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Department of Sociology


Upcoming events

Details of events hosted and supported by the Department of Sociology are listed below. 

Research and reading group meetings can be found on the Research Groups page of the Sociology Research website

External events of interest to the sociology community can be found on our External Events page

lgbtQ+@cam Rainbow Lecture: Violet Visions

Thursday 25th April, 17:00 - 18:30 | Lecture Theatre A, Student Services Centre and on-line

lgbtQ+@cam are delighted to welcome the Q+ Qantabrigian Fellow, Sandi Toksvig, to give the Rainbow Lecture for this year, entitled Violet Visions, followed by a drinks reception. 

Book here now to avoid disappointment

Gender Fluidity: progress and pushbacks in the UK today 

Tuesday 30th April 12:15 – 14:00 | Seminar Room, Department of Sociology, Free School Lane. 

Drawing on her research on gender diversity, recognition and social change, Professor Sally Hines, University of Sheffield, will consider both the gains and the losses in understandings and practices of gender fluidity in the contemporary UK.

Please click here for more details.

Talking Embryos: changing public perceptions of embryo research

18:30 - 19:30 |  THURSDAY 9 MAY 2024  | The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London and online

Professor Sarah Franklin will discuss her research into public perceptions of IVF and embryo research for the Royal Society’s Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Prize Lecture. Open to all.

Click here to register to attend Talking Embryos.

Past events

Cambridge Students X The Decolonial Centre // Collaboration for Liberation

Monday 11th Mar 2024 12:15 PM - 2:00 PM |  Seminar Room, Department of Sociology

The Decolonial Centre, a new project of the Pluto Educational Trust, invites you to join the movement towards anti-colonialism, decoloniality, and decolonization.

Please click here for more details.

Sociology Lunchtime Seminar: Policing Empires: Militarization, Race, and the Imperial Boomerang in Britain and the US

Wednesday 6th March 12:30 – 14:00 | Sociology Seminar Room and on-line.

Professor Julian Go, University of Chicago will draw upon his recently published book, Policing Empires, to offer a postcolonial historical sociology of police militarization in Britain and the United States.

Please click here for more details.

Cambridge Sociology Society: In conversation with Professor Julian Go

Tues 5th November 18:15 - 20:00 | Seminar Room Department of Sociology

Please click here for more details.

Colonizing Palestine: The Zionist Left and the Making of the Palestinian Nakba

Wednesday 28th February 12:15 – 14:00 | Seminar Room, Department of Sociology, Free School Lane. 

Based on extensive empirical research in local colony and national archives, Dr Areej Sabbagh-Khoury's Colonizing Palestine offers a microhistory of frontier interactions between Zionist settlers and indigenous Palestinians within the British imperial field.

Please click here for more details.

Department of Sociology: Lunchtime Seminar Series

The Sociology Seminar Series addresses current issues in sociology and features speakers from the Department of Sociology here in Cambridge, and further afield. Click here for further information.

The 2023-24 series was convened by Professor Sarah Franklin.

Black British Voices Project: the final report (postponed)

Tuesday 23rd January 12:15 – 14:00 | Seminar Room, Department of Sociology, Free School Lane. 

In this seminar, lead BBVP researcher Dr Kenny Monrose, and other members of the BBVP, will give an account of the project’s aims and methods, its main findings, and the implications these have for future research.

Please click here for more details.

9th Annual Public ReproSoc Lecture 2023 Reproductive Cause and Effect: a sociological perspective

Thursday 23rd November, 17:00 – 18:30 | Arts Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site​

Speaker: Professor Sarah Franklin.​ In anticipation of its transition to a virtual network, this lecture looks back at the work of the Reproductive Sociology Research Group over the past decade in terms of how we understand reproductive cause and effect.

Please click here for more details.

Cambridge Sociology Society: In conversation with Professor Patricia Hill Collins

Weds 15th Nov 16:00 – 18:00 | Seminar Room Department of Sociology

Please click here for more details.

Big Data and Society Colloquium 2023: data practices and digital social worlds

19th, 26th October, 9th, 21st November | on-line

Organised by the journal Big Data & Society together with the Department of Sociology and the Planetary Praxis research group at the University of Cambridge, this four part interdisciplinary colloquium focussed on digitally mediated data collection practices. 

Please click here for more details.

Sociology Lunchtime Seminar: Bringing the Masses Back In: Explaining Spontaneous Uprisings from the French Revolution to Black Lives Matter

Tuesday 7th November | 12.30 – 14:00 | Sociology Seminar Room and on-line

Dr Benjamin Abrams, UCL, will examine why and how ordinary people spontaneously protest, riot, and revolt en masse. Drawing on comparative historical research, he will show how people may organically mobilize when a cause speaks to their pre-existing dispositions and when social conditions facilitate their participation.  

Please click here for more details.

Sociology Lunchtime Seminar: The End Everyday Racism Project at Cambridge: 2023 Report Launch and Findings

Tuesday 10th October | 12.30 – 14:00 | Sociology Seminar Room and on-line

The team from the Department of Sociology's End Everyday Racism project will present the findings from their new 2023 report. These are based on anonymous testimonies gathered from the Cambridge community, using the project's digital witnessing platform and based on a methodology of solidarity.

Please click here for more details.

Liminal Texts: Writing Society Between Literature And Sociology

Friday 13th October 2023 | 10:00 - 16:30 | Selwyn College, Grange Road, Cambridge and on-line

An event that explores the ways in which we write sociologically, and the types of texts that inhabit multiple realms within and outside of sociology and literature.

Please click here for further information.

Workshop on Critical Data Research in Praxis

12 June 2023 | 12pm to 5pm | Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road Cambridge CB3 9DT

How can research make global-scale claims in a way that is attentive to local agencies? What collaborations are possible between academia and marginalised communities? This workshop open to PhD scholars and more senior academics, hosted by CGHR co-directors Dr Ella McPherson and Dr Sharath Srnivasan addressed these and other questions. 

Archiving the Algorithm: Research & Arts Based Workshop and opportunity to participate in a short film project! 

25 May 2023 | 10am - 11am (workshop) | 11am -11.45am (film project) | Hopkinson Lecture Theatre, New Museum Site 

Led by Isabelle Higgins, PhD candidate in the Sociology Department and Josh Vyrtz, an interdisciplinary visual artist,  this interdisciplinary research and visual arts-based workshop on approaches to the study of our algorithmic experiences in social media included participant discussion and the opportunity to contribute thoughts and experiences to a short creative film. 

Further information here.

The GendV Project Conference

12 May 2023 | 9am – 5pm | The Pitt Building, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RP,

An ESRC project on Urban Transformation and Gendered Violence in India and South Africa. Discussants included: Professor Amanda Gouws, Stellenbosch University; Professor Julia Kowalski, University of Notre Dame; Professor Rupal Oza, Hunter College and Professor Shireen Hassim, Carleton University. 

Please find the GendV project website here.

Violence, Theory and Society

11 May 2023 | 5pm – 6pm | Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road Cambridge CB3 9DT

The GendV project keynote was given by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE (Royal Holloway, University of London).  

Please find the GendV project website here.

Who is Afraid of Gender?
26 April 2023 | 5pm – 7pm 

Public lecture by Professor Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley.  This event sold out, but was recorded and will be available to view on this website, the lgbtQ+@cam website and University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies website. Please find more about the event here.

The public cost of personal hardship: evaluating the hidden expense of cost-cutting measures on social wellbeing

24 - 25 Apr 2023 | All day | Online event

This two-day online conference critically examined narratives of economic efficiency associated with cost-cutting paradigms, by thinking about externalised and overlooked costs of personal hardship and financial instability arising in economic austerity.  Convenor: Dr Niamh Mulcahy

Please find event report and link to recordings here.

Conference: Reproductive Justice in a Post-Covid World: Transnational Protest and Resistance

18 -19 Apr 2023 | 9am - 6pm | Downing College, University of Cambridge and on-line

How does the study of contemporary reproductive activism, during and after the global pandemic, shed new light on our understandings of power, protest, and resistance, specifically in relation to reproductive health and rights? This conference brought together queer, transnational, intersectional, decolonial and antiracist approaches to answer this question and others. View conference programme.  

CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL EVENT: The Four-day Week: Here to Stay?

31 March | 6pm-7pm | Lecture Theatre A - University of Cambridge Admissions Office, New Museums site, CB2 3PT

Professor Brendan Burchell, Department of Sociology and Dr. David Frayne, Research Associate, Digital Futures at Work Research Centre, University of Cambridge reported on the results of their research and recent trial of a four-day working week, which has seen dozens of companies reducing their working time without any loss in pay. They discussed staff well-being, business performance, and how these companies made it work on the ground. Further information and booking.

Challenges in studying right-wing populism: a global perspective

28 Mar 2023 | All day | Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

The flourishing of populist politics worldwide has led to proliferating scholarship on the causes, characteristics and implications of right-wing populism for democratic societies. This conference addressed the ethical and emotional challenges researchers experience, bringing them together to share experiences and explore the tensions in studying what Susan Harding famously termed ‘repugnant others’.

Further information and booking.

CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL EVENT: Is populism destroying the media?
Mon 20 March |6pm - 7pm| Online Live stream via YouTube

Ayala Panievsky, PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology, discusses the impact populism is having on the media with journalist Emily Maitliss.  Chaired by Dorothy Byrne, President of Murray Edwards College.

Further information and booking.

Department of Sociology: Lunchtime Seminar Series
Lent Term 2023 

The Sociology Seminar Series addresses current issues in sociology and features speakers from Department of Sociology here in Cambridge, and further afield. No registration is required, and a free lunch is provided for members of the Department. Please note that some events may be affected by industrial action. Click here for further information.

This year's series is convened by Professor Sarah Franklin.

14th March 2023 l 12:30 - 14:00 l Room 6, Lecture Block Sidgwick Site, Cambridge CB3 9DA. 

Speaker: Professor Hazem Kandil Chair: Seetha Tan.

Please find further information here.

Are Wars Rational?  If so, for whom?

Monday 20th February 2023 l 17:00 – 19:00 l Syndics Room, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

A talk by Professor Michael Mann, Honorary Professor and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, convened by Professor Hazem Kandil.

Please find further information here.

Sociology Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2022

The Sociology Seminar Series is a showcase of sociological excellence on a broad range of contemporary topics.

All seminars take place on Tuesday afternoons from 12:30-14:00, with a sandwich lunch at the Department of Sociology at 16 Mill Lane at 12:00 before the seminar. The 2022-23 series is convened by Dr Sarah Franklin

The 8th Annual Public ReproSoc Lecture: Regulating Reproduction Revisited

Weds 23 Nov 2022 5-6.30pm The Pitt Building Trumpington Street Cambridge CB2 1RP

Prof Emily Jackson will revisit some of the themes of her 2001 book Regulating Reproduction: Law, Technology and Autonomy, in which she argued that women’s reproductive autonomy should be better protected by the law. Have things improved over the last 21 years? Chaired by Professor Sarah Franklin.

The Lecture will be followed by a reception and a book launch of publications by ReproSoc members.To register click here.

The Forest Multiple

Thu 27 Oct – Fri 28 Oct 2022 Jesus College, University of Cambridge, Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BL and online.

A symposium and workshop at the University of Cambridge,

The question of what is a forest runs through numerous environmental research and policy discussions. This symposium engages with the “forest multiple” (cf. Mol, 2002) to consider the pluralistic mobilizations and inhabitations of forests across varying contexts.

For more information and to register click here.

Beyond Militarism

Thu 22 Sep - Fri 23 Sep 2022, Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge, 5 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP

This two-day conference aims to prompt a fresh reckoning with the very foundations necessary for making, and making sense of, war, empire, peace, and security in the present. Keynote speakers: Professor Sunny Xiang (Yale) and Professor Neel Ahuja (UMD)

Registration required. Visit: Beyond Militarism Tickets, Thu 22 Sep 2022 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Post-Windrush Generation: Black British Voices of Resistance

Fri 6 May - Sat 7 May 2022, Woolf Institute (Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0UB).

This pathbreaking conference will explore what it really means to be black in Britain, providing a space for leading black commentators to address a range of core themes including identity, belonging, recognition and resistance.

Registration required. Visit:

Food and Reproduction: an online symposium

4th & 5th May 2022 | Zoom

How can we think about the role of food in reproduction, childcare and parenting? Which meanings are attributed to food in discussions of fertility, pregnancy or childfeeding? And what can we learn from these discourses about gender, race or class? In this symposium, we will bring into conversation insights from reproduction, parenting, food and environmental studies to explore how food is articulated with reproduction, from fertility to parenting.

Sociology Seminar Series

Michaelmas 2021 - Lent 2022. Recorded.

Each year, the Department hosts expert speakers from around the world to speak on a variety of contemporary sociological topics. This year's series has been convened by Dr Ali Meghji.

Click to view the full seminar timetable

A Feminist Theory of Violence

Tue 15 March 2022, 12:30-2pm. Recorded.

Mainstream feminism conversations about violence are a repertoire of victimization: harassment, rape, abuse, femicide. In this talk, Prof Françoise Vergès will present the argument of her latest book, A Feminist Theory of Violence, chaired by Sophie Marie Niang.

Decolonizing the Harm and the Cases of Forced Sterilization in Peru

Postponed. SG1, Alison Richard Building (7 West Road, CB3 9DT)

A Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Open Seminar, presented by Dr Julieta Chaparro-Buitrago.

Freezing Fertility documentary screening and live Q&A with Lucy van de Wiel

Fri 11 March, 12pm. Zoom.         

Join us for a screening of the VPRO documentary Freezing Fertility followed by a live Q&A with Lucy van de Wiel.

Watch the documentary online:

"The Undisciplined Readers" (Decolonise Sociology reading group)

Fri 28 Jan, Fri 11 Feb, Fri 25 Feb and Fri 11 March, all at 12:30- 1:30pm UK

This term we are excited to be collaborating with artists and academics from "Monumentoclasm: workshop in anti-colonial imagination". We will be meeting bi-weekly to discuss pre-circulated texts. Click for the readings and link.

Tech-Talk with Prof. Judy Wacjman at Darwin College

Thurs 10 March 2022, 5pm (Darwin College, Old Library)

The Technology & New Media Research Cluster is hosting an event with distinguished Professor Judy Wajcman (LSE). She will give a talk on "Optimizing Temporal Capital: How Big Tech Imagines Time as Auditable". After the talk there will be room for questions and discussion.  

All welcome.

End Everyday Racism Campaign Weeks

Mon 21 Feb - Fri 4 March 2022

The End Everyday Racism Project is leading a two-week campaign for students and staff to share their experiences of racism in Cambridge.

During the campaign, Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa and Dr Ella McPherson will be leading a series of group sessions where those affected by racism can share a safe space to talk about their experiences in a way that recognises and affirms what has happened, and build community and solidarity in the face of discrimination.

Click for the campaign schedule.

Chemical Warrior with Hamish de Bretton Gordon OBE

Fri 25 Feb 2022, 4:30-6pm. Cripps Auditorium, Magdalene College.

In this event, Hamish de Bretton Gordon will be in conversation with broadcaster and Sociology PhD Dr Saleyha Ahsan, to discuss his book, Chemical Warrior and examine the future biological threats and mitigation.

Where next for poverty in Britain?

Tue 1 Feb 2022, 12:30-2pm (UK).

Prof Tracy Shildrick, University of Newcastle

This talk will outline how poverty and economic inequality has become hard baked into the social and economic fabric of British society to the point that despite widespread affluence and wealth for many, poverty has become a normalised condition for significant swathes of the population

Decolonise Sociology: Open Committee Meetings

Michaelmas 2021

Meetings this term will be from 2-3pm on Thur 14 Oct, Thur 28 Oct, Thur 11 Nov and Thur 25 Nov. The committee is chaired this year by Dr Ali Meghji.

Click to view the Michaelmas 2021 termcard

Political Sociology Research Cluster

The Political Sociology Research Cluster meets on a biweekly basis to examine the role of social inequality, ideology, social movements, public opinion, nationalism, and political participation in society. A text is pre-selected and circulated in advance so that people can prepare for a discussion.

Meetings this term will be from 4pm on Thur 14 Oct, Thur 28 Oct, Thur 11 Nov and Thur 25 Nov. Download the Termcard here.

Traces of a (faded) past: materiality, memory and anticolonial Egypt

Tue 30 Nov 2021, 12:30-2pm (UK). Recorded.

Thinking with Egypt’s project of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century, Dr Sara Salem focuses on the varying ways in which anticolonial pasts express themselves in the present, and what this might suggest about the future.

The Limits of Choice: Non-Heteronormative Reproductive Tactics in Poland

Tue 23 Nov 2021, 4-6pm (UK). Recorded.

Professor Joanna Mizielińska, (Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences) for the The 7th Annual ReproSoc Public Lecture

Debating the Drug War: Racial Politics, Mass Media, and the War on Drugs

Tue 16 Nov 2021, 12:30-2pm (UK). Recorded.

Since President Nixon coined the phrase, the "War on Drugs" has presented an important change in how people view and discuss criminal justice practices and drug laws. The term evokes images of militarization, punishment, and violence, as well as combat and the potential for victory.

Colonialism and Modern Social theory

Tue 2 Nov 2021, 12:30-2pm (UK). Recorded.

What does it mean to ‘decolonise’ a curriculum of sociology and social theory in which colonialism has been unrecognised? Join Prof Gurminder Bhambra (Sussex University) and Prof John Holmwood (University of Nottingham) for a discussion that cuts to the heart of Sociology as a discipline, arguing that rather than simply adding colonialism to sociology’s repertoire of topics, instead that repertoire must change and the concepts and methodologies with which it is associated be transformed.

In conversation with Amandine Gay

Thur 21 Oct 2021, 6-7:30pm (UK). McCrum Lecture Theatre (Corpus Christi).

Amandine Gay is a French feminist, filmmaker, researcher and actress. Her first film Ouvrir la Voix (2016) is a documentary giving voice to Black women in France that aims to give an other approach of feminist movements. In this session, she speaks to Sociology PhD Sophie Marie Niang about her upcoming film, Une Histoire à Soi (A Story of One’s Own, 2021), and the broader themes of her work.

Epistemic positioning and epistemic injustice

Tue 19 Oct 2021, 12:30-2pm (UK). Recorded.

Join the Department of Sociology for our first public seminar of the academic year, with alumna Dr Jana Bacevic.

Daughters and Sons of the Post-Windrush Generation: Reflections and New Directions

Tue 22 June 2021, 3:00-4:30pm (Recorded)

This Windrush day, join the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement and Wolfson College for a special panel discussion on the legacies of Windrush and connections to contemporary academic scholarship.

Jo Cox Memorial Lecture with Rt Hon Jacqui Smith

Wed 16 June 2021, 3:30-4:45pm (Recorded)

The Department of Sociology and Murray Edwards College invite you to join us in celebrate Jo's life and the inspiring work she was involved with in the 4th annual lecture in our memorial series.

You can watch the livestream for this event on YouTube.

Reproduction, Sexuality and War: Reflections from Latin America

Wed 12 May 2021, 17.00 - 18.30 (Recorded)

Join us for an exciting panel discussion about reproduction and sexuality in Latin America. This event will be chaired by Dr. Julieta Chaparro-Buitrago, and is sponsored by ReproSoc (University of Cambridge) and Instituto Pensar (Universidad Javeriana).

Sociology Seminar Series

Lent 2021 (Recorded)

Each year, the Department hosts expert speakers from around the world to speak on a variety of contemporary sociological topics. This year's series has been convened by Dr Ali Meghji.

Click to view the full seminar timetable

Data into Theory

Lent 2021 (Recorded)

Data into Theory is a new Sociology series showcasing research by early career members of the department and funded research teams. It is open to all Sociology staff and students and is designed to focus on our style of practice – in particular the ways we develop new analytical concepts based on original empirical data and the pathways that we may take to get there.

Black Lives Matter: Has anything really changed?

Wed 31 March, 6-7pm (Recorded)

A panel discussion with Pragya Agarwal, Ali Meghji, Monica Figueroa and Kehinde Andrews. Chaired by Kamal Munir. Registration via Eventbrite recommended. This event is part of the Cambridge Festival.

Inflections of Anti-Racism in Latin America

Wed 24 March 2021, 12.30pm to 2.00pm

In this talk, hosted by the LSE Department of Sociology, Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa and Dr Peter Wade will discuss the findings of their research into different styles of antiracist activity in four countries:  Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Data into Theory: "Epistemicide"

Tue 16 March, 12.30-2pm (Recorded)

Knowledge was essential to colonisation. This seminar will question how the project of epistemicide continues into the present, and how can we think against and outside of this epistemicide.

Decolonise Sociology: Open Committee Meetings

Lent 2021

Meetings this term will be from 2-3:30pm on Fri 12 Feb, Fri 26 Feb, Fri 12 March. The committee is chaired this year by Dr Ali Meghji.

Click to view the 2020-21 termcard

Nationalism as a sociological problem

Tue 2 Mar 2021, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

This session will consist of two complementary presentations followed by a Q&A, chaired by Dr Ali Meghji. The presentations are titled: ‘Bordering, Othering, and Patriotism’ (Dr Meghan Tinsely), and 'The Futile Folly of Left Nationalism' (Dr Sivamohan Valluvan).

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

LGBT+ History Month (Feb 2021)

LGBTQ+ officers across different colleges as well as LGBT+ Campaign of the Students' Union have organised an incredible array of events this month of February.

Click on the link above to access the LGBT+ History Month termcard. These events are open to students at the University of Cambridge. Raven Login is required.

Decolonizing Sociology Book Launch

Fri 26 Feb, 10:00am (Transcribed)

The Department of Sociology will be hosting a digital book launch for Dr Ali Meghji’s ‘Decolonizing Sociology’ via Twitter. Dr Meghji will be posting a thread of some of the key arguments contained in his book, and some of the open questions contained in the discussions of postcolonial and decolonial approaches to/in sociology.

What role does culture play in (in)equality?

Tue 16 Feb 2021, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

Join us for a panel discussion in which we will discuss a series of interrelated sociological questions around culture and inequality, with Dr Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths University), Dr Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths University), Dr Anna Bull (University of Portsmouth) and Dr Clive James Nwonka (LSE), chaired by Dr Ali Meghji.

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus

Tuesday 2 Feb 2021, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

The fear of campus sexual assault has become an inextricable part of the college experience. Research has shown that by the time they graduate, as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will have been sexually assaulted.

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

Syria’s displaced health workforce: Policy opportunities and challenges

Wednesday 27th January 2021, 5pm (UK), 6pm (Geneva), 7pm (Syria)

In this policy briefing, speakers present the latest data and information on the situation of healthcare workers within Syria, neighbouring frontline countries as well as Europe.

The event will take place on Zoom with registration via Zoom webinars.

The GendV Project Launch Event: Gendered Violence in India and South Africa

Fri 22 Jan 2021, 1:00pm - 2:30pm (Recorded)

Join us in conversation with Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola and Professor Srimati Basu on Gendered Violence in India and South Africa. The first of a series of public events hosted by The GendV Project.

The event will take place on Zoom with registration via Eventbrite.

Inequality and Bridging Group Boundaries through Narratives of Hope

Tue 1 Dec 2020, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

With its focus on material success, competition and self-reliance, neoliberalism has generated stronger class and ethno-racial boundaries. One way forward is broadening cultural inclusion by promoting new narratives of hope, argues Professor Michèle Lamont (Harvard University).

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

"The Afterlife of Eugenics: Incarcerated Women and the Fertility Continuum" with Prof France Winddance Twine

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 5:00-6:30pm (Recorded)

The 6th annual ReproSoc lecture

Speaker: Prof France Winddance Twine (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Introduction: Professor Sarah Franklin

Chair: Dr Katharine Dow

Queer Migrations: Transnational Sexualities in Theory and Practice

Fri 27 Nov 2020, Rooms SG1 & SG2, Alison Richard Building

The objective of this conference is twofold: firstly, to restore visibility to the queer migrant in cultural, sociological, political, theoretical and methodological debates on globality and migration; and secondly, to challenge the socio-political and racialised narrativization of the queer migrant experience as a journey from the ‘backward’ global South to the ‘progressive’ global North.

Registration is £5.00 for this event. A number of free places are available for people who are unwaged or on low incomes.

Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment

Tue 17 Nov 2020, 12:30-1:45pm (Recorded)

In this talk, based on her book, Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment, Aliya Hamid Rao gets up close and personal with college-educated, unemployed men, women, and spouses to explain how comparable men and women have starkly different experiences of unemployment.

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

Re/Igniting Walter Rodney's Legacy for Today's Black Lives Matter Movement

Wed 11 Nov 2020, 2-4pm (Recorded)

This confrence will explore the legacy of Walter Rodney (authour of "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa") and consider how his thought and example can inspire academics and activists today. Join via Eventbrite (Wed 11 Nov, 2-4pm)

Watch this conference on YouTube.

Reactionary Democracy: How Racism and the Populist Far Right Became Mainstream

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

In this talk, Dr Aurelien Mondon and Dr Aaron Winter will look at the legitimisation and mainstreaming of racism and the far right through a variety of processes, such as the construction and racialisation of 'the people' or demos as white, 'populist hype', euphemisation and liberal tropes such as free speech.

This event is part of the 2020-21 Sociology Seminar Series.

Queer Feminist Approaches to Social Reproduction in the Environmental Crisis

Fri 23 Oct 2020, 3-7pm BST

This conference seeks to rethink the relations between white heterocapitalist patriarchy and environmental destruction through a re-engagement with the politics of social reproduction. We will explore how the social and political organisation of the ‘family’ has ramifications in terms of sexual and gender politics, as well as impacting directly upon the environment in potentially negative ways.

Registration required (free).

(Un)settling epistemologies through digital tools

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 17:00 – 18:30 BST

What happens when digital data flows between people and machines echoes across borders, is interpreted, re-coded, transformed and analysed as it travels across digital spaces? What tools could we use to verify this rapidly-proliferating digital information?

Under the CGHR umbrella, and in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), The Whistle team developed two online resources designed to broaden participation and unsettle knowledge production in the digital space.

End Everyday Racism Report Launch

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 1-2pm (Recorded)

In this event the End Everyday Racism project will launch its first report, based on testimonies and eyewitness accounts from over 100 students and staff at the university.

Click here to dowload the report.

The role of risk in women’s heterosexual sexting practices

Tue 2 June 2020

In this presentation, Dr Rikke Amundsen describes how female interviewees cast their own sexting practices as a form of ‘mediated intimacy work’ constituted by a constant negotiation of the risk that their sexting material might be distributed further online without their consent.

Asylum & FGM Webinar

Fri 8 May 2020 (Recorded)

This webinar covers asylum law, policy and FGM protection orders in the UK, and is followed by a Q&A that advises those working in safeguarding, advocacy and victim support.

Department of Sociology: Lunchtime Seminar Series

Michaelmas 2019 - Lent 2020 (Recorded)

The Lunchtime Seminar Series is a showcase of sociological expertise both here in the Cambridge Department of Sociology and further afield. No registration is required, and a free lunch is provided.

Click to view the full seminar timetable.

Antiracism, Intersectionality and the Struggle for Dignity

Tue 11 Feb, 12:30-2pm (Recorded)

Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa (University of Cambridge)

This lecture, based on a text developed by Prof Mara Viveros Vigoya and Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa, looked at intersectionality as a key strategy for antiracist work. Through an analysis of how anti-racist practices mobilise gender repertoires, Dr Figueroa asked critical questions about the links between processes of racism and sexism.

This event is part of the 2019-20 Sociology Semiar Series.

Evidence when the evidence (alone) is the problem: Three key challenges for development research and policy

Tue 11 Feb, 3-4pm

Prof Michael Woolcock (World Bank and Harvard University)

Amidst increasing calls for development policy to be 'evidence based', three key challenges (among many) need to be addressed. In this talk, Prof Woolcock presented instances of logistical, political and ethical challenges, along with some suggestions for how they might be resolved.

White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society

Thur 30 Jan, 4-6pm, Lecture Room 1, 8 Mill Lane (Recorded)

Professor Kalwant Bhopal, University of Birmingham

Kalwant Bhopal is a Professor of Education and Social Justice at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly white spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. Her book "White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society" examines recent evidence on the representation of BME staff and students in higher education and explores how racism, exclusion and marginalisation continue to disadvantage these groups.

Copies of Prof Bhopal's book will be available to purchase at this event for the discounted price of £10 (cash only).

Single in the City: Women, Migration and Domestic Work in India

Tue 28 Jan, 12:30-2pm, Lecture Room 2, 8 Mill Lane (Recorded)

Professor Samita Sen, University of Cambridge

Prof Sen's new paper explores long-term patterns of mobility from the colonial period to understand women’s migration today in the specific context of domestic work.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion chaired by Dr Manali Desai.

This event is part of the 2019-20 Sociology Semiar Series.

Decolonise Sociology: Open Committee Meetings

Michaelmas 2019

Meetings this term will be on Fri 11 Oct, Fri 1 Nov and Fri 22 Nov in Meeting Room E, 17 Mill Lane. Each session will begin with a reading group from 1-2pm followed by a meeting from 2-3pm. The committee is co-chaired this term by Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa and Dr Manali Desai. To join the mailing list please email

Find out more at

Whose Biological Clock? Temporal Inevitability and Assisted Reproduction in Contemporary India

Thurs 5 December, 5:30pm, (The Pitt Building, Cambridge)

Anindita Majumdar

The relation between time and ageing defines the increasingly influential concept of the biological clock. This conceptualization is especially potent in relation to the reproductive body, and its expected, inevitable decline. Imagined as a ‘curse’, the ticking clock operates both as a metaphor and a tour de force in assisted reproduction in India. Anindita Majumdar is interested in seeking out the meanings of age and ageing as they come to be understood within reproduction in India. The focus is particularly on assisted conception, and the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization to engage with the issue of reproductive temporality.

Jo Cox Memorial Lecture with Rt Hon John Bercow MP

Wed 27 Nov, 1-3pm, (Recorded)

The Department of Sociology and Murray Edwards College jointly present this annual memorial lecture to honour the memory of Jo Cox MP. Jo Cox MP was a former student of Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and committed politican, wife and mother. In June 2016, Jo was murdered by a far-right activist whilst working in her constituency, Batley and Spen.

This year's lecture will be delivered by former Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and will conclude with a drinks reception. You can watch the livestream of this event online.

CUSSP (Cambridge University Students on Social Policy)

CUSSP is a student-led group interested in the development and discussion of national and international social policy. The group aims to bring together students from the various different subject areas to foster a creative conversation that can positively build public policy ideas that are meaningful and impactful. Talks in Michaelmas 2019 include:

Brexit and Climate Change: a discussion with Professor Maria Lee Thursday 24 October 2019 at 3 PM – 4 PM | Nihon Room, Pembroke College

Climate Change Panel: Developing an Intersectional Approach Thursday 14 November 2019 at 6 PM – 7:30 PM | Lecture Room 5, 8 Mill Lane

Theoretical Synergy: Decoloniality, Critical Race Theory, and Trumpamerica

Tue 19 Nov, 12:30-2pm, Lecture Room 4, 8 Mill Lane

Dr Ali Meghji, University of Cambridge

In this lecture, Dr Meghji will use the empirical problem of Trumpamerica to demonstrate how using both a critical race and decolonial approach gives us a more complete analysis than only using one of the two. This will be demonstrated by looking at the importance of racial ideology and post-racialism to Trumpamerica on the one hand, while also highlighting the centrality of postcolonial melancholia to the rise and consolidation of Trumpamerica as a particular societal constellation.

Cambridge Migration Society -  Graduate Research Seminar "Relocated confianza: Personal and structural trust in Salvadoran migration"

Tue 12 Nov, 1-2pm (Room S3, Alison Richard Building)

PhD Student Claire Moll Namas will argue that the concept of confianza and its organizational role in rural El Salvador has been neglected in the various analyses of migration from the region. Namas suggests that after forty years of consistent movement from El Salvador to the United States, to gain a more holistic picture as to why people migrate, one must consider not only economics and security but also the numerous relocated networks of confianza both personal and structural. Join the event on Facebook.

“Another long and involved story”: narrative themes in the paradata and marginalia of the Poverty in the UK survey

Tue 5 Nov, 12:30-2pm, Lecture Room 4, 8 Mill Lane (Recorded)

Professor Ann Phoenix, University College London

This talk explores the possibilities for narrative research from quantitative sources by presenting material and analyses from a study focused on the marginal comments written on the paper questionnaires completed in Peter Townsend's groundbreaking 1967-68 Poverty in the UK survey (PinUK). The lecture will be followed by a discussion chaired by Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa.

Dog Years

Thurs 17 Oct, 20:00 at the Old Library (Darwin College)

Join this screening of the powerful documentary film about the 2015 “refugee crisis”, Dog Years, featuring Noam Chomsky.  The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Rocky Rodriguez, Jr., and Helen Foster, moderated by Cambridge sociologist Dr. Jeff Miley.

Find out more about the documentary and watch the trailer on the Decolonise Sociology website.

A FLY Girl's Guide to University: Being a women of colour at Cambridge and other institutions of power and elitism

Friday 11 October, 15:30-17:30 // The Pitt Building, Cambridge, CB2 1RP

Lola Olufemi, Waithera Sebatindira and Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

This panel will feature the authors in conversation about the themes and importance of the memoirs, essays, poetry and prose in A FLY Girls Guide to University, as well as reflecting on the work as a disruption and as an emblem of hope. The event is co-hosted by FLY, WomCam and the BME Campaign, and co-sponsored by the Faculty of History, lgbtQ+@cam, Equality and Diversity and the Department of Sociology. Find out more about the book and the authours here.

“Empowerment or Revolution? Kurdish Women’s Struggles between Two Knowledge Projects”

Tuesday 8 Oct, 12:30-2pm, Lecture Room 2 (8 Mill Lane)

Dr. Dilar Dirik (University of Oxford)

Drawing on her ethnographic fieldwork as a Kurdish woman comparatively studying freedom concepts in Kurdistan and their relationship to women's ability to act politically, Dr Dirik will provide an overview of the ways in which emerging notions of modernity and development are imposing new identities and concepts on Kurdish society, which clash with indigenous conceptualizations of life, politics and justice. Read the full lecture description here.

The Great Transformation of Latin American Sociology, 1950-2019: From Modern Autonomy to Postmodern Denial

Tuesday 1 October, 14:30-16:00 // Room E, 17 Mill Lane

Dr Esteban Torres, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Theory (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina)

This lecture will analyse the dominant intellectual tendencies in Latin American Sociology in recent decades, and will be followed by a discussion chaired by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley.


Easter term 2019
lgbtQ+@cam is a new programme launched by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2018 to promote research, outreach and network building related to queer, trans and sexuality studies at the University of Cambridge. View the termcard of events here.

Raewyn Connell

The University and Radical Change

Fri 14 June, 4:30-6pm, Newnham College Cambridge (Recorded)

Prof Raewyn Connell is one of Australia's leading social scientists and authour of "The Good University: What Universities actually do and why it's time for radical change" (Zed Books 2019). Raewyn will be in conversation with Dr Manali Desai, Department of Sociology.

Green Seminar Series

1 May, 8 May, 29 May, 12 June | 12-1:30pm, Cripps Meeting Room 3, Magdelene College

Our aim in launching our Green Seminar Series, chaired by Professor Jennifer Gabrysis to promote a global conversation about environmental research and practice, enabling people to make informed decisions about the issues that matter.

View the seminar list here.

Decolonise Sociology: Open Committee Meetings

Easter term 2019

Meetings this term will be on Wed 1 May (3-4pm) and Wed 15 May (3-4pm) in Room 10, Mill Lane Lecture Halls and Wed 29 May and Wed 12 June (3-4pm) in Room B, 17 Mill Lane. The committee is chaired this term by Dr Manali Desai. All welcome!

Find out more at

Intellectuals and Politics; Historical and Sociological Perspectives

Conference at Selwyn College, Cambridge on 31 May 2019

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference was to bring together sociologists and intellectual historians to explore the intersection between intellectual life and political context. The conference focused on the intersection of the intellectual and political sphere and used specific case-studies to tackle a variety of pressing questions, with the aim of forging new links, strengthening existing partnerships, and promoting cross-fertilization of ideas across both disciplinary and national boundaries.

Download the conference programme here. The conference was organised by Prof Patrick Baert.

Professor Kyung-Sup Chang

The Cultural Logic of Compressed Modernity: South Korea’s (Non)transition from Neotraditionalism to Multiculturalism

Tue 28 May, Room B, 17 Mill Lane. Refreshments from 12:00, Lecture from 12:30.

Professor Kyung-Sup Chang, Seoul National University, and visiting fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. Read Prof Chang's bio and the full event description here.


Angela Davis in conversation with Jackie Kay

Tuesday 23 April 2019 | Cambridge Corn Exchange (Recorded)

Decolonise Sociology was thrilled to host civil rights activist Angela Davis in conversation with novelist and poet Jackie Kay on Tue 23rd April 2019 at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. You can watch the event recording on Youtube.

This event was co-hosted by the Office for the Vice-Chancellor and co-sponsored by the: Centre for African Studies, Centre for Latin American Studies, Centre for Gender Studies, Faculty of Education, Faculty of History, POLIS, UCU Cambridge, Downing College and Lord Chris Smith, Master of Pembroke.

Lent Termcard 2019

Department of Sociology: Lunchtime Seminar Series

Lent term 2019 (Recorded)

The Lunchtime Seminar Series is a showcase of sociological expertise both here in the Cambridge Department of Sociology and further afield. No registration is required, and a free lunch is provided.

This term's series has been co-ordinated by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and begins with a lecture from head of Department Prof Sarah Franklin.

Click here to view the full list of lunchtime seminars.

Decolonise Sociology Termcard Lent 2019

Decolonise Sociology: Open Committee Meetings

Lent term 2019

Continuing the conversation into the new term, join students and staff in the effort to decolonise the Sociology department. We invite all those interested to come along and get informed and involved in the work of this committee which is always open to new members!

Join the facebook event for meeting reminders here, and for more information visit the decolonising sociology website.

The committee is chaired this term by Dr Manali Desai.

Challenges of Experimental Government and Public Policy: Evening Seminar Series

Michaelmas and Lent terms 2018/19

This seminar series brings together leading academics, practitioners and policy makers to provide empirical evidence, case studies and field stories of how they go about responding to international health crises, diplomatic incidents to designing and implementing public policy as well as researching and documenting the everyday experiences of poverty and deprivation in modern society.

Each of the 10 seminars is hosted by the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. No registration is required, if you have any queries please contact Dr Adam Coutts.

Funding kindly provided by the Health Foundation and the RCUK, Global Challenges Research Fund grant: Research for health in conflict (R4HC).

Click here to view the Michaelmas and Lent term Seminars

The Media Commons

Book Launch: The Media Commons and Social Movements. Grassroots Mediations Against  Neoliberal Politics.

Dr Jorge Saavedra Utman, Lecturer in Media, Culture and Society

Tuesday 5th March 2019 | 5 – 6pm | Room B, 17 Mill Lane (Cambridge, CB2 1RX)

Discussants: Dr Abeyamí Ortega and Dr David Lehmann

After the book launch and panel discussion there will be a drinks reception at the Department of Sociology (16 Mill Lane).

The Prism of Race

Book Launch: The Prism of Race. The Politics and Ideology of Affirmative Action in Brazil. 

Dr David Lehmann, Emeritus Reader, Social Science & former Director, Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge

Tuesday 22 January 2019 | 5 – 7pm | Room 9, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms (8 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX)

Discussants: Peter Wade, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester; Mónica Moreno Figueroa, Sociology, Cambridge & Pedro Mendes Loureiro, Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge
Chair: Maria Lúcia Pallares-Burke, Research Associate, Cambridge

Jo Cox Memorial Lecture

Annual Jo Cox Memorial Lecture

29th November 2018 | 5:00pm | Murray Edwards College, Cambridge (Recorded)

The Department of Sociology and Murray Edwards College jointly presented this annual memorial lecture to honour the memory of Jo Cox MP, a former student of Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and committed politician, wife and mother.

The lecture was delivered by Kathryn Perera (NHS Horizons), who worked with Jo Cox on her loneliness initiative, and is titled "All the Lonely People? The Gender Politics of Social Isolation". A livestream of the event is available to view here.

50 Years Poster

50 Years of Sociology

12-13th November 2018 | Memorial Court, Clare College, Cambridge (Recorded)

We invited current and former students and staff from across the university to celebrate 50 years of sociological study at the University of Camrbidge; and to join in conversation and collective imagination about what the future may hold for sociology and for society.

The conference featured a keynote lecture from Professor Patricia Hill Collins in addition to a range of panels that reflected on the past, present and future of the discipline, as well as key issues such as inequalities, changing political economies, institutional change and decolonisation.

Video recordings of the conference sessions can be found on the dedicated anniversary website.

Reprosoc Fourth Annual Lecture

On Separation: Reproduction in Migra-Political Times

The Fourth Annual ReproSoc Lecture | Professor Charis Thompson

1st November 2018 | 5:00pm | The Pitt Building, Cambridge

In this talk, Charis Thompson presented her recent work advocating the addition of a migrapolitical lens to biopolitical and necropolitical ways of understanding the differential valuing of contemporary human life. With reference to her own concept of selective pronatalism, and in conversation with other bio- and necropolitical work on stratified reproduction, reproductive justice, selecting societies, and queer reproductions, Thompson argues for the importance of considering migration as foundational, with birth and death, to a new sociology of reproduction. To illustrate, she does a close reading of the concept of ‘separation’ as a kinship and family term, and argues that its current political salience in regard to migration can help us understand and potentially influence the role that migrapolitics play more generally in kinship and reproduction.

Join via the Facebook event here.

Marx in a high technology era

Marx in a High Technology Era: Globalisation, Capital and Class

26-27th October 2018 | Free

This two-day conference featured four panels and a roundtable, themed around Marxism and contemporary issues in the digital era, as well as the launch of Sergey Bodrunov's new book "Noonomy".

You can download the full conference programme here.

For enquires please contact: Prajakti Kalra, Centre for Development Studies


Transpositions (Festival of Ideas)

24th October 2018 | 8pm-10pm | Free

In honour of the work of Nobel-prize winning plant scientist Barbara McClintock, we celebrated her key concept of ‘Transpositions’ in an evening of performance, ritual, and artistic exchanges. Responding to ReproSoc's Reproductivities exhibition at Murray Edwards College, performance artist Sophie Seita reflected on the concept and choreography of transposition, queer kinship, and corn as a queer plant, and the cross-pollinating possibilities of flowery metaphors and of planting queer objects.


The Social Life of Work

12-13th October 2018, £20/£40

Registration is now open for 'The Social Life of Work', an interdisciplinary conference on work and social inequalities. The conference will engage with qualitative scholarship on waged and unwaged work as well as repudiation of work, particularly in but not limited to the Global South. Twelve presenters from Sociology, Social Anthropology, History, Geography, International Development, and Gender Studies will bring their varied disciplinary approaches to this exciting discussion.

To see the full programme and register, please visit

Department of Sociology: Lunchtime Seminar Series

Michaelmas term 2018

The Lunchtime Seminar Series is a showcase of sociological expertise both here in the Cambridge Department of Sociology and further afield. No registration is required, and a free lunch is provided.

Click here to view the full list of lunchtime seminars.

BOOK LAUNCH: Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish Question in Turkey

11th July 2018 | 6.30-8.30 pm | SOAS, Russell Square, College Main Building, Room DLT, WC1H 0XG

BOOK LAUNCH, special event marking the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan's Turkey. Edited by Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Dr Federico Venturini.

Speakers include: Dimitrios Roussopoulos political activist, ecologist, and publisher; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley lecturer of political sociology at the University of Cambridge; Dr Radha D’Souza Reader in law at Westminster University; Julie Ward MEP (TBC); Jonathan Steele veteran journalist and author; Simon Dubbins UNITE international director; Joe Ryan Chair, Westminster Justice and Peace Commission. In addition, Adem Uzun, member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), will send a video-message.

The event will be chaired by: Dr Federico Venturini independent activist-researcher.

Bookings are available here.

The Risk Perception of Artificial Intelligence

2nd July 2018 | 12-1 pm | 17 Mill Lane, Room E

Artificial Intelligence became a popular term in the last years. As any other technology, lay people and specialists perceive that it may undesired effects for humans. But, the range of such undesired effects is large and has been shaped by different social forces, in particular, by scientists, philosophers, and other intellectuals. The aim of this presentation is to show an overview of the risk perceptions related to AI and how they turned to be so.


Vessel - Film Screening on Abortion Activism

29th June 2018

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Vessel is a documentary film by Diana Whitten about the work of Women on Waves, a Dutch pro-choice organisation founded by the physician Dr Rebecca Gomperts.

The film focuses on the work of Women on Waves and follows Gomperts as she sails a ship around the world and provides abortions at sea for women who have no legal alternative. Through years of successes and setbacks, we witness her create an underground network of emboldened, informed activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves.

We will be joined by Gomperts, who will give a presentation prior to the screening about abortion politics today, including a reflection on the recent referendum in Ireland. There will be a Q&A afterwards.

Click the image to view the trailer. Click here to book a place.

Free screening. Suggested donation £5 for Women on Waves.

Remaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies

27-29th June 2018

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

The rapid global growth of the fertility industry is one of the most significant contexts of contemporary social change, and these changes are the subject of an increasing amount of social research. This conference is designed both to consolidate core themes in the social study of reproductive technologies and to showcase new research, especially by early career scholars and doctoral students. Our core themes are designed to bring together old and new approaches to the study of reproduction, technology and society at a time when the politics of reproduction globally are changing rapidly. 

Throughout the conference, we will be running concurrent panels where you will have a chance to respond to the conference themes and share your research on reproduction. The paper panels will be divided across six themed streams: Race, Nation and Reproduction; Reproductive Bodies and Cultures; Changing In/Fertilities; Making New Biologies; Reproductive Futures; and Mediated Reproduction. Please consider which stream(s) your paper might fit best with when submitting your abstract.

Spain: Social Movements between Past and Present

Friday 8th June 2018 | Registration: 8.30 am |Room 9, History Faculty, Sidgwick Site

You are invited to discuss and share opinions of the social movements of Spain. For more information about the event and timings for the day, please click here.


Cambridge Series 20: Freezing Fertility, How Reproductive Ageing is changing in the 21st century

Sunday 3rd June 2018 | 11.30am | Starlight Stage

Dr Lucy van de Wiel, a research associate at Reprosoc, will be speaking at the Hay Festival this weekend as part of the Cambridge Series. She will be discussing how reproductive ageing is changing in the 21st century. Read more about her talk and book your ticket here:

 Click the title to view pictures from this event

Cambridge Series 4: Digital Fakery and its Consequences

Saturday 26th May 2018 | 1pm | Good Energy Stage

Drawing on her research about human rights reporting in the digital age, Dr Ella MacPherson argues that digital fakery’s consequences for democracy arise not because we are duped, but because of what we do to not be duped. Chaired by Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship.

For more information about the Hay Festival, click here.

The Political Economy of the Kurds of Turkey. From the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic

17th May 2018 | 5-7pm | Mill Lane Lecture Theatre Room 1

Please join us for a presentation and discussion of Veli Yadirgi's timely new book, The Political Economy of the Kurds of Turkey. Yadirgi analyses the socioeconomic and political structures and transformations of the Kurdish people from the Ottoman era through to the modern Turkish Republic, arguing that there is a symbiotic relationship between the Kurdish question and the de-development of the predominantly Kurdish domains, making an ideal read for historians of the region and those studying the socio-political and economic evolution of the Kurds. First outlining theoretical perspectives on Kurdish identity, socioeconomic development and the Kurdish question, Yadirgi then explores the social, economic and political origins of Ottoman Kurdistan following its annexation by the Ottomans in 1514. Finally, he deals with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the subsequent foundation and evolution of the Kurdish question in the new Turkish Republic. 

Veli Yadirgi holds a B.A. in Philosophy (King’s College, London), an MSc. in Global Politics (LSE), and a PhD (SOAS), and has worked as a political correspondent and editor in different media companies in Europe. His doctoral dissertation was entitled ‘The Political Economy of the Kurdish Question in Turkey: De-development in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia’. His expertise and research interests include: Political, Economic and Social History of Turkey and the Middle East with special reference to the Kurdish Question in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria; Politics and Development Economics of the Countries of the Middle East; Social Change; and Social Theory. Veli is a member of the London Middle East Institute, the Centre for Ottoman Studies and Neoliberalism, Globalisation and States (all at SOAS). His most recent publication is The Political Economy of the Kurds of Turkey: From the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic. (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

14th May 2018 | 5pm | Room 1 Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

Discussions of race are inevitably fraught with tension, both in opinion and positioning. Too frequently, debates are framed as clear points of opposition—us versus them. And when considering white racial identity, a split between progressive movements and a neoconservative backlash is all too frequently assumed. Taken at face value, it would seem that whites are splintering into antagonistic groups, with differing worldviews, values, and ideological stances. 

White Bound investigates these dividing lines, questioning the very notion of a fracturing whiteness, and in so doing offers a unique view of white racial identity. 

Dr. Matthew Hughey (Associate Professor, University of Connecticut) spent over a year attending the meetings, reading the literature, and interviewing members of two white organizations—a white nationalist group and a white antiracist group. Though he found immediate political differences, he observed surprising similarities related to how both groups make meaning of race and whiteness. His talk will examine these similarities to illuminate not just the many ways of being white, but how these actors make meaning of whiteness in ways that collectively reproduce both white identity and, ultimately, white supremacy.

"Foreign Girls Come to London": Residency, Travel and Abortion Access, 1960-1975 - Professor Christabelle Sethna

11th May 2018 | 12:30 - 2pm | Room E, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Travel is one of the central barriers to abortion access; the further a woman has to travel for an abortion, the less likely she is to obtain one and the more likely she is to be young and underprivileged. Yet, this kind of travel persists. Often conducted over long range and across domestic and international borders, “abortion tourism” remains a commonplace transnational phenomenon. Today, the case of Irish women who travel to the UK to access legal abortion services is familiar to many. However, travel for abortion services has a much longer history.

This presentation is based on Christabelle Sethna’s research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which tracks women’s domestic and international travel for abortion services. It focuses on the complex transnational geopolitical and biopolitical issues raised once women began to travel to Britian for abortion services after the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act, a piece of legislation that did not include residency qualifications. The presentation explores the reasons why non-national women travelled to Britain, and to London in particular, for legal abortions in the 1960s and 1970s and discusses the transgressive relationships that exist between the crossing of sexual, legal and geographical borders. The presentation also opens up for timely consideration the fraught meanings of residency and travel across borders in the UK.

Dr. Christabelle Sethna is Professor in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa. She is a historian who researches the history of sex education, contraception and abortion as well as animal representations. Her latest book, co-authored with Steve Hewitt, is Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2018).

Re-mediating ‘the Human’: Intuition, Digital Culture and New Social Movements 

3rd May 2018 | 4.30-6pm | Mill Lane Lecture Room 1

With the rise of new digital and smart technologies, ‘the human’ itself is being radically re-mediated.  For some, this is problematic: digitally colonized by global capitalism at the level of affect, gesture and habit, it is argued, we are now locked into cycles of mindless consumption and thus increasingly politically disaffected.  There are also, however, more hopeful visions of these new digital modes of personhood: Michel Serres (2015), for example, argues that, in delegating habits of mental synthesizing and processing to digital technologies, millennials have cleared cognitive space for the development of a more ‘intuitive’ mode of being-in-the-world.  A key term in continental philosophy, as well as contemporary theories of affect, habit and media ecologies, intuition offers a form of sensorial engagement with ‘the pre-emergent’ or that which is in process.  While there is no necessary link between intuition and progressive social change, this paper explores the significant resonances between the ‘intuitive digital subjects’ that Serres imagines and the logics and sensibilities of new social movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter.  Vitally enabled by digital technologies and forms of technè, these activisms, I argue, practice ‘pre-figurative politics’: they combine a tendency to oppose exploitation and oppression with a capacity to sense change as it is happening and thus remain radically open to alternative futures.

Carolyn Pedwell is Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Kent, where she is Head of Cultural Studies and Media.  Carolyn has been Visiting Fellow at the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney; the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary, University of London; and the Gender Institute, London School of Economics.  She is the author of Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave, 2014) and Feminism, Culture and Embodied Practice (Routledge, 2010). Her new book, Transforming Habit: Revolution, Routine and Social Change, is under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press. Carolyn is also an Editor of Feminist Theory journal. 

Confrontation? Doing Feminist and Anti-Racist Work in Institutions, A Panel Discussion

1st May 2018 | 4-6pm | Lecture Theatre 1 (Room 1), Mill Lane Lecture Theatres
How can we confront institutions about their role in perpetuating violence and work to make institutions more open and inclusive spaces? 

In this panel we explore some of the paradoxes and difficulties of doing feminist and anti-racist work within institutions. Even when institutions claim to be committed to equality they are often deeply unequal and hierarchical spaces. A feminist and anti-racist project is to transform the institutions in which we work. The aim of transforming institutions is still however an institutional project: we often have to work through the structures we seek to dismantle. When our political work is resourced or supported by an institution does it become more difficult to confront the institution? Does following procedures or working in house constrain the kinds of work we can do? If for strategic reasons we try to avoid confrontation what else are we avoiding? And how and why are some of us perceived as being confrontational however we are doing the work?

The panel will be a chance to talk from as well as about our experiences of doing feminist and anti-racist work. We will consider who does (and does not) do the work of trying to transform institutions and how these distributions of labour can reproduce inequalities. We will discuss the costs of doing (and not doing) this labour and reflect on how institutions can exhaust us and wear us out. The panel will open up a discussion of how we can confront problems of institutional racism, institutional sexism (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct) as well as institutional bullying. 

Speakers include:
Sara Ahmed
Monica Moreno Figueroa
Lola Olufemi
Tiffany Page
Leila Whitley

This is a launch event for a new feminist counter-institutional initiative FFF
FFF Fighting For Feminism
FFF When feminism is what we stand for 


LGBTQ+@Cambridge Presents...Queer Kinships

April 25th 2018, 3pm 

The Pitt Building and Pembroke College

Join us for an afternoon of talks on Queer Kinships from Sarah Franklin, Robert Pralat and Marcin Smietana. Coffee will be served at 3pm, and the talks will start at 3:30. Afterwards there will be a drinks reception, and you are warmly welcome to join us for a production of Scene, a play by Cambridge's Lola Olufemi and Martha Krish which is currently playing at Camden People's Theatre in London. All are welcome, feel free to share the poster. Please note, places at the play are free but limited, so it will be first come first served. RSVP to:


Post-Truth Teach-Out! Conference

15th - 17th March 2018

The post-truth phenomenon, ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,’ as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, has been the subject of much instant commentary – though little academic analysis. This series of teach-out events and conference are an opportunity to consolidate and advance our understanding of the post-truth phenomenon through collaborative activities and interdisciplinary conversation.

For more information about the conference, click here.

The Technology and New Media Research Cluster

Our next session will be on Friday 9th March, 12-1.30 pm in Room G of 17 Mill Lane with Dr Jana Bacevic 'On the Land of Dark Ontology'. All are welcome to attend.

Queries can be directed to Amarpreet Kaur (

CUQM Annual Lecture 2018

This year the Cambridge Undergraduate Quantitative Methods Centre is delighted to welcome Branwen Jeffreys (BBC Education Editor) to give the CUQM Annual Lecture 2018, on “Data & A Journalist’s Sense of Smell”.

The Annual Lecture will be taking place in Bateman Auditorium, Gonville & Caius College. Thursday 1 March, 17:00-18:30, followed by a Wine Reception

Science as Affective, Embodied and Material Relations

Mianna Meskus

21st February 2018 | 12:30 - 2pm

Seminar Room, Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge

This talk addresses “scientific craftwork” in the use of human biological material for the benefit of biomedicine, innovation and patients’ health. A revolutionary cellular reprogramming technique has made it possible to turn human skin and blood cells into pluripotent stem cells, thus providing an unprecedented opportunity to study the pathophysiology of diseases, understand human developmental biology, and generate new therapies. Using the so called iPS cell technology as a point of entry, I examine how the foundations of biomedical knowledge production lie in embodied skill and affective engagement with cellular research material. Combining relational materialism and pragmatist philosophy of experience, I develop the idea of an instrumentality-care continuum as a core dynamic of biomedical craft, involving both researchers and patients as tissue donors. This continuum opens up a novel perspective to the commercialization and industrial-scale appropriation of human biology, and thereby to the future of ethical biomedical research.

Digital Fakery and its Consequences

Dr Ella McPherson, Cambridge Sociology Department.

A Postcolonial Rethinking of the State and Nation: From Comparative to Connected Sociologies

Professor Gurminder Bhambra, University of Essex.