Radicals and Romans: insights into modern and ancient societies from University of Leicester graduates

Posted by pt91 at Feb 07, 2017 01:15 PM |
Significance of Signet Rings in Roman Britain and the Problem of Social Media and Radical Politics to be explored at Doctoral Inaugural Lectures on 15 February

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 February 2017

Photographs of signet rings, gemstones and protests available to download at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p7g134xj4ceq7zf/AADeKDCLN1uqSIf3nfVapQDHa?dl=0

  • ‘Gemstones, Signet Rings and Society in Roman Britain’ and ‘Anarchist Cybernetics: Radical Politics and the problem of Social Media’ take place on Wednesday 15 February at 5pm in the Bennett Building, Lecture Theatre 2, University of Leicester

Signet rings and social media are topics that may seem worlds apart, but two of the University of Leicester’s doctoral graduates will be speaking on how each of these is providing us with new insights into society.

The College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities is holding two Doctoral Inaugural Lectures on Wednesday 15 February 2017 from 5pm at the University of Leicester. These lectures, hosted by the Graduate School, see the return of two recent PhD graduates to the University to deliver public lectures on the topic of their research.

The first lecture ‘Gemstones, Signet Rings and Society in Roman Britain’ will be given by Dr Ian Marshman, formerly of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History. The lecture will examine the ways signet rings can tell us about Roman Britain using his approach of examining the rings within the archaeological contexts in which they were found.

Dr Marshman said: “Few objects have as personal relationship with their user as a signet ring. Despite their small size, these objects and their engraved gemstone settings can also serve as a microcosm for the Roman world that produced them. They can shed light on issues as wide ranging as identity, dress, imperialism and global trade.”

Following completion of his doctoral degree in 2015, Dr Marshman has published papers highlighting individual objects and is currently working on a monograph based on his thesis. He currently works for Heritage Lincolnshire, where he coordinates the charity’s adult education programme and outreach sessions for schools.

The second lecture ‘Anarchist Cybernetics: Radical Politics and the problem of Social Media’ will be given by Dr Thomas Swann, formerly of the School of Management (now the School of Business). This lecture explores why the potential of social media to facilitate radical social and political change is met with less enthusiasm nearly six years after the Arab Spring (2011) and argues that there is a problem at the heart of social media.

Dr Swann said: “Six years on from the events in Tunisia that sparked that year of global protest and revolt, talk of the potential of social media to facilitate radical social and political change is met with much less enthusiasm. Why is this the case? Has social media changed dramatically since 2011? Have they become so embedded in our daily lives that we find it hard to get excited about them anymore? Was the initial fervour around social media misplaced?”

Dr Swann has published on anarchist ethics and organisation theory as well as contributed to public debates, such as those on Scottish independence and contemporary social movements (e.g. Occupy). Since completing his PhD in 2015, Dr Swann currently works as a research associate at Loughborough University on a project exploring anarchist approaches to constitutionalising and rule-making.

Professor Julie Coleman, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at the University, said: “Doctoral Inaugurals are an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research across the full range of disciplinary approaches. The juxtaposition of two such diverse topics will undoubtedly present unanticipated links and parallels between them and make for a stimulating discussion.”

Both lectures will be held on Wednesday 15th February, 5.00 – 6.00pm, in the Bennett Building, Lecture Theatre 2 followed by a wine reception. The lectures are free and open to the public.

All University staff and students and members of the public are invited to attend the Doctoral Inaugural Lectures. Entry is free, but seats must be booked in advance.  You can book your seats here: https://goo.gl/Ra5zXh


Contact: pgevents@le.ac.uk


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Chantal Bielmann on cb450@le.ac.uk

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