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HI PhD Conference

Annual HI PhD Conference

The HI sponsors an annual PhD conference organised by our resident postgraduate scholars on a topic of their choosing.

Please see below for details about the upcoming conference and a listing of previous conferences.

HI PhD Conference 2024:
'Cannibal Consumption: Culture, Capitalism, Critique'
Keynote Speaker: (opens in a new window)Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes
Date: Friday, 1st March 2024
Time: 9am - 6.30pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

The term ‘cannibalism’ evokes images of horror, violence, and taboo. It is a provocative and unsettling theme, often eliciting fear, disgust and fascination. Historically, colonial and imperial projects deployed racialised discourses of cannibalism in order to legitimise violence on allegedly ‘savage’ or ‘primitive’ populations (Francis Barker, Margaret Iverson, Peter Hulme, 1998). However, the resurgence of cannibalism in contemporary fiction and film has subverted these traditional narratives, offering nuanced perspectives that challenge established norms, societal taboos, and questions of identity by reevaluating the concept of cannibalism as a form of resistance, for instance as a metaphor for the reclaiming of female desire and sexuality. A 2022 New York Times article by food critic Alex Beggs, for instance, argues that the numerous literary and screen representations of cannibalism at the current juncture ‘suggest that the time [for cannibalism] is now.’ Responding to the provocations raised by cannibalism today, the conference intends to expand the ways in which it can be conceptualised.

Contact Email: (opens in a new window)hiphdconference2024@gmail.com

Call for Papers | Submission deadline: 12th January 2024 (now closed)

Download conference programme HERE

HI PhD Conference 2023: 'Crisis: Resistance, Rupture, Renewal'

Date: Friday, 19th May 2023
Time: 9am-5.30pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

The world is currently beset by crisis. From the COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects, to the climate emergency, to the conflict in Ukraine, crisis seems to be inescapable. Notions of crisis allows for the exploration of questions of periodization, scale, and normativity. When do crises begin and when are they resolved? Are crises always negative? In the context of a world defined by crisis, the UCD Humanities Institute's 2023 PhD conference "Crisis: Resistance, Rupture, Renewal" seeks to explore such questions, hosting three panels that span a variety of geographies, time periods, and academic disciplines.

The keynote talk will be delivered by UCD's Ad Astra Fellow Dr Treasa de Loughry, with a paper entitled: "Terraforming the Earth: Necro-Capitalism and Wasted World Fictions". 

Thresholds: Contexts of Rupture, Change and Adaptation

Friday, 25 March 2022, UCD O’Brien Centre, Theatre E, and Online

Listen to Conference podcasts (opens in a new window)HERE



09:00 Welcome

Prof. Anne Fuchs (Director and Professor, UCD Humanities Institute) 

09:10 Panel 1: Digital Thresholds & Methods

Holly Parker (University of Lincoln): Escape from The Stacks: Negotiating Affective Membranes and Virtual Reality in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One

Cáit Murphy (Trinity College Dublin): The Somatic Thresholds of Palestinian Activist Videos on Instagram 

Orla Delaney (University of Cambridge): Data encounters: towards a theory of databasing in the museum       

Fatma Kirwan (FHNW Academy of Art and Design/ Justus Liebig University Giessen): Through the Threshold: Responsive, performative and self-referential

10:40  Tea/Coffee Break

11:00  Panel 2: Historical Breaks: Befores and Afters

Noble Shrivastava (Jawaharlal Nehru University): Tradition and Transition: Courtesans and the Early Colonial State in 19th Century Delhi  

Viktoriia Grivina (University of St Andrews): The 4th Block Triennial of Eco Poster and Dealing with The Trauma of Chernobyl In Ukrainian Graphic Design   

Jacob Miller (University College Dublin): The First Rule of Brexit is Don’t Talk about Brexit: “Liberal Nationalism” in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet

Luke Watson (University College Cork): A Break From the Past: Adapting and Reacting to the French Revolution in Ireland, 1789-1798

12:30  Lunch

13:30  Panel 3: Identities in Flux

Fernando Alejandro Remache-Vinueza (University of Glasgow): Changes and interactions between the mainstream narrative and alternative identities: The case of Lithuania

Esha Nadkarni (Goa University): Probing the Transformation of Devadasis in The Undoing Dance

Yanli Xie (University College Dublin): Finding a place for the ‘modern/new’ Chinese women in Republican domestic kitchens: gender norms and the cooking-related writings published in the 1920s to 1930s

Monja Stahlberger (Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London): Overcoming Everyday Constraints: Agency and Identity in Diaries of Child Refugees from National Socialist German

Sarah Tierney (Swansea University): Exploring societal ambivalence: The experiences of Refugee Women seeking Sanctuary in Wales

15:15  Tea/Coffee Break

15:45  Panel 4: Artistic Responses to Thresholds

Anton Pereira Rodriguez (Ghent University/University of Verona): Between Modernism and Postmodernism: Jan Vercruysse’s questioning of a place for art     

Hattie Idle (University College Dublin): “On the Outside Looking in”: Romantic comedy, awkward (sub)urban  aesthetics, and US-Aotearoan encounters in Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs Shark (2007)

Rory Clarkson (Durham University): Travelling through grief; elegy crossing thresholds in “Sailing Home from Rapallo” and “A Procession at Candlemas”

Annemarie Iker (Princeton University): Can an artwork keep a secret?

17:15  Keynote

(opens in a new window)Prof Caroline Bassett (Professor of Digital Humanities, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge & Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities):

The Light Under the Door: Technologies and the End of Worlds (Now available as a(opens in a new window) Podcast).

18:30  Close

This event is funded by the UCD Humanities Institute (HI).

The HI was established in 2002 and has become a working home for hundreds of postgraduate, postdoctoral and visiting scholars. It forms a key component within UCD’s strategic mission to develop as a leading global research intensive university, and constitutes a vibrant and creative space for interdisciplinary research in the arts and humanities.


Thresholds: Contexts of Rupture, Change and Adaptation


Keynote Speaker:(opens in a new window) Professor Caroline Bassett, University of Cambridge, Faculty of English, Director of Cambridge Digital Humanities

The changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have been so radical and extensive that the concept of ‘back to normal’ has evolved into that of a ‘new normal’ in recognition of the fact that there can be no return, only new forms of existence in a new world. This sense of a before and after, and the processes of rupture, change, adaptation, translation and transformation that it entails, are what we seek to critically and creatively engage with through the symbolic vehicle of the threshold. We understand thresholds as representing the movement from one space or state to another, whether this be sudden and cataclysmic or slow and gentle. The ‘threshold’ also allows for an exploration of ‘in-between’ or ‘in process’, i.e. that which is located on or within the threshold, rather than on either side of it. We may be forced to move through a threshold, adapting as best we can to the circumstances on the other side, or we might produce a threshold as part of a process of creativity and discovery. Translators, for example, work within a linguistic threshold, forging something new from a pre-existing piece of textual or verbal expression.

In the context of a world defined by change and flux, nevermore so than in the last eighteen months, the 2022 PhD Conference of the UCD Humanities Institute is seeking proposals from emerging scholars and artists (doctoral candidates or researchers who received their PhD within the last five years) who are engaged, either conceptually or practically, with thresholds of any kind.

We invite proposals for individual papers from the fields of literature, philosophy, history, classics, archaeology, art history and other humanities disciplines suitable for a 15-minute presentation, or 3-paper panel sessions addressing topics that include but not limited to:

  • Thresholds of technological, social or political change
  • Geographical, political, cultural or religious thresholds as places of division and encounter
  • Instances of failed or thwarted attempts at adaptation
  • Advantages, disadvantages, and complexities of change, translation, and transformation
  • Thresholds between media and within the digital humanities
  • Experience of ambivalent agency and liminal identity in migration, diaspora labour exportation, and refugee issues
  • Social constraints and the overcoming of imposed limits against thresholds of race, gender, ability, age, or class identity
  • Interrogating and problematising thresholds of gender and gender binaries
  • Challenges and possibilities of linguistic and cultural translation
  • The translation or adaptation of material for new audiences in art, literature, music, film, computer games, and other media
  • Transformation and adaptation as a process of preservation
  • Transformation between media and genre and the “going through” multiple thresholds; multiple levels or phases of change, adaptation and transformation
  • Questions of the exaltation (or not) of the “original” versus the “copy”
  • Hierarchies of adaptation. In what context do stories get “reborn”? Why are some stories retold more often than others?
  • Gains and losses in the transformation from one medium to another
  • Representations of ‘thresholds’ in social discourses in literature, art, film computer games, and other media

Please submit an abstract of 250 words and a bio-note of around 200 words to hiphdconference2022@gmail.com on or before Tuesday, 15 February 2022, 5:00 PM (Irish Standard Time). All proposals should include your name, email address and academic affiliation (if applicable). Please also include a main subject field plus secondary subject field in the application.

The conference will be held in English. The conference is convened by Resident Scholars of the UCD Humanities Institute. Exceptional papers may be recommended for publication in the blog ((opens in a new window)https://tnhphd.network/) or other venues.

This is a hybrid online and in person conference. We welcome applications from anywhere in the world. Successful applicants who are unable to travel to Dublin for the conference will be invited to present online. There will be a live stream of all presentations available for all registered attendees. We are also aware that due to the pandemic, it may become inadvisable to hold an in-person conference; in case of changes to government restrictions or UCD policy regarding in-person events, this conference will be moved online.

For further information contact HI Resident Scholars Louisa Carroll, Lauren Cassidy, Suchismita Dattagupta, Prolet Decheva, Clare Kelly, Annie Khabaza, and Maika Nguyen, at the above email address.

Transnational Humanities: Concept and Praxis

Webinar: UCD Humanities Institute PhD Conference
Friday, 19th February 2021

Read full report HERE. Listen to the podcast(opens in a new window) HERE.


Welcome by Prof. Anne Fuchs, Director, UCD Humanities Institute

Panel 1: Knowledge, Identity, Culturality
Chair: Susan Mihalik (University College Dublin)

12.15-12.30 Mengzhen Yue (University College Dublin): Translating Ancient Greek Texts in China (1950s-1960s): A ‘transnational’ practice and the (re)building of modern Chinese education system

12.30-12.45 Clare Kelly (University College Dublin): “I write as though I am telling the story orally”: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and the construction of an author-as-storyteller identity in the transnational literary market

12.45-13.00 Diana Ekor Ofana (University of Fort Hare): How can Inter-cultural Philosophy contribute to social integration in a changing world?

13.00-13.20 Discussion

13.20-13.30 Break

13.30-14.30 Keynote

Dr Ailbhe Kenny (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)
"Shaping Space while Stateless: Insights from transcultural interactions"
Chair: Zhengfeng Wang (University College Dublin)

14.30-14.40 Break

Panel 2: Space, Place and Materiality
Chair: Suchismita Dattagupta (University College Dublin)

14.40-14.55 Bernadette Fox (University College Dublin): Samuel Beckett’s Transnationalism: The ebb and flow of seascapes simultaneously local and global

14.55-15.10 Chris McCann (National University of Ireland Galway): Pavarotti's Sean-nós World Tour: Music, place-time, and transnational cultural exchange in Irish prose literature  

15.10-15.25 Prolet Decheva (University College Dublin): Lost or Found: The migration of Late Antique and Byzantine objects from museum collections to an 'interconnected' digital space? Some practical challenges

15.25-15.45 Discussion

15.45-15.55 Break

Panel 3: Migration, Stateness, Politicality
Chair: Zequn Zhang (University College Dublin)

15.55-16.10 Katharina Fuerholzer (University of Pennsylvania): Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Poetry as a counterpoint to the atrocities of migration

16.10-16.25 Tim Meulemans (University of Antwerp): Transnational Law and the Challenge to National Sovereignty

16.25-16.40 Daniel Dzah (Tulane University): Transnationalism and Liberal Political Philosophy of Migration

16.40-17.00 Discussion

17.00-17.15 TNH-PhD Network

Enquiries to hiphdconference2021@gmail.com
The conference is convened by Resident Scholars of the UCD Humanities Institute. @UCDHumanities

UCD Humanities Institute Annual PhD Conference

Belonging and Migration in Emerging Scholarship: Concepts, Perceptions, Experiences and Representations

With Keynote address by Dr Caitriona Ni Laoire (UCC)

Thursday 14th November 2019 from 9 am

Registration (9.00-9.30)

Session 1: Social perspectives on migration (9.30am-10.45am)

Chair: Dr. João Paulo Guimarães

  • Denise Gormley (NUI Galway): “Spatialities of international refugee law in the context of gender and sexuality”
  • Karim Pourhamzavi (Macquarie University, Sydney): “Critical responses to migration and/or the idea of shelter and asylum”
  • Paolo Contini, Raffaella Rubino, Fabrizio Gentile (University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Italy): “Social practices of inclusion: agapic action in Riace”

Coffee break (10.45am-11.15am)

Session 2: Belief, placemaking and diaspora (11.15am-12.30pm)

Chair: Marty Gilroy

  • Hayal Hanoglu (University of Kent): “Change and continuity: spatiotemporal dynamics of migrant ‘faith’ Alevism”
  • Mike Norris (University College Dublin):“From Ambrose to Zeno: comparing migrant experience in fourth century northern Italy”

Lunch break (12.30pm-1.30pm)

Session 3: Transit, intellectuals and writers (1.30pm-3pm)

Chair: Jaclyn Allen

  • Bianca Rita Cataldi (University College Dublin): “The gothic line: Ottiero Ottieri and the journey of Italian intellectuals”
  • Laura Jane Nanni (University College Dublin): “The lived experience of the stranger and the problem of belonging: a phenomenological account”
  • Marco Mogiani (University of Vienna): “Invisible acts of citizenship: migrant struggles in Patras”
  • Louisa Carroll (University College Dublin): “A Journey With Two Maps: Eavan Boland's 'Escape' by the Grand Canal”

Keynote address (3pm-4.15pm)

Dr Caitriona Ni Laoire (University College Cork)
“Migration and Belonging – reflections on return mobilities and mythologies”

Chair: Bianca Rita Cataldi

Coffee break (4.15pm-4.30pm)

Session 4: Integration, nostalgia and the body (4.30pm-5.45pm)

Chair: Dr. Megan Kuster

  • Federico Chiaricati (University of Trieste): “Who am I? Imagination, nostalgia and national belonging through food consumption among Italian migrants in the United States at the beginning of the XX century”
  • Michael Wolven (University of Glasgow): “The lure of return: the functions of nostalgia in the lives of resettled refugees”

Wine reception

The conference is convened by Resident Scholars of the UCD Humanities Institute.
Enquiries to (opens in a new window)hiphdconference2019@gmail.com 

Conference hashtag: #hiphdconference19

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Boundaries, Transgression and Liminality in 21st-Century Scholarship

With Keynote address by Professor Michael Cronin (TCD)

Thursday, 27th September 2018, from 9am

‘Trans’ issues, be they disciplinary, cultural or political, are widely celebrated in mainstream media, academic discourse, and the arts. Concurrently there exists a political reality of borders, as well as a proliferation of entrenched forms of the rhetoric of difference, which have led to significant electoral success for political parties advocating identitarian ideologies. To date, the 21st century has witnessed, on the one hand, ever expanding access to worldwide online networking, growing free-market economic globalisation, and increasingly diverse identity politics, while at the same time strict national boundaries have contributed to an escalation in the international refugee crises.

(opens in a new window)Listen to Professor Michael Cronin's keynote podcast here

Registration: 9-9.30am

Session 1: Challenging boundaries of institutional education. (9.30am – 11.10am)

Dr Scott Eric Hamilton (UCD): “Zombiism: Crossing Boundaries, Crossing Disciplines, Challenging Theory”
Gianna Tasha Tomasso (LIT): “Mapping Art Practice as a Model for Pedagogical Transdisciplinarity”
Salah Haddad (TCD): “Who runs the show, who owns the society?”
Dr Shireen Short (DIT): “Dilemmas in Reconciling Participatory Media Practice with Individual Authorship”

Coffee/tea break

Session 2: Transgression in traditions, identity and form. (11.30am – 1.10pm)

Leanne Waters (UCD): “Transgressive Content: Melodrama and the Remediation of Late-Victorian Narratives”
Fiona Lyons (UCD): “A Critical Analysis of the Gaelic Department of the Irish-American and the An Claidheamh Soluis"
Alexandra Kutovoy (TCD): “Languages of Proximity and Distance in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels”
Katie Baseman (UL): "Exploring Metaphorical Boundaries and their Impact on Musical Choices"

Lunch break

Session 3: Media transgression and identity. (2.30pm – 4.10pm)

Abeba Birhane (UCD): “Self and technology: rethinking boundaries”
Rebecca Carr (TCD): “Mythical language of transgression in Serbian cultural trauma cinema”
Jamie Leigh Gray (University of California Santa Barbara): “@TwoWomenTravel #NoFilters: Staging Hashtag Activism”
Dyuti Chakravarty (UCD): “Interrogating the Politics of Respectability and the question of female desire with respect to contemporary women’s mobilisations for ‘bodily autonomy’: A Comparison of post-colonial legacies in India and Ireland”

Coffee/tea break

Keynote address by Professor Michael Cronin (4.30pm)
“Transversal Subjectivity and the Transitional University”

The Conference will be followed by a Wine Reception and Buffet (provided by (opens in a new window)Our Table) from 6pm

The conference is convened by Resident Scholars of the UCD Humanities Institute.
Enquiries to hiphdconference2018@gmail.com

HI Annual PhD Conference: The University Under Neoliberalism

Friday, 6 October 2017

Keynote Speakers:

(opens in a new window)Professor Thomas Docherty
Professor Kathleen Lynch

This is an interdisciplinary PhD conference encouraging input from a range of subjects to discuss the contemporary political and economic status-quo. We want to trace the broad impact of political, economic and cultural change on the university and, more specifically, on the humanities. Panel participants will explore new methodologies in art and criticism, the disciplinary techniques of the neoliberal university, and issues of access for marginalised communities within the Irish state.

Conference Programme

9:30-10:00: Registration

10:00-11:30: Keynote Speaker: (opens in a new window)Professor Thomas Docherty | Introduced by Professor Anne Fuchs
'The New Treason of the Intellectuals: The University and Humanities in the aftermath of neoliberal economics'

11:30-11:45: Coffee Break

11:45 – 1:45: Panel A: Creative Methodologies in Art and Criticism | Chair: Louise Walsh

  • Kerry Guinan: Critique through Over-identification: Challenging Neoliberalism in the Visual Arts
  • Luke Lamont: The Rise of Documentary Theatre Under Neoliberalism
  • Darragh Gregory: Education in the Neoliberal Knowledge Economy
  • Eoin Fullham: Extrinsic Value – Commodified Education and Lacanian Discourse Theory

1:45 – 2:30: Lunch

2:30 – 4:00: Panel B: Education and Access

  • Hannagh Mc Ginley: Blameless Perpetrators and Deserving Victims
  • Emma Mahony: Imagining a Post-neoliberal Art and Educational Landscape 
  • Fox Keogh: From Coercion to Freedom: Education and Children’s Rights in Schools

4:00-4:15: Coffee Break

4:15 – 5:15: Keynote speaker: (opens in a new window)Professor Kathleen Lynch
'Something Old or Something New? Managerialism, Class, Gender and Care in the Neoliberal University'

5:15-5:30: Coffee Break

5:30 – 6:30: Panel C: Exclusion and Containment in the Irish State | Chair: Dr Anne Mulhall

  • Christine Allen: New Journey: An Irish Production of Active Welfare Subjectivities
  • Ellie Kisyombe: The System of Direct Provision for  Asylum Seekers in Ireland

6:30 pm: Drinks & Finger Food by Our Table - a celebration of food traditions from a variety of countries

(opens in a new window)Our Table is a food initiative organised by people living in Ireland's Direct Provision system for asylum seekers. Their aim is to highlight the fact that people in direct provision are not allowed to cook for themselves and how that impacts on family and cultural identity. Our Table want to highlight how a wealth of food knowledge is being lost to the next generation.

Suggested Contribution €10.00 per person (cash only) All contributions will be given to Our Table.

UCD Humanities Institute

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4690 | E: humanities@ucd.ie |