Comparing: a doctoral summer school

full name / name of organization: 
Patrick O'Donovan/University College Cork
contact email: 

Comparing is a international summer school prompted by the intellectual urgency of comparison in the humanities today. With the emergence of new investigative frameworks (e.g. global history, world literature, the ethnological turn in disciplines like music, the emergence of transcultural objects and approaches), comparison has become a vital focus for critical debate, both within and between disciplines. Why compare today? And how? These are among the questions we will explore in the School.

The School, which is jointly organized by University College Cork and the Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin, will take place in University College Cork from 5 to 9 September 2011.

Comparing will be open to doctoral and other research students in Irish universities and internationally. The School aims to encourage participants to reflect on the bearing of comparative research in their own disciplines, while at the same time engaging with disciplines other than their own and with new interdisciplinary developments where comparison is at issue as a methodology, an element of substantive investigations, a critical problem. Throughout the School, the focus will be critical debate: presentations by established researchers will deal with the state of the art of comparison in the light of ground-breaking projects, and each day will include a round-table discussion of the approaches under exploration and the problems they may pose.

Central to the programme will be presentations by doctoral students, which be invited from intending participants on the basis of a call for papers. We will welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers within one of the subject areas which the School embraces — literature, history of art, history, philosophy — as well as interdisciplinary or theoretical proposals. Proposals should be no longer than 500 words, and should include your name, institution, title of your doctoral project or dissertation, year of registration, and email, and should be sent to no later than 14 March 2011. Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee and the outcome will be notified to you no later than 28 March. Applications to the School will close on 29 April. An application should be forwarded with a proposal for a paper.

A number of bursaries will also be offered to participating doctoral students. Priority in awarding bursaries will be given to participants who are presenting papers. Bursaries will be paid on the basis of vouched expenses and will not in any case exceed a value of €300. Applications for bursaries must be made not later than 29 April 2011, and intending participants who submit proposals for papers should submit an application form and a bursary application at the same time.

Comparing is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences