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    New Perspectives: Postgraduate Symposium for the Humanities - Reflections, Volume 2

    Collins, Kira and Fogarty, Matthew and Beausang, Chris and Connolly, Thomas (2018) New Perspectives: Postgraduate Symposium for the Humanities - Reflections, Volume 2. Maynooth Academic Publishing. ISBN 2565-6031

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    Writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, Michel Foucault wrote that ‘history has a more important task than to be a handmaiden to philosophy, to recount the necessary birth of truth and values; it should become a differential knowledge of energies and failings, heights and degenerations, poisons and antidotes’ (1997, 126). Foucault’s words capture two opposing conceptions of historical change that ‘NPPSH 2017: Progress and Degeneration’ aimed to deconstruct and critique: the ‘necessary birth of truth and values’ assumed by the progressive view of historical change, and the contrasting ‘poisons’ and ‘failings’ of seeming degeneration. In the face of apparent narratives of historical progress and degeneration, we must ask: ‘Progress for whom, and according to whom?’ When our symposium took place, these questions appeared more necessary than they have been for many years. This time was marked by the re-emergence of nationalist politics, evident in Brexit and the violence in Catalonia; the resurgence of fascistic political discourse, considered unthinkable after the collapse of the brutal regimes of the twentieth century; the growth of xenophobic politics in the wake of mass east-west migration; and the continued pillaging of the natural environment. In the time that has elapsed since the symposium, we have witnessed the return of republican tensions in Northern Ireland, the rise of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, the solidification of far-right political currents in Poland, and terrorist attacks on churches, mosques and synagogues in the US, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka: such ongoing and disturbing issues force us to engage with the legacy and nature of ‘progressive’ thought. The importance of the humanities in exploring such questions cannot be overstated: the impressive range of papers on show in this publication—covering everything from censorship and medical practice in the Irish Free State to French political cartoons to the political potential of William Burroughs’s cut-up technique, pedagogical practice, and the digital lives of older people—demonstrates the continued importance of the humanities to the investigation of political, social and cultural issues. It is our intention that NPPSH Reflections: Volume 2 will provide a space for early career scholars to continue to reflect on these questions, while contributing to debates that are situated at the leading edge of humanities research.

    Item Type: Book
    Keywords: arts; humanities; postgraduate research; literature; digital humanities; media studies; music; early Irish; NPPSH;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Research Institutes > An Foras Feasa
    Item ID: 10818
    Depositing User: NPPSH Editor
    Date Deposited: 27 May 2019 17:13
    Publisher: Maynooth Academic Publishing
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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