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Identities in Transformation Research Exchange Session

Thursday, 18 January 2018, 12 – 2pm

Identities in Transformation Research Exchange Session

On Thursday, 18 January 2018, the Identities in Transformation Research Theme will host a community building lunch and panel discussion in the Trinity Long Room Hub (12.00-14.00 Neil Lecture Theatre). This is an opportunity to connect with the theme, hear about some of the exciting new projects underway and meet the new project officer Sarah Kerr and members of the Theme Steering Group.

This Research Exchange Session showcases recent research within the AHSS Identities in Transformation research theme, and focuses on the work of four Trinity researchers within a lively discussion about progress, power and parity. Isabella Jackson will explore the cultural and historical constructions of identity in colonial Shanghai; Michael Cronin will problematise the focus on human identity in discussions of climate change and David Ralph will examine the impact of unemployment on masculinity, gender and identity. The panel will include Dr Meltem Gürle, Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellow. Her research project is titled 'Childhood-Narratives: The Problem of Identity Formation in Irish and Turkish Bildungsroman' and will argue that a growing number of individuals fear the idea of adulthood as an oppressive stage in one's life.

The Research Exchange Session will be chaired by Professor Lorna Carson, and hosted by  Professor Juergen Barkhoff, the theme convenor. We will also give an overview of the theme’s activities. Most importantly, the meeting will be an opportunity to meet other theme members, exchange ideas informally and develop plans for the future of the theme.

Registration is required - register here for this event
Meltem Gürle
The Trinity Long Room Hub is delighted to welcome Dr Meltem Gürle from the University of Duisburg-Essen as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellow in collaboration with the School of English and the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies. Dr Gürle was a Visiting Professor at Duisburg-Essen University, and is now a Lecturer in the Turkish Department at the University. Her research project is titled 'Childhood-Narratives: The Problem of Identity Formation in Irish and Turkish Bildungsroman' and will focus on the similarities between the Irish and Turkish cases and analyze whether the recurring motif of children and adolescents in the contemporary Bildungsroman has to do with the difficulty of constructing a solid identity in both societies.

Isabella Jackson. My research engages with the theme by exploring how Chinese and colonial identities were transformed by the unique environment of colonial Shanghai. In Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City (CUP, 2017), I explore how colonialism was transnational in Shanghai, with many nationalities and border-crossing individuals working together despite imperial rivalries. The local colonial authority - the Shanghai Municipal Council – provoked Chinese nationalism with lasting consequences for China, and in the book’s epilogue, I explore how the history of this period has informed Chinese identity under Mao and today. I have also published on how Scottish identities were expressed in Shanghai as individuals expressed layered Scottish, British, imperial and Shanghai identities.

Michael Cronin. My current research is primarily focused on the implications of climate change for redefining how we think about the humanities. My contention is that when we speak of ‘identities’ we are almost invariably approaching this from an anthropocentric standpoint, considering identity within the framework of human exceptionalism. As a consequence of the environmental crisis humans are faced with a world in which their future is based on moving beyond the illusion of dominance over the natural world. There is an urgent need to de-centre the focus on the human and to reconsider our interdependent relationship to other species and the non-organic world. This means that our species’ based notion of identity must undergo a radical transformation if we are to create a viable future for ourselves and the other inhabitants of our planet. A number of these ideas were sketched out in my most recent publication: Eco-Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene (2017).

David Ralph. How do professional men who have been re-employed following a period of unemployment frame, present and understand their masculinity once they have resumed their former breadwinner roles? A vast literature exists exploring middle-class male unemployment and how experiences of joblessness are not simply “scarring” for future employment prospects but can also disfigure men’s sense of their own manhood. Similarly, an equally voluminous body of research focuses on the experiences of in-work middle-class men across a variety of professional settings and how different masculine ideals play out in each sector. But what is less fully understood is how those white-collar men who have endured involuntary career interruptions respond to normative expectations of masculinity after restarting full-time professional work once more. Is masculinity exalted, denigrated or redeemed differently in the wake of such career disruptions? Or, are middle-class masculine subjectivities resistant to altering hegemonic definitions of what it means to be a man, particularly as it relates to prescriptions surrounding breadwinning?

See the full list of Research Theme Exchange Lunches here

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Research Theme: Identities in Transformation
Event Category: Alumni, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Student events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free (but registration is essential)
Contact Name: Sarah Kerr

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