Thank you

Thank you to everyone for attending Thinking Critically About Society: Perspectives from the Arts and Humanities. We felt it was a really successful day; about 20 attendees – mostly PhD students but with representation from masters and undergraduates – engaging in discussion about critical thinking, impact and the potential of the arts and humanities to tackle social issues. We heard from eleven speakers across three universities and a range of disciplines, most of whom were working at the intersection of the arts/humanities and the social sciences. From the organisers’ perspectives, it was fascinating to hear about such a broad range of projects – full timetable can be found here. The presentations threw up lots of discussion topics, including:

  • Can studying literature or art be political even if the texts themselves don’t seem explicitly political?
  • how can arts and humanities research make a contribution to the domains of science and medicine?
  • how can studying social history or radical political thought make an “impact” on wider society despite the limitations of the current university “impact agenda”?
  • what happens to arts practice when it is placed in an academic context, especially in a climate when community arts funding has been drastically cut?
The “Freedom in Society” panel present their work. Image credit: E Nunn.

As current first year PhD students ourselves, we wanted to create a friendly and supportive atmosphere to present our work in, and listen to others’ work, and we hope that the other presenters found the day helpful for preparing to speak at bigger and more intimidating conferences! Thanks to everyone who attended for supporting and commenting on presentations so thoughtfully and enthusiastically. We received positive feedback about the day – attendees enjoyed the presentations and felt they helped them reflect and inform their own work. Several attendees expressed an interest in future “Thinking Critically” events.

Finally, a big thank you again to the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities for sponsoring our refreshments (tea, coffee and biscuits always essential for brain power!)


Waiting list

The tickets for Thinking Critically about Society have now sold out. If you are interested in attending, please join the waiting list using the following link and you will be notified if someone cancels.

If you have booked a ticket and now find you can’t make it, please do cancel your place so that someone else can make use of it.

We’re looking forward to meeting everyone on May 5th!


Workshop timetable up and tickets available!

The timetable for Thinking Critically About Society is now available here.

If you’d like to attend, please book your free ticket via our Eventbrite page – the event is open to anyone but we particularly welcome PhD and masters students, and early career researchers in the arts and humanities.

We will soon be adding more information about the venue and practical information, so bear with us, but if you have any questions, do drop us an email at

CfP deadline extended – 11th March

We have extended the deadline for abstracts until Friday 11th March. If you would like to submit an abstract for this informal workshop, please see the call for papers here.

The workshop will be an informal chance for doctoral students in the arts and humanities to share their work, and to have a critical discussion around the idea of “impact”.

There are 15 £10 travel bursaries available – please email if you are interested in these.


Still time to submit an abstract

The call for papers for Thinking Critically about Society closes on Friday 4th March so there’s still time to submit an abstract. We are particularly interested in hearing from those whose projects are situated within the arts and humanities and tackle social and political issues. This could include (but not at all limited to):

  • freedom of speech, freedom of information and censorship
  • gender and sexuality
  • race
  • animal rights
  • work and the economy
  • culture and the media
  • protest and civil disobedience
  • class and society
  • disability
  • education and academia

It will be an informal, discussion based workshop – if you’d like to be involved, please send your 200 word abstracts to