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Welcome and introductions - Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor
Vice-chancellor Koen Lamberts will introduce the day and open proceedings.
Uncovering the buried history of Star Carr and its Mesolithic artefacts - Nicky Milner, Department of Archaeology
Archaeologist Nicky Milner tells us how York’s researchers are deploying cutting edge technologies and forensic approaches to understand how Mesolithic people used flint tools to remove the brains of red deer in the manufacture of what might be a shaman’s ceremonial headdress over 11,000 years ago. With more than 90% of these artefacts having been unearthed at Star Carr, she shows how research at York is challenging previously held assumptions about the care and time invested in the modification of the animal’s “skull cap” in order to create this ritualistic headgear.
Tommy Cooper's feet and the idea of civil society - Tim Stanton, Department of Politics
Dr Tim Stanton, recipient of a £1 million research grant into the way political theorists have framed the relationship between civil society and the state, will challenge the dominant conception of civil society in use in politics today.
He exposes the historical roots behind this view, and shows some of the potential difficulties produced by it in contemporary thinking about civil society across the world.
Along the way he takes in Aristotle, Hobbes, Hegel, Max Weber and others, and even draws on the comic genius of Tommy Cooper to explain why the history of civil society remains an issue of great contemporary relevance
Child labour and the poverty of policy - Jean Grugel, Department of Politics
The global effort to eradicate child labour is one of the most contentious human rights issues of our times – yet we cannot be certain that children are always harmed by work, or that they experience more harm than if they did not work.
For this reason, governments with high percentages of working children react differently to campaigns that advocate total eradication.
Instead of pushing for rapid elimination of child labour, development expert Professor Jean Grugel advocates a more subtle and nuanced approach, based on investments in welfare, job creation and living wages, as well as listening to the voices of young people.
Deciphering Dickens - John Bowen, Department of English and Related Literature
As one of the world’s leading authorities on Dickens, Professor John Bowen argues that, far from exhausted, research into the life and times of this global literary giant is only just beginning.
In collaboration with the V&A, one of the world's great museums, Professor Bowen is leading a global quest to decipher a treasure trove of the author’s handwritten drafts, notes and corrected proofs that together form one of the most remarkable records of a major author’s creative processes.U
ntil now this collection has been known mainly to scholars. But by digitising the whole collection, Professor Bowen and his colleagues will recruit Dickens lovers throughout the world to help decipher Dickens's handwriting. Through crowdsourcing, the project aims to illuminate the thought processes and changes of mind through which he created his immortal characters and stories.
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