Upcoming events will be posted within two weeks of presentation date.
Please contact Konstantin Wertelecki (kw85) with a 100 word biography and a 200 word abstract if you wish to secure a presentation slot.
MARTINMAS TERM 2018
Wednesday, 14 November
‘Rethinking the ‘Sciences of State’: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Political and Scientific Thought in Europe’ ~ Adam Dunn, PhD Candidate
This paper argues that we need to rethink and redefine the relationship between political and scientific thought from 1600 to 1800 to understand how developments in scientific thought influenced and changed political thought. To reimagine the evolution of political and scientific thought through the seventeenth and eighteenth century it is crucial to re-spatialise it along transnational lines. During this period there emerged vast transnational networks of people working beyond the state who helped create a new vision of European politics that was primarily based on new and emerging scientific techniques. It addresses the historiographical gap left by the neglect of the evolutionary connection between developments in natural sciences and mathematics, such as taxonomy and probability calculus, and political theory, like statistics, Political Economy and Staatswissenschaft.
The traditional narrative of the history of science identifies the relationship of politics and science as one dominated by advances in technology, economics or philosophy. Especially intellectual and political history tend to analyse the rise of the ‘political and social sciences’ in the seventeenth and eighteenth century as almost separate from the history of the natural sciences and mathematics. Instead, the evolution of political and scientific thought should be understood as processes in tandem and of mutual influence. This connection influenced the development of a wide range of political theories that stem from ideas of the natural sciences, including statistics and Political Arithmetic, Political Economy, Physiocracy, social studies and the notions of positivism that would be brought to their height in the nineteenth century by August Comte. These ideas formed under a wide umbrella that could be loosely termed ‘Political Empiricism’.
‘Rhetorics of Asylum in Germany, 1982-1998’ ~ Constantin Eckner, PhD Candidate
The ‘refugee crisis’ has kept Germany and Europe in suspense since the summer of 2015. The societal and governmental reactions to a vast influx of asylum seekers has dominated the political debate, led to a strengthening of populist players and influenced the outcome of elections. The phenomenon of the past few years is not a novelty, however. Germany already experienced a political polarisation caused by what was then called the Asyldebatte (asylum debate) during the 1980s and 1990s. Just like today, political actors ramped up their rhetoric and drifted into populist territory. The dispute almost paralysed German politics, and it took years to resolve the issue with a legislative compromise that tightened the right to asylum. One of the objectives of the PhD project is to prove that the asylum debate in Germany during the era of Chancellor Helmut Kohl was marked by the bipolarity between those who argued in favour of national interests and the preservation of wealth and those who argued based on morality and human rights standards. This particular paper takes a look at how some major newspapers took a stance for or against existing immigration laws and what storytelling devices they used.
Wednesday, 12 December
Muzzling the King: Monarchy by Popular Instruction in the 1790s. ~ Amy Westwell, PhD Candidate
The Fable of the Frogs: Late Jacobite Conceptions of Monarchy ~ Cailean Gallager, PhD Candidate
The Media-Kaiser Abdicates: Early Weimar Intellectuals’ Evaluation of Wilhelm II’s Role as a Press Figure. ~ Per Rolandsson, PhD Candidate
CANDELMAS TERM 2019
Wednesday, 13 February
(1/2 Presentation Slots AVAILABLE )
Wednesday, 13 March
( 1/2 Presentation Slots AVAILABLE )
Wednesday, 17 April
(1/2 Presentation Slots AVAILABLE )
Wednesday, 8 May
( 2/2 Presentation Slots RESERVED )