UEL Conference: ‘Scholarship and the Social Sciences in a Global Era’

‘Scholarship and the Social Sciences in a Global Era’


to Celebrate the Launch of the UEL School of Social Sciences

Monday 9th November 2015

University Square, 1 Salway Road, London, E15 1NF

Keynote speakers:

Saskia Sassen
Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology
Co-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought,
Columbia University, New York

Penny Green
Professor of Law and Globalisation,
Queen Mary University of London


It is over 30 years since the notion of globalisation entered academic discourse. Ideas about world-embracing developments have since had a profound impact in the Social Sciences: each and every disciplinary area now operates in the context of global awareness. This conference will consider the implications for research and teaching, and for institutions of higher education operating in a changed global environment.

All welcome: there is no conference fee, lunch will be provided

The ‘global turn’
During the 1990s, notes Jan Aart Scholte, the “g-word” became the cliché of the day. Despite the suggestion that globalisation would prove to be a brief academic fad, work on global issues has become a major academic pursuit in which social scientists have played a leading role. Researchers are encouraged to evidence international impact and develop transnational networks, and “internationalisation” increasingly lies at the centre of university corporate plans, curriculum design, and strategies for enhancing the student experience and for educating “global citizens”.

Social Sciences emerged in the late 19th century in an era of high imperialism and intense nationalism. Study of society has since often served the agendas of (certain) nation-states and national societies. Noting this intellectual and institutional history, we can observe ongoing synergies between knowledge production in the Social Sciences – their objects of study, epistemologies and dominant theories – and late modern structures of political and economic governance. Like the latter, the Social Sciences have increasingly reconfigured themselves as transnational – both in terms of institutional structures and matters of enquiry.

Continuities and ruptures
What does this tell us about the intellectual remit of the Social Sciences? What can we learn from continuities and ruptures in the “national order of things” that these disciplines helped to legitimate a century ago? Today, what are the key features of Social Science research activity and teaching as they operate in an era of transnational or “post-national” global networks, multiple scales of human activity and complex cultural interactions?

How have we, in the Social Sciences, responded to rapid transformation in universities that educate unprecedented numbers of young people with “globalised” sensibilities? How do we address feedback effects and apparent paradoxes of global influence at the local level (“glocalism”) such as revitalised nationalism and religious “fundamentalism”?

This conference takes stock of the way historically informed studies of contemporary phenomena have prompted new research methodologies and ideas about networks and transnational perspectives. We ask how recent developments have prompted a new model of scholar-practitioner embedded in multi-layered communities and motivated by complex ethical and professional commitments that span vast distances, both geographical and socio-cultural.
9:30am           Registration, tea/coffee
10:00am         Welcome and Introduction: Prof Allaine Cerwonka, UEL
10:15am         Keynote 1: Prof Penny Green
11:30am         Panels
1:00pm           Lunch
2:00pm           Panels
3:30pm           Panels
5:00pm           Tea/coffee
5:30pm           Keynote 2/public lecture: Prof Saskia Sassen
Booking via Eventbrite at:  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scholarship-and-the-social-sciences-in-a-global-era-conference-to-celebrate-the-launch-of-the-tickets-17691053417


About Paul V Dudman

Archivist responsible for the Refugee Archives at the University of East London.
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