PGR students attending Conference seminar

Successful PGR Student Conference showcases wide variety of research across the College

The College of Humanities Postgraduate Research Student Conference 2014 took place from 28 to 29 April in the Queen’s Building, Streatham Campus. The conference theme was ‘Shifting Boundaries’, and was organised by students for students.

It provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to showcase their research and gain experience of delivering a paper in a supportive yet rigorous environment. There was also ample opportunity to network as University of Exeter academics and postgraduates from across the College attended.

For the first time, two students from Peking University, Beijing and two students from Fudan University, Shanghai were invited to attend. Hu Li and Zhao Peng from Peking University and Zhang Huanyu and Guan Yangyang all presented papers at the conference.

Zhao Pheng, a student from Peking University, commented, “The University of Exeter is beautiful and people there are friendly. The two-day conference was a wonderful experience for me, in which I have learned a lot from the keynote speakers and some of the panel speakers. More importantly, I have made several friends and I am sure we will contact each other regularly in the future.”

An exhibition of academic posters designed by the students was displayed in Queen’s Café from 25 April until 9 May. A prize of £100 was made available for work that best represented the conference theme of ‘Shifting Boundaries’. The winning entry by Marianne Connors (Modern Languages) with her piece Pragmatic particles in subtitling: a need to shift the boundary was chosen by a panel of judges from within the College and the cultural sector of the city.

Marianne explained, “Winning was a real surprise, especially as it was the first academic poster I had ever designed. There was some really strong competition, and I very much enjoyed looking around at everyone else's exhibits on the opening night. It was fantastic to see a good mix of academic posters and more creative displays, which really showed off the range of specialisms we have within the college”.

Zoe Bulatis, who was curated the exhibition, added, “The exhibition this year has been a fantastic showcase of student research in the College of Humanities. The work came from a wide variety of research backgrounds from anthropology to drama and everything in-between. This year saw the greatest number of entrees to the exhibition accompanying the conference”.

Keynote speakers included University of Exeter academics Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Professor Regenia Gagnier, Professor Kate Fisher, Dr Rebecca Langlands and Dr Jana Funke. Professor Robert Bickers from the University of Bristol and Dr Luke Kennard, an Exeter alumnus and academic at the University of Birmingham also spoke at the event. The two day programme also included a conference dinner attended by over 50 delegates, a reception and a poetry recital.

Philippa Earle, Conference Committee member concluded, "It was wonderful to be involved in organising such a vibrant, interdisciplinary conference; it's rare to attend conferences where the presenting panels are from completely different academic disciplines, often researching in different time-periods, but to tease out the relationships between the different kinds of projects being undertaken was fascinating. The committee's hard work and attention to detail really paid off - we're so pleased with all the positive feedback!"

For more information about the Conference, please visit the Humanities PGR web pages.


Date: 13 May 2014

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