Public Lecture Series on Negotiating Identities from the Margins

Posted on: 22 January 2014

How marginal figures and positions challenge mainstream beliefs is the focus of a public lecture series taking place in Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The series of free public talks will address a diverse range of topics ranging from zombies, migration and tourism to puritanism and the Argentine tango.

The Transformative Periphery – Negotiating Identities from the Margins lecture series will investigate how those at the periphery of society such as the migrant, the vulnerable, the ill, ethnic or religious minorities, but also the radical thinker or the avant-garde artist are crucial for effecting change in society, and that in these challenges the relationship between the margin and the centre are often reversed.

The trans-disciplinary lecture series was launched on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, with a special evening of talks under the heading of Monstrous Identities: Threats from the Margin, which explored our ongoing fascination with monsters as the terrifying ‘other’ of our civilized ‘normal’ selves. The keynote was given by Prof Jennifer Rutherford, Deputy Director of The Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia, and visiting Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub. Professor Rutherford gave a talk entitled Gate-Crashing: Identification and the Collective Zombie.

Also speaking at the event were Dr Clemens Ruther, Assistant Professor in German, Trinity, who spoke on The Success (Hi)Story of Vampirism as a Cultural Phantasma from Serbia to Utah and Dr Peter Arnds, Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature, who spoke on The Wolf Man from Antiquity to Today.

The series will run until May 2014 and will address a wide array of topics such as the body, illness, age and well-being, religion and citizenship. The lecture series emerges from Trinity’s research focus on Identities in Transformation led by the Trinity Long Room Hub. It will showcase work undertaken by researchers from Trinity and invited international experts from the fields of history, literature and cultural studies, philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Speaking about the programme of lectures, Professor Juergen Barkhoff, Director of the Trinity Long Room Arts and Humanities Research Institute, said: “Our lecture series will show that provocations from the margins are among the most powerful agents for change in societies. In a series of case studies and by drawing on literature and culture it will investigate the power mechanisms that define who is at the centre and who is at the margins and how dynamic this relationship really is. Central to our approach is that scholars from a variety of disciplines confront each other’s perspectives and learn from each other.”

All lectures are open to the public and are free to attend. The full programme of lectures can be found at: