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Workshops, Conferences & Guest Lectures

11 Oct 2023 | "To be Sexy in the City: Race, Caste and Queerness among South Asians in the UK" | Seminar by Dr Dhiren Borisa

Date: Wednesday, 11th October 2023
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

Dhiren Borisa is a Dalit queer activist, poet, and an urban sexual geographer, and is currently employed as Assistant Professor at Jindal Global Law school, India. He is presently in the UK working on his first monograph as Urban Studies Foundation International fellow and a visiting researcher at University of Sheffield. He is also an honorary visiting fellow at the School of Geography, Geology and Environment at the University of Leicester, UK. He attained his Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on Queer Cartographies of Desires in Delhi. His research primarily focuses in studying caste and class dynamics in sexual mappings and makings of cities from an intersectional and decolonial lens both among queer spaces in India and in diasporic queer worldings..

11 Oct 2023 | 'Rethinking Crises' Forum
Workshop with Isabelle Stengers (Professor Emerita of Philosophy, Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Author of 'Another Science is Possible: A Manifesto for Slow Science' (2018)
'In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism' (2015)

Wednesday, 11th October 2023
Time: 3-5pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

Register for free on Eventbrite for this in-person event HERE

Isabelle Stengers is a Belgian philosopher, noted for her contribution to the philosophy of science. Stengers has authored and co-authored more than twenty-five books and two hundred articles, exploring science as a diverse and independent system that, through specific practices and processes, helps shape truths instead of rediscovering preexisting ones. In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked with Nobel Prize recipient Ilya Prigogine, with whom she wrote La nouvelle alliance (1979), Order Out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue with Nature (1984) and The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature (1997). Her book Cosmopolitics (2010, 2011), a sweeping critique of the role and authority of modern science in contemporary society, won the Ludwik Flek Prize in 2013. Her interests include chaos theory, the history of science, the popularization of the sciences, and the contested status of hypnosis as a legitimate form of psychotherapy. She is professor emerita of philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and her work is related to the philosophy of Deleuze, Whitehead and James, as well as to the anthropology of Latour and the SF thinking adventure of Haraway. In her book In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism (2015), Stengers reminds us of our human responsibility of surviving without sinking into barbarism, and of resisting the threat of impotence in a time of panic.

PLEASE NOTE: Workshop participants are strongly encouraged to have read
In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism in preparation of the workshop.
Published by Open Humanities Press in collaboration with meson press 2015. Freely available online at
In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism

Download the workshop poster here.


17 Oct 2023 | RIA Discourse Series
Professor Anders Olsson: 'The Nobel Prize and the idea of the universal'

Date: Tuesday, 17th October, 2023
Time: 6pm
Venue: Royal Irish Academy

Professor Anders Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee, The Swedish Academy, will explore the universal aims of the Nobel Prize in Literature in his upcoming lecture in the RIA Discourse Series.

Professor Anne Fuchs, MRIA, FBA, Director of the UCD Humanities Institute, is the respondent.

Register for your free ticket on Eventbrite.

The Nobel Prize is and has always been considered a universal prize. This is perhaps its unique, prestigious and everywhere acknowledged property. In The World Republic of Letters Pascale Casanova even writes: “There is no better measure of the unification of the international literary field than the effectively universal respect commanded by this prize.” How effective the prize is to unify the literary world is open to debate.

Professor Olsson's lecture will try to clarify the different and changing meanings of the universal in the history of the Prize, characterized by conflicting interpretations of the donor’s will of 1895. He will stress the importance of critical self-examination and show the slow and gradual transition of the Prize from a European to a global horizon during the 20th century. But his lecture will also show how the Prize in this development becomes more in tune with the developments of modern literature. Professor Olsson's lecture will finally touch upon the possible conflict between the autonomy of aesthetic judgement and the widely spread questioning of universal values in the public debate today.

Anders Olsson is a literary historian and author. His own works include seven collections of poetry, and he earned his doctorate with a dissertation about the works of Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf. Anders is professor emeritus in literature at Stockholm University, and his research has examined fundamental elements in the development of modern literature. He has written some fifteen books on poetry and the history of literature and is also active as a critic. In 2008 he was elected to the Swedish Academy, and he served as its Permanent Secretary during 2018-2019.

18 Oct & 22 Nov 2023 | The Unnatural History Museum: Mediating Nature in the Sixth Mass Extinction | online talk series

The Unnatural History Museum brings together museum professionals, creatives and academics across disciplines to platform vital conversations about the museum mediation of the natural world during the sixth mass extinction.

The series unfolds over a series of themed Zoom sessions featuring short presentations, followed by a roundtable discussion.

Session 1: Art
Wednesday, 18th October 2023
5pm Irish Standard Time on Zoom
Register for free on EVENTBRITE

The event will feature papers from and discussion with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (Artist, The Substitute), Donal Maguire (Keeper of Art and Industry, National Museum of Ireland), and Bergit Arends (Courtauld Institute).

Session 2: Oceans
Wednesday, 22nd November 2023
7pm Irish Standard Time on Zoom
Register for free on EVENTBRITE

The event will feature papers from and discussion with Susanna Lidström (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) and Anna Åberg (Chalmers University of Technology), Killian Quigley (Australian Catholic University), Dominik Huenniger (German Port Museum Hamburg), Marie-Theres Fojuth (Universitet I Stavanger).

Links to upcoming sessions can be found here:
The information on the link will continue to be updated as more events are added.

10 Nov 2023 | 'Rethinking Crises' Forum
Professor John Barry: ‘The Imagination, Hope and the Planetary Crisis’

Professor of Green Political Economy, Co-Chair Belfast Climate Commission, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast

Date: Friday, 10th November 2023 [Rescheduled from May]
Time: 1pm
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

The presentation focuses on the role and potential of art, imagination and creativity in helping us understand and respond in positive ways to the climate and ecological crisis.  While there is a role for science and technology, there are limits to scientific-expert and technological modes of both understanding and communicating the ‘polycrisis’ now unfolding and being experienced by planet, people and places.  Is one of the reasons why we do not see enough citizen or popular pressure on governments for more urgent action on the planetary emergency the fact that it lacks a compelling ‘story’? That the dominant science-based ways we see it being communicated in the media, in politics etc. does not constitute a narrative that connects with their values, aspirations and lives?  Or is it that the narrative of ‘crisis’ and ‘emergency’ itself is a barrier to action? Alternatively, is ‘telling the truth’ about the state of the world, not matter how negative, both honest and liberating? Or what of the comforting (if dangerous) narrative that ‘technology will save us’? Can imaginative literature, art, poetry, plays and other forms of creative modes of expression have a role, to engage more people, to inspire more people, to mobilise more people to understand the causes, consequences and solutions to our climate and ecological emergency?  Is the difficulty responding to the planetary crisis indicative of a deeper cultural crisis?  A crisis of creativity and imagination as much as one rooted in the structure of economy and ways of life?

John Barry is a father, a recovering politician and Professor of Green Political Economy at Queens University Belfast.  He is also co-chair of the Belfast Climate Commission. 

What keeps him awake at night is the life opportunities and future wellbeing of his and other children in this age of the planetary crisis, and why it is easier for most people to believe in the end of the world than the end of capitalism and economic growth.  His areas of academic research include post-growth and heterodox political economy; the politics, policy and political economy of climate breakdown and climate resilience; socio-technical analyses of low carbon just energy and sustainability transitions; and the overlap between conflict transformation and these sustainability and energy transitions. His last book was The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Constrained World (2012, Oxford University Press).

16 November 2023 | 'Early Modern Italians in Ireland' Symposium
Date: Thursday, 16th November 2023
Time: TBC
Venue: HI Seminar Room (H204 / top floor)

What significance has Italy – and Italians – to the history and culture of early modern Ireland? What perspectives on Ireland and its inhabitants are offered by soldiers such as Alessandro Bertone, or Anglicized Italians such as Lodowick Bryskett? What does it change of our understanding of early modern Ireland to know that one of the earliest fortified houses constructed in the period was built to an Italian design (as Jane Fenlon has contended), or that Italians drew several of the most popular published maps of Ireland?

This symposium is an exploratory one, aiming to bring together and build on what we know of early modern Italians in Ireland, both people and texts. All are welcome, particularly early career scholars! To participate or to attend, please email jane.grogan@ucd.ie

Kindly supported by the College of Arts and Humanities seed funding, and Transnationalising the Humanities (Humanities Institute, UCD) seed funding

8 & 9 December 2023 | 'Diaries in the Twentieth Century: Testimony, Memory, Self-Construction' Conference
Date: Friday, 8th & Saturday, 9th December 2023
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC

In the final decades of the century, diaries were written in an individualistic and expressivist society which increasingly blurred the boundaries between reality and fiction. They could thus become the chosen medium for postmodernist literary experimentation and invite a form of self-construction which is a precursor of (but remains very different from) the instantly public self-accounts of present-dayblogs and vlogs.

This two-day conference aims to observe these and other evolutions of the twentieth-century diary, exploring their interplay with traditional assumptions about the diary as a repository of memories, an outlet for feelings, as an embodiment of the self, and a concrete means for its preservation.

16 February 2024 | Distinguished Guest Lecture Series
Prof. Kieran Keohane(UCC, Department of Sociology & Criminology):
“Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization: Diagnoses and Therapies”
Date: Friday, 16th February 2024
Time: 4pm
Venue: Humanities Institute, H204

Kieran Keohane is a Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminology at University College Cork. He teaches also in Anthropology and in Planning & Sustainable Development. He is a founder member of the Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization network, and the Society, Economy & Culture research centre, and an associate researcher with Deep Institutional Innovation for Sustainability & Human Development research group; the Radical Humanities Laboratory, and Collective Social Futures.

UCD Humanities Institute

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