Apply Now: CHASE – ‘Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History’ deadline 15 October 2018


‘Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History’

We have 1 place reserved for a Birkbeck PhD student on a fully funded CHASE

doctoral training programme entitled ‘Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The

Material Cultures of Postcolonial History’.

This is a series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London, as well as training in creating vlogs and media projects. For full details see below.

Travel costs, participation costs and refreshments are all included and funded by CHASE.

To apply for this programme, please send the following to Kat Hill by Monday October 15th (midnight). (

  • 1000word statement explaining why you would be a suitable candidate and how it will enhance your research.
  • Short supporting statement from your supervisor
  • Personal Information required:
    • Name
    • Email
    • Programme of Study
    • Department
    • Year of PhD
    • Title/Area of Research
    • Supervisor

Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial


Kat Hill and Rebecca Darley (History, Classics and Archaeology – Birkbeck)

Suzanna Ivanic (Kent)

Luke Lavan (Kent)

Liz James (Sussex)

A series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London. The journeys of objects or the changing shape and use of spaces can offer a powerful means of unpicking, understanding and then conveying meaningfully and compellingly to a range of audiences the processes and legacies of empires. Encountering the objects and spaces proposed in these workshops emphasizes not only the intellectual perspectives of post-colonial theory upon the past, but also brings to light in the most concrete terms those shadows of empire in the present that post-colonial theory was developed to expose and challenge.

These workshops will include one international conference, four object-based sessions making use of London’s unparalleled collections, and two sessions dedicated to the processes of translating research into different arenas. You will have the chance to examine a range of material and objects in dedicated study sessions with curators and experts, and over the course of the series, you will produce a video, blogpost or other public-facing reflection, drawing on your own research and the materials in these workshops. You will receive training from the Derek Jarman Lab, Birkbeck’s media department, on how to produce an effective media project and have the opportunity to contribute to a podcast with a top broadcaster, as well as present your ideas on the sessions to a non-academic audience.

The focus in all of the workshops will, therefore, be on the complex material histories of empires, as vehicles for migration, trade, translation and the imposition of political authority, and simultaneously on developing a constant awareness of the sub-structures of knowledge creation that underpin any approach to the past. They will combine to give you fresh ways to think with objects and to challenge categories and ideologies of colonialism, not only as they were historically constructed, but also as they continue to shape the world today.

Places are limited. Registration will be open soon via the CHASE website.

For any questions please contact Kat Hill ( or Rebecca Darley (

What will you get from these sessions?

  • Engage with materiality and object-based history
  • Engage with diachronic global and transnational histories
  • Think about place and space as historical concepts
  • Develop presentation and public engagement skills
  • Broaden knowledge of heritage spaces and public museums
  • Network with other researchers, senior scholars and other stakeholders

What’s included?

  • All the sessions, time and resources
  • Lunch and refreshments for each day
  • Travel to and from the workshops
  • Overnight accommodation if coming outside London for session 1 (Conference and Mithraeum)
  • Payment for 2 students to tweet and blog about the Late Antique Archaeology conference

 Indicative Programme (all are full day events)

Workshop 1: November 30 and December 1 2018: Tour of the Mithraeum and Archaeology Conference

  • Opportunity to attend the Late Antique Archaeology (this is not compulsory)
  • Tour of the Mithraeum site
  • Discussion with a researcher who has worked with the Mithraeum of the moveable objects found within the site and the decision to house these in the Museum of London
  • Panel discussion on the role of Bloomberg in the conservation and future of the Mithraeum site

Workshop 2: January 2019: Training with the Derek Jarman Lab

  • Training session on vlogs, blogs and media

 Workshop 3: February 2019: The British Library

  • Tour of the map room of the British Library
  • Discussion with a researcher working on the British Library collections and on maps of the Middle East in particular
  • Opportunity to see and spend time examining, collectively and in small groups, a sequence of maps showing the Middle East and to discuss their changing representations of this space

Workshop 4: March 2019: The British Museum

  • Tour of the Waddesdon Bequest, the Renaissance treasures (and some fakes) collected by Baron Rothschild
  • Discussion with a researcher working on the Renaissance collections at the British Museum about the origin and nature of this collection, in relation to the wider Renaissance holdings of the museum
  • Opportunity to see and spend time examining, collectively and in small groups, a selection of objects in the Waddesdon Bequest, chosen to reflect contested, disruptive or hidden histories of colonialism.


Workshop 5: May 2019: The V and A

  • Tour of the photographic archive of the V&A examining material from the nineteenth century, such as Creswell photographs of Syria, Palestine, and Cairo, albums of missions and expeditions to Pacific Islands, and records of hierarchies in India
  • Discussion with a researcher working on the digitization of the photographic archive
  • Opportunity to see and spend time examining, collectively and in small groups, images from the Tripe collection. To investigate the unique nature of photographs as documentary sources constructed out of intentional and unintentional preserved elements, and the value of this in developing new narratives of past spaces.

Workshop 6: June 2019: Westminster Kingsway College

  • presentation of blogpost/video-post (to a group of students from Westminster Kingsway College, a sixth-form college in partnership with Birkbeck and a panel discussion to include Nigel Warburton (Philosophy Bites and AEON magazine founder) and Dr. Charlotte Joy (lecturer in anthropology at Goldsmiths and curator of the Horniman Museum)


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CFP: Visualising Asia: Deciphering ‘Otherness’ in Visual and Material Cultures – deadline 3 June 2018

Visualising Asia: Deciphering ‘Otherness’ in Visual and Material Cultures

SOAS, University of London

21st September 2018

Confirmed Keynote: Dr Anne Witchard

Historically, Asia has been a contended space of exploration and domination, where both Asian and non-Asian agents sought to define themselves against others. Within this broad historical and geographical context, this international and interdisciplinary conference brings together various forms of visuals, such as films, cartoons, and objects, in their interaction with discourses of ‘other’.  The platforms of visualising Asia were assimilated into daily life and practices, feeding into narratives that transcend any single medium. Due to their visual impact, they became lasting repositories of imagined identities and thus have critical implications for those representing and those being represented. This conference invites discussions on the differing ways ‘otherness’ has been used in both Asian and non-Asian societies through visuals. We encourage the participation from postgraduates, career researchers, scholars, curators, practitioners, and archivists.  The aim is to bring together an array of visualities from across various disciplines in order to reflect on the importance of visuals in knowledge production and circulation within and across cultures and societies.

Wider themes include: empire, multiculturalism, identity, nation, ethnic and cultural minorities, integration, ‘othering’, inclusion, exclusion, power dynamics, representation.

Papers or panels are invited on any topic related to the themes and questions explored in the conference that include but are limited to the following:

  • Representations of Asia by non-Asian cultures across different historical eras.
  • Representations of Asian societies by their neighbouring Asian countries.
  • Representations of minorities within hegemonic discourses in Asia.
  • Gender, ethnicity and class in visual othering of Asia.
  • How and why did representation occur, and the significance and impact for those being represented and those representing.
  • The development of concepts of identity through the use of visual and/or material culture.
  • The politics involved in visual knowledge production.
  • Long-term effects and consequences of visual representations of Asia.
  • The relationship between power and representation. The limits of ‘othering’ and representation.
  • Images of Asia and the development of visual and material industries.
  • Approaches and/or practices in cataloguing images of Asia in archives..

Panels and individual submissions are welcomed.  Please send queries and abstracts of 250-350 words, along with a brief bio of no more than 100 words, to by 3 June 2018.

The conference convenors are Amy Matthewson (SOAS, University of London), and Dr Irene González-López (Kingston University).



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