LIAS PhD and Postdoc Seminar

2015-2016

Wall of the new Library of Alexandria, featuring characters from 120 different scripts. The original Library, founded in 288 BCE, housed 700,000 scrolls and was visited by scholars from all over the world.

Wall of the new Library of Alexandria, featuring characters from 120 different scripts. The original Library, founded in 288 BCE, housed 700,000 scrolls and was visited by scholars from all over the world.

2015
28 September, 3.15 - 5 pm
13 October, 5 - 6.30 pm
2 November, 3.15 - 5 pm
23 November, 3.15 - 5 pm

2016
15 February, 3.15 - 5 pm
7 March, 3.15 - 5 pm
4 April, 3.15 - 5 pm
25 April, 3.15 - 5 pm


The LIAS PhD and Postdoc Seminar is a meeting place for PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows, to discuss topics that are directly relevant to all those engaged in Area Studies. The seminar offers participants an opportunity to present their research, to benefit from one another’s work, ideas and experience, and to build a community across disciplinary, area and period specialization. It enables them to broaden their horizons and reflect on their professional practice.

The Seminar aims to stimulate critical academic exchange, and to address fundamental questions, with plenty of room for theory, methodology and good old data, and the situatedness of all three. What is it we do in Area Studies? How do we do it, and why? Who are “we” to do it? How do we relate to “straightforward” disciplinary research? and so on. There’s rarely a single answer, but there are invariably useful, challenging and thought-provoking connections – not to mention that the meeting of minds is a great deal of fun.

Convenor, theme, and format

The Seminar’s Convenor is Maghiel van Crevel, who collaborates with the PhD Council. They will appreciate any ideas and feedback you may have. Readings are posted ahead of time, and the language is English. The Seminar's theme is in concert with the research theme of LIAS at large -- space & frontiers. There is no dogma associated with these keywords, but the following, we think, will serve as a useful starting point:

Space is a human construct. Both in its literal projections and as metaphor, it can determine who belongs, who does not, what to fight over, what to share, and so on. As such, it involves reflection, identity, and action, e.g. in the segmentation and maintenance of dedicated spaces, by selves and by others. Space is always contestable. It can be defined by appropriation, division, and separation, among other things. The frontiers in between are gray areas that come in various kinds, places where spaces clash and/or blur into each other. The dynamics of space — social, cultural, political, linguistic — is fundamental to human interaction.

The initial sessions will be devoted to exploring ideas of space & frontiers -- and how it might productively interface with your own research. The first meeting is an open discussion stimulated by a reading from the philosopher Henri Lefebvre, and the second will feature presentations on our theme by anthropologists from the Faculty of Social Sciences (see below). Afterwards the Seminar's meetings will be devoted to two presentations by PhD candidates or postdoctoral scholars from diverse areas, who mutually orient their discussions on a specific dimension of space and/or frontiers.


Last Modified: 08-09-2015