Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium

Call for Papers
University of Aston, UK, 7-8 December 2017
Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium

In recent years we have witnessed a significant increase in the number and range of cultural representations of dementia (cf Swinnen and Schweda 2015). This is part of the growing visibility of age-related cognitive impairment in cultural and political life. As many critics have observed, this increasing visibility can have ambiguous impacts, as seen in the contemporary obsession with cognitive health in older age, or what Stephen Katz describes as ‘neuroculture’ (Katz, 2012). Similarly, warning of the dangers of ‘neuroagism’, Margaret Gullette argues that the diagnosis of dementia is often used as a totalising label that turns any sign and form of cognitive disorder into one pathological condition (2016). In the face of these concerns, a growing research culture is emerging that explores, interrogates, and evaluates the ways in which forms of dementia are being harnessed for diverse symbolic, aesthetic, and narrative purposes in TV, film, literature, the visual arts and theatre. Continue reading


Bourdieusian Field Analysis Training: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Applications

Bourdieusian field analysis continues to make a key contribution to both the theory and methodology of cultural sociology. The approach not only utilizes a relational sociological analysis of complex cultural patterns of cultural participation, it also enables researchers to develop national and cross-national analyses of power dynamics among different actors and institutions. Bourdieu defines fields as “structured spaces of positions’ and ‘the network of objective relations between positions’. Field analysis offers an alternative to “variable based” approaches to social life and helps researchers to illustrate the links between actors’ volume and composition of capital and their interests, strategies and beliefs. Continue reading

Research workshop Remembering/Forgetting Imperial Past: Nationalism and the Making of Ethnicities around the Black Sea

31 March 2017
Aston University,
North Wing First Floor, Room NW 104B

9.00-9.30 Registration and coffee
9.30-11.00 Panel 1: Remembering and forgetting imperial past.

  • Kerem Öktem (University of Graz) Coming to Terms with Genocide in a Perpetrator State: Power, Denial and Recognition.
  • Andrea Weiss (Central European University) Remembering and Forgetting: Ottoman Legacies in Adjara and Abkhazia.
  • Ahmet Erdi Öztürk (University of Strasburg/University of Graz) Delectation or Hegemony: Turkey’s Religious Nationalism in Bulgaria via the Diyanet.
  • Vladimir Kolesov (Krasnodar State Museum of History and Archaeology) Imperial Colonialism vs. Soviet Indigenization (korenizatsia): The Nation-building on the North Caucasus (discourses and practices).

11.15-12.45 Panel 2: Emplacing memory and/or (dis)locating nation

  • Petruţa Teampău (Babeș-Bolyai University) Sulina: Reading the Urban Palimpsest.
  • Erol Saglam (Birkbeck, University of London) Modalities of Remembrance: Discretion, Places, and Subjectivity in Trabzon, Turkey.
  • Nayat Karakose (Hrant Dink Foundation) Persisting Through Time and Collective Conscience:  Towards the Hrant Dink Site of Memory.
  • Ani King-Underwood (Independent documentary film producer/director) Memories of a home, facing trauma and challenging denial.

12.45-14.30 Lunch and screening of the film directed by Ani King-Underwood
14.30-16.00 Ethnicities and diasporas

  • Deema Kaneff (University of Birmingham) Religion, Local Customs and Identity in Rural Ukraine.
  • Igor Kuznetsov (Kuban State University)
  • Heloisa Rojas Gomez (European University Institute) Crimean Italians: Intersections between History, Memory and the Individual.
  • Anton Popov (Aston University) Un-making Armenian ethnicity in the Georgian town.

16.15-17.00 Round table discussion: Memory work as politics and practice of identity in the Black Sea region and beyond (the dialogue between practitioners, researchers and civil society activists).
17.15-17.30 Workshop conclusion


Workshop Organizers

Dr. Anton Popov,
Dr. Ebru Soytemel
Department of Sociology, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, United Kingdom

If you want to attend, please email OR

for further information

Remembering / Forgetting imperial past, Nationalism and the making of ethnicities around the Black Sea

Call for Papers
Centre for Critical Inquires in Society and Culture
Research workshop
Remembering / Forgetting imperial past: Nationalism and the making of ethnicities around the Black Sea
31 March 2017
Department of Sociology and Policy, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University,
Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET, United Kingdom

Continue reading

Four disciplines, one topic: Investigating the centrality of language in politics, social sciences and management

new-approaches-to-discourse-across-disciplines-flyerThe Discourse and Culture Group invite you to a one day colloquium, which explores the different ways in which disciplines – such as linguistics, sociology, politics, management and organizational studies – use discourse analysis in analysing research data. The main purpose of the event is to see whether or not synergies can be found between different methodologies used in the distinct disciplines, and to propose a way forward in developing a new, interdisciplinary perspective.


Working in Sociology and Policy at Aston University

We are recruiting a 12 month 0.6 Teaching Associate post in social and public policy in the Sociology and Policy Group at Aston University to cover a period of absence for a member of staff. This blog is intended to provide informal information and advice to prospective applicants regarding what we do, who we are and the sorts of things we hope our new colleagues will be able to add to our department. Continue reading

CCISC Unconference and Strategy Day

2 November 2016, 10am-4pm, MB603


Do you consider yourself a critical scholar? Not sure where your research belongs? Would you like to find out what your colleagues are up to?

Have you always wondered what “unconferences” are about?

An unconference enables attendees  to design their own schedule: the topics they want to hear about and the activities they want to take part in.

But how does it work? I hear you say.

Continue reading