Social Theory Applied

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Readers of and contributors to HEAT may be interested in the Social Theory Applied website which is maintained by Mark Murphy, a Reader in Education and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He initiated it in January 2013.

Mark and the contributors to the Social Theory Applied website are engaging with a set of theories, developed by the likes of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, et al., theorists who could never be described as straightforward or easy to follow. In addition, there is a variety of issues to face when applying such ideas in research contexts, a field of complex interwoven imperatives and practices in its own right.

Mark notes that the various levels of challenges, such as epistemological, operational or analytical, inevitably impact on researchers and their attempts to make sense of research questions, whether these be questions of governance and political regulation, social reproduction, power, cultural or professional identities, etc..

It has a sister site hosting the Journal of Applied Social Theory, of which no issues have yet been published. We look forward to its first issue.

HEAT Events 2015-6

Further details will be published shortly, but we’d like to announce the following HEAT events for the upcoming academic year:

Semester 1:barbados-rotten-fish-3

Reading Group: Wednesday 11th November, 2 – 4pm, Room 253, Regent Street

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, chapters from An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012)

  • ‘Teaching for the Times’ (pp.137-157) and ‘Ethics and Politics in Tagore, Coetzee, and Certain Scenes of Teaching’ (pp.316-334)

‘I take as my motto the opening words of Abarodh-bashini or Lady-Prisoner …”If the fishwife is asked, ‘Is the stink of rotten fish good or bad?’ What will she respond?” …Hossain allows me to produce a more responsible sense of allegory: the fishwife-as-feminist who, like Hossain, admits to being unable to distance herself from her own imprisonment …On that model, since we are imprisoned in and habituated to capitalism, we might try to look at the allegory of capitalism not in terms of capitalism as the source of authoritative reference but as the constant small failures in and interruptions to its logic, which help to recode it and produce our unity …Learning this praxis, that may produce interruptions to capitalism from within, requires us to make future educators in the humanities transnationally literate’ (Spivak, ‘Teaching for the Times’)


Following Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s forthcoming keynote lecture at the Centre for the Study of Democracy’s conference on ‘Doing and Thinking Democracy Differently,’ we will be reading and discussing extracts from her work concerning the relation between politics, history, literature and education. The two chapters – ‘Teaching for the Times’ and ‘Ethics and Politics in Tagore, Coetzee, and Certain Scenes of Teaching’ – are collected in her 2012 book An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization; both have been previously published as articles. These extracts raise important and timely points by thinking about learning and teaching in the context of immigration, colonialism, democracy and otherness.

For those that cannot purchase a copy of the book, the original articles are  can be accessed separately on JSTOR here and here.

Alternatively, a pdf of An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization is currently available here:

There’s also an interview with Spivak about her book, that may be of interest to the group, here:

And a conference recording available on our online resources page:

Research Lab: Wednesday 9th December, 2 – 4pm, 2.06A, Little Titchfield Street 

With presentations by Thomas Moore (DPIR, SSH Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching), Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Westminster Law School, Director of Westminster Law and Theory Lab, OUP National Law Teacher of the Year) and Andy Peisley (Dept of Leadership and Professional Development, Westminster Business School).

Semester 2:

Reading Group: Wednesday 2nd March, 2 – 4pm (C389, Marylebone)

Gert Biesta, selections from The Beautiful Risk of Education (2014)

Research Lab: Wednesday 30th March, 2 – 4pm (C389, Marylebone)