conflict restorative justice, reconciliation and peacebuilding. The global dissemination of genocide memorialization has emerged as the new pillar of human rights governance with a supra-international institutional architecture of governance working with NGOs and governments to integrate memorialization into projects of transitional justice. The scholarship calls for the localization of memorial sites in accordance with culturally particular commemorative practices, and collaboration with local actors, however it fails to outline if and how this recommendation is implemented while local responses and attendance of these sites remains undocumented. Asserting that globalization has engendered a cosmopolitan universal model of genocide memory, memory studies, culture studies, and HR studies have yet to critically question the viability of an internationally imposed collective memory that does not emerge from within particular local socio-cultural milieus. Moreover, the scholarship has yet to examine patron-client relations between international actors and local constituencies and the practices that impose/promote localization of global models of memorialization. International memory entrepreneurs and the nation-state are often portrayed as sole protagonists in a globalized landscape of memory decontextualized from everyday life and meaning worlds. We know little of the experiences of local actors other than their apparent capitulation to mobilization or their resistance to hegemonic narratives. Integrating insights from the anthropology of HR with anthropology of memory, an ethnographic study of small scale communal commemoration in Cambodia aims to determine whether communal non-monumental sites of genocide memorialization in Cambodia are localized/hybridized in accordance with cultural-particular forms of remembrance and whether friction between the global and local actors creatively constitute new localized traditions (in keeping with Levi and Sznaider's concept of "cosmopolitan memory"), promote mutually progressive glocal encounters (in keeping with Tsing's concept of "productive friction") or -  impose failed translations. Drawing on participant-observation at communal sites of genocide memory and ethnographic interviews with villagers, monks, and NGO stakeholders, I longitudinally trace (over a 5-year period) the localization of Euro-Western genocide commemoration in the Cambodian landscape. Hybrid Khmer-Western communal memorials that display victim remains and promote genocide pedagogy signify elite capitulation to Western cosmopolitan memory and reap the rewards of atrocity tourism. Despite the façade of successful localization, my data point to elite and non-elite resistance to cosmologically dangerous and/or semiotically meaningless commemorative practice and to the failure of hybrid memorialization. A close reading of Cambodian Buddhist conceptualizations of memory, commemoration, and relations between living and dead reveals how and why façades of localization culturally work to sustain simulacra of “engaged universals,” creating a “perfect failure” of global-local translation. My findings problematize the globalization of a Holocaust model of commemoration and the “human right and duty to remember” as a pillar of global genocide pedagogy in today’s postconflict memoryscapes. I consider implications for understandings of intercultural friction and the “productive dynamism” of global-local encounters while deconstructing contemporary anthropological frames that occlude critique of global-local engagement.Data pertaining to ‘positive global-local friction’ and grassroots hybridization contributes to HR policy making and culturally competent global memorialization. Re-conceptualizing memory itself, data on ‘lived’ local-global friction captures the way selective forgetting is shaped not only by the politics of memory but also informed by culturally particular religious, spiritual and cosmological meaning worlds that may be incongruent with Euro-Western conceptions of remembrance.  

Carol A. Kidron is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel. Kidron has undertaken comparative ethnographic work with Holocaust descendants in Israel and children of Cambodian genocide survivors in Cambodia and Canada. She has focused on the interface between private and public Holocaust and Genocide memory work in Israel, Canada and Cambodia, aiming primarily to re-conceptualize trauma descendant lived memory of difficult pasts as silent intersubjective embodied and emotive presence. Kidron has examined ways in which universalizing epistemological frames (psychological illness construct of PTSD, Genocide Studies, Culture Studies (trauma theory) Human Rights and the more recent moral anthropology) discursively elide the private and familial experience of presence while facilitating the public appropriation and translation of private memory into either public niches of domesticated representation of lived memory or ‘dead’ forms of politicized absence. Beyond her interest in personal and collective Holocaust and Genocide commemoration, Kidron's more recent research examines the glocalization of discourses on justice and reconciliation, victimhood, and memory in post-conflict societies. Her present field work in Cambodia explores processes of localization and friction in local-global encounters and the multi-layered responses to hegemonically imposed memorialization, organic forms of genocide commemoration and atrocity tourism. Kidron’s publications include: "Surviving a Distant Past" (Ethos 2003), “Toward an Ethnography of Silence: The Lived Presence of the Past in the Everyday Life of Holocaust Trauma Survivors and Their Descendants in Israel” (Current Anthropology 2009), "Embracing the Lived Memory of Genocide" (American Ethnologist, 2010), “Alterity and the Particular Limits of Universalism: Comparing Jewish-Israeli Holocaust and Canadian-Cambodian Genocide Legacies” (Current Anthropology, 2012) and "Being There Together: Dark Family Tourism and the Emotive Experience of Co-presence in the Holocaust Past" (Annals of Tourism Research 2013) "Survivor-family memory-work at Sites of Holocaust Remembrance: Institutional enlistment or familial agency? (History & Memory 2015) and Resurrecting Dis-continued Bonds: A Comparative Study of Israeli Holocaust and Cambodian Genocide Trauma Descendant Relations with the Genocide Dead (Ethos 2018). Global Mental Health and Idioms of Distress: The Paradox of Culture-Sensitive Pathologization of Distress in Cambodia (Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 2018). The “Perfect Failure” of Communal Genocide Commemoration in Cambodia: Productive Friction or “Bone Business”? (Current Anthropology in press).


Thursday 21 February

Priyamvada Gopal - University of Cambridge

'Black Self-Representation & Organising in London'

In her book, Insurgent Empire, Priyamvada Gopal deftly excavates the ways in which Britain's enslaved and colonial subjects were not merely victims of empire and subsequent beneficiaries of its crises of conscience, but also agents whose resistance both contributed to their own liberation and shaped British ideas about freedom and who could be free. Gopal critically examines dissent over the question of empire in Britain and shows how it was influenced by rebellions and resistance in the colonies from the West Indies and East Africa to Egypt and India. This talk will focus on the pivotal role in fomenting dissent played by anti-colonial campaigners based in London at the heart of the empire.

A Reader in Anglophone and Related Literature at Cambridge University, Priyamvada Gopal’s primary interests are in colonial and postcolonial literature and theory, with related interests in the novel; translation; gender and feminism; Marxism; critical race studies, and the politics and cultures of empire and globalisation. https://www.english.cam.ac.uk/people/Priyamvada.Gopal/


Monday 25 February 

Sasha Huber

'Artistic Renegotiations of Archive, Memory & Place'

This lecture will take place in the Humanities Institute from 12-2pm


Sasha Huber will be speaking about a selection of art projects relating to her long-term artistic research project which has evolved out of artistic engagement with the cultural activist campaign Demounting Louis Agassiz, whose aim has been to advocate for the renaming of Agassizhorn in the Swiss Alps to Rentyhorn, in honor of the Congolese-born enslaved man Renty and of those who met similar fates. Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) is celebrated in the history of science as an important glaciologist who was one of the discoverers of ice age theory. But, he also was one of the most influential proponents of 'scientific racism’ in his adoptive country, the United States of America from 1846. Agassiz studied and photographed enslaved Africans in the places of their suffering and argued that they were innately inferior. He advocated strict racial segregation, ethnic cleansing, and government measures to prevent the birth of interracial children whom he considered unnatural.


Sasha Huber is a visual artist of Swiss-Haitian heritage, born in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1975. She lives and works in Helsinki (Finland) since 2002. Huber's work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to colonial residue left in different landscapes. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice thatencompasses video, photography, collaborations with researchers, and performance-based interventions.Although Huber works primarily in lens-based formats, she has also claimed the compressed-air staple gun,aware of its symbolic significance as a weapon, while offering the potential to renego tiate unequal power dynamics. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the "Demounting Louis Agassiz" campaign, aiming at dismantling the glaciologist's lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. Huber has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the group exhibition Frontiers Reimagined (Collateral Event,56th la Biennale di Venezia in 2015), the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, and in the 29th Biennale of Sao Paulo in 2010. She holds an MAfrom the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Presently Huber is undertaking practice-basedPhD studies at the Department of Art and Media at the Zurich University of the Arts. Huber also works in a creative partnership with artist Petri Saarikko and together they have been invited to artist residencies around the world. Alongside her practice, Huber has edited the book Rentyhorn (2010) and was co-editor (with Maria P.T.Machado) of (T)races of Louis Agassiz: Photography, Body and Science, Yesterday and Today (2010) on theoccasion of the 29th Biennale of Sao Paulo (Brazil).


Thursday 28 February 

Caroline Knowles - Goldsmiths, University of London

'Plutocrats, Capital, Consumption and City-Making in London'


Various forms of capital and its manifestations of excess have always shaped Cities. But unprecedented expansions of wealth on a global scale combined with the concentration of wealth into ever fewer hands now has serious ramifications in moulding cities and the lives that can be lived in them.  Moving from the abstraction of cities as machines shaped by capital, this paper takes a close look at the social and material architecture and everyday realities of plutocratic life in London. Based on interviews with millionaires, billionaires, their hangers on and their serving classes, this paper pierces some of the city’s most guarded and privileged opaque spaces and lives.


Caroline Knowles is professor of sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and the Director of the British Academy’s Cities and Infrastructure Programme. She currently holds a Major Leverhulme Fellowship for a research project titled Serious Money: a Mobile Investigation of Plutocratic London.  Her research is concerned with various manifestations of globalisation from below, particularly human and material connections between urban environments. She is the author of Flip-Flop: a journey through globalisation’s backroads, published by Pluto (2014) and co-author with Douglas Harper of Hong Kong: migrant lives landscapes and journeys, published by the university of Chicago Press.


Friday 8 March

Hartmut Rosa -Jena University

'Social Acceleration Resonance, And Restoring Society'

This lecture will take place in the RSAI, 63 Merrion Square 3-5.30pm

Prof. Dr Hartmut Rosa is Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Sociology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. He is a leading figure in the present generation of critical theory at the Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt, the world-renowned "Frankfurt School." Grounded in classical & contemporary sociology, working in the best traditions of interdisciplinary social & political thought, in a series of important books, published in several languages, the most well-known of which are Social Acceleration: a New Theory of Modernity, and Resonance: a Sociology of the Relationship to the World, Hartmut Rosa provides us with a deep & comprehensive sociological diagnostics of the malaises of late­modern society in terms of acceleration and its social, economic, political, cultural, and existential ramifications; followed by a sociological therapeutics addressed to the dysrhythmia and cacophony so characteristic of our present age.


Thursday 4 April

Iris Wigger - Loughborough University

'Islamophobia and 'Intersectional Stereotyping' and in the Mass media’s representation of Migrant Muslim men in Germany'

This paper presents core findings of my British Academy/Leverhulme research project 'The end of tolerance? 'Race', sex and violence in Germany's media discourse on migration'. It examines how German mass print media have represented migrant men with Muslim backgrounds in relation to mainstream society and examines racialised stereotypes these media (re-) produce, including that of the migrant male Muslim as a threatening criminal and sexual perpetrator. Media reports about refugee 'sex mobs’ have risen in the wake of wider societal discussions and controversies surrounding the European refugee crisis and the consequences of welcoming over 1.5 Million refugees from predominantly Muslim countries into Germany in recent years. Many of these reports have been written in the aftermath of the Cologne New Year’s Eve 2016 sexual attacks by migrant men against German women and there is evidence that at least some of them are unfounded. My thematic analysis of three major German newspapers and a Political Weekly between 2015-2017 identifies a racialisation and ‘islamicisation’ of sexual violence in the media portrayal of Muslim migrant men and proposes an original theoretical frame of 'intersectional stereotyping' to conceptualise and historically reflect on the intersecting of racialised, gendered and religious patterns in the media discourse on male Muslim migrants. It also discusses ambivalences within the media representation of this group. These echo recent critical voices and feminist initiatives in German society, which question and critique the racialisation of sexual violence. The paper provides a previously unexplored insight into racialised anti-Muslim stereotyping in German society in socio-political and historical context through the lens of Mass print media.

Dr Iris Wigger studied Sociology at the University of Hamburg and the University of Essex after completing a vocational training as a social worker. She works as a lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University and is a new Visiting Assistant Professor in Sociology at University College Dublin (2018-2013).
Iris was Programme Director for Sociology at Loughborough between 2013- 2015 and external examiner in Sociology at the University of Northampton (2014-2016). Before coming to Loughborough, she was a temporary lecturer in the School of Sociology at University College Dublin and a Research Associate at the History Department of the University of Hamburg. Iris became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2011. Her research interests are in historical sociology and racism analysis, migration discourses, nationalism and imperialism, social theory, stereotyping and the History of Ideas. She has written on the sociology of racism, intersectionality and the History of Ideas and was awarded a Research Grant by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust for her research project: ‘The end of tolerance?! Race, Sex and Violence in Germany’s media discourse on migration’ (2017-2018).


Thursday 11 April

Britta Jung - UCD

'Framing Fortress Europe: A Literary Intervention'


While mobility has always been part of human activity and can be traced back to the dispersing of archaic and modern humans across the continents some two million years ago, the advent of the modern nation-state in the 18th and 19th century and the rise of nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th century have transformed the migration process and subjected migratory flows to substantial regulation. As a result, the (migrant) Other has increasingly been framed as a threat to national security and social harmony, either in moral, social or political; or indeed in ethnic, racial or religious terms. Despite a general embrace of liberal values and the adoption of a legally binding UN-convention regarding the elimination of racial discrimination in 1969, the idea of institutionally targeting specific immigrant groups to avoid a so-called ‘race suicide’ maintains its populist appeal and resurfaces in times of crisis to this day.
In the aftermath of 9/11 – and more recently terrorist attacks in European capitals such as Paris, London, Berlin and Madrid – on the one hand, and the financial crisis and the global refugee crisis on the other hand, hitherto celebrated visions of multi-, inter- and transculturalism have become less optimistic and more guarded in recent years. Mainstream parties are divided on how to respond to the marked shift in public discourse, which is echoed in the rise nationalist movements and right-wing populist parties. After decades of publicly and diplomatically pursuing policies of both integration and inclusion vis-à-vis migrant communities, local and national government policies in Europe seem to increasingly enable nationalist discourses by banning and stigmatising migrants from the Middle East and Africa as a deviant Other. Ostensibly established (trans)national spaces, borders and boundaries are being once again put up for reconsideration, with border controls within the Schengen-Area being temporarily reintroduced and an increasing fortification of the EU’s external borders. This talk seeks to explore the way literary works engage with the Fortress Europe in its newest, post-war iteration. After all, literary works are not only representations of specific social worlds, but – more often than not – conjure up possible, idealised and/or alternative worlds which may affect the extra-literary world. They are – or can be – an important intervention.

Britta C. Jung is an IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UCD Humanities Institute. Her project ‘Contested Identities. A Comparative Study of the Migrant Experience in Contemporary German, Dutch and Irish Literature’ addresses – among other things – the urgent need to critically (re)examine the terms of the migration debate, including collective and national identity, belonging, displacement and transnationalism. Additionally, Dr Jung is currently conducting a comprehensive study on behalf of the Higher Education Authority and Léargas regarding the attitudes toward and learning experience of foreign languages in the context of Erasmus+ in Ireland.
Dr Jung’s PhD was jointly awarded by the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and the University of Limerick in November 2015. She has published extensively in the areas of German Holocaust Studies and Youth Literature. Her German-language monograph on the transnational turn of the German memory discourse was published by Vandenhoek & Ruprecht in October 2018 and a coedited volume on the literary representation of the Central and Eastern European borderlands is due for publication in summer 2019.


Tuesday 16 April 4pm-6pm

This seminar will take place in J108, Newman Building

Chamindra Weedawardhana - Independent Researcher


A Sri Lankan national, Dr Chamindra Weerawardhana is an international LGBTQIA+ rights activist, political lobbyist and academic. She completed her under- and early postgraduate education at Université François Rabelais in Tours, and her PhD in International Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. In Sri Lanka, she is a Board Member of the Venasa, Sri Lanka’s oldest and most grassroots-oriented trans equality network, and an Advisor to the Community Welfare Development Fund. She is the Secretary to the Regional Steering Committee of the Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific Transgender Network. In February 2017, she was elected LGBT+ Officer of the Labour Party in Northern Ireland, where she developed an activist framework based on intersectional inclusion that combines SOGIESC advocacy with a strong emphasis on reproductive justice.
Her book, Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond, was published in 2018. A second, forthcoming 2019, is a decolonial perspective on non-cis-hetero-normative parenting. She is a political journalist with a portfolio of over 250 articles on a range of issues, from international
diplomacy to electoral politics and SOGIESC advocacy, published in the Sri Lankan and international press.


Joint UCD-TCD Public Lecture

Prof. Krishan Kumar (University of Virginia)

Tuesday 23 April 5pm - D418 Newman Building, UCD, Belfield

“Empires in World History”

Empire, as John Darwin has said, has been “the default mode” of political organization for most of human history. Why is that? Why are empires so ubiquitous? What has made them so persistent and long-lasting? Can we find any principles that link them as a universal phenomenon? Are there major differences between Eastern and Western empires? This talk will explore connections as well as divergences in the imperial experience. It will argue that there has been a “tradition” of empire, in the West, linking the empires in a chain of empires. But that has not meant that there has not been intensive interaction between empires across the globe, at least within the Eurasian landmass. Empire is a Eurasian phenomenon, even if not all empires have participated equally in Eurasian developments. This talk will seek to map those empires across Eurasia, and to examine interconnections.


Krishan Kumar is a University Professor, as well as William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. He was previously Professor of Social and Political Thought at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Cambridge and his postgraduate education at the London School of Economics. Prof. Kumar has at various times been a Talks Producer at the BBC, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, and has held Visiting Professorships at Bristol University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Central European University, Prague, the University of Bergen, Norway, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has also been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Among his publications are Prophecy and Progress: The Sociology of Industrial and Post-Industrial Society; Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times; The Rise of Modern Society; From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society; 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals; The Making of English National Identity and most recently ‘Visions of Empire’ (Princeton University Press, 2017).



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