The ISRF Calendar will be home to events featuring award-recipients and academic advisors past and present.


10-12 July 2017


At the 19th Association for Heterodox Economics Conference at the University of Manchester, ISRF Political Economy Fellow Emanuele Lobina – Reorienting Industrial Organisation Theory: From Necessary to Possible Outcomes – will convene two streams:

Planning for Sustainability – The Problem of Wicked Problems, or for Heterodox Ecological Economics

In Lobina (2016), I attempt to provide conceptual clarity on wicked problems, or those planning and policy problems that cannot be solved but only reinterpreted. Borrowing from Jessop’s work and using water service governance as reference, I argue that the intractability of wicked problems originates from the order of meta-governance where paradigms compete for the definition of the grand principles of governance. By contrast, tame problems can be solved in second-order governance or the domain of policy implementation. I thus call for a more careful distinction between the wicked and tame problems of sustainable water development.

The Sustainable Economics of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation

Since the recent recognition in international law of the human rights to water and sanitation (see, these rights (henceforth, the Rights) are emerging as novel paradigms in the provision of such essential services. They are also offering opportunities for a reinterpretation of sustainable water development that emphasises the normative aims of social and environmental justice. This stream session aims to contribute to the development of narratives on the sustainable economics of the Rights that are alternative to the dominant technocratic ideologies of the Washington Consensus and New Public Management. It also aims to facilitate the establishment of a network of heterodox water economists, with a view to developing critical work on the Rights.

6th September 2017

Is There Life After 50? You'd Better Believe it! Women Celebrate Getting Older

As part of the Leeds Cultural Conversations 2017/18, former ISRF Mid-Career Fellow Jayne Raisborough – Learning How to be Old: Frames, Feminism and the Production of a Pro-Ageing Instructional Film – will talk about Women Celebrating Getting Older, 12:30-13:30 in Leeds Town Hall’s Sullivan Room:

Glossy magazines and makeover shows tell us we should look ten years younger and older women report feeling invisible or worthless. This talk draws on interviews with over 60 women (aged from 40- 101) to celebrate age and ageing and discuss ways that we can tackle anti-ageing when it impacts on our lives.

1st July 2017

Rethinking Economics in a Post-truth World

The students of Goldsmiths Rethinking Economics Society and the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) bring together a series of trans-disciplinary lectures and workshops based around demystifying economics. The day will consist of lectures, workshops and film screenings, with themes ranging from anthropological perspectives on the economy, to platform cooperatives, environmental policy, and decolonising economics.

Speakers will include: Brett Scott, Joe Earle, Will Davies, Johnna Montgomerie, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Ozlem Onaran, Daniela Gabor, Aeron Davis, Tony Norfield, Clea Borne, Massimiliano Mollona, Dan Bailey, Jack Throrpe and the team.

30th June - 2nd July 2017

Comparative Peacebuilding in Asia: Liberal and Illiberal Transitions from Ethnic Conflict and Authoritarianism

As part of their Flexible Grants for Small Groups project – Political Economies of Illiberal Peacebuilding in Asia – Dr Claire Smith and Dr Lars Waldorf (University of York) will convene the first of three international conferences in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The workshop series seeks to promote research and facilitate interdisciplinary discussions on the illiberal, nationally driven peacebuilding processes in conflict-affected South and Southeast Asia.

30th May 2017

Social Morphogenesis: Five Years of Inquiring Into Social Change

What do we mean by ‘social change’? How do we establish that such change is taking place? What does it mean to say that it is intensifying?

During six years of ISRF support for the Centre for Social Ontology, the Social Morphogenesis project led by Professor Margaret Archer has sought to answer such questions through an inquiry orientated around the speculative notion of ‘morphogenic society’.

At this launch event, contributors to the project – including Ismael Al-Amoudi, Mark Carrigan, Pierpaolo Donati, Emmanuel Lazega, Andrea M. Maccarini & Jamie Morgan – will discuss their work over the last five years and the questions it has addressed concerning social change.

25th & 26th May 2017

Technology, Employment and Basic Income

ISRF Political Economy Research Fellow Jurgen de Wispelaere will talk about Universal Basic Income in Finland as part of Technology, Employment and Basic Income, a two-day workshop hosted by the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

From the organisers: “Globalization and increasing automation are transforming economies. Companies are becoming more efficient which has implications for employment. All of these forces, together with ineffective welfare programs, is causing both governments and academics to rethink support systems provided to citizens at a time when some industries are facing significant market changes that may reduce employment or wages. In this workshop we begin with a dialog about technology and the potential for creative destruction or destructive creation regarding the well-being of the population particularly when it pertains to employment. From this preamble we then look at the notion of universal basic income as a potential solution to the disruptive market forces we face today. Experts will present recent research, experiments, and analysis about these efforts as well as look at the potential steps and alternatives that governments have and the steps that some of them have taken as they consider this solution.”

13th May 2017

A Synchronisation of Transportation

At an ISRF-funded workshop in Roskilde, Denmark (22-23 September 2016) – part of the Financialisation, Social Investment and Europe’s Social Question project – contributions were invited on the issue of ‘Rethinking the Social’, with a focus on sea swimming.

Subsequently, Charlie Dannreuther and Hannah Denton formed the ‘Brighton All Dancing Arch Sea Swimming Synchro Squad’ to perform synchronised swimming in the sea.

The group will perform for the first time as part of Brighton Fringe event A Synchronisation of Transportation on 13th May 2017, swimming a routine that celebrates cultural and sexual diversity.

5th-7th May 2017

Critical Economics Summit: A Debate on Political Economy

Supported by the ISRF, this three day summit organised by Rethinking Economics Italia has two objectives: firstly, to analyze how the economic discipline can contribute to better address global challenges, widening its scope and perspective; secondly, to identify the critical knowledge economists need to be equipped with.

11th & 12th November 2016

Sociology and Psychoanalysis: The Unfilled Promise

The UCL Institute of Education hosts Sociology and Psychoanalysis: The Unfilled Promise, a conference – part-funded by an ISRF Director of Research Discretionary Award – which aims to bring together international scholars and practitioners of sociology and psychoanalysis to explore the terms of a future psychoanalytic sociology and sociologically informed psychoanalysis. Speakers will include ISRF Mid-Career Fellow, Matt ffytche.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Jessica Benjamin, New York University

Despite the simplicity of Freud’s provocation that sociology ‘cannot be anything but applied psychology’, the relation between the two disciplines remains an open question for many. Of course, there have been multiple points of contact between sociology and psychoanalysis – from, among others, Freud’s own writings on civilisation, religion, and the psychology of groups; through the projects of the Freudo-Marxists and the Frankfurt School; to Lacanian accounts of subjectivity, feminist and queer re-evaluations of sexual difference, and postcolonial critique.

Nevertheless, it is true to say that psychoanalysis has often found itself on the margins of sociological discourse, just as sociology has often found itself on the margins of psychoanalytic thought. To quote the title of a recent collection, psychoanalysis and sociology have suffered an ‘unhappy divorce’; the promise of their relationship remains unfulfilled.

Over the course of this conference we will explore the presence of psychoanalysis within the history of sociology, reflect on earlier attempts to bring about the much delayed rapprochement between the disciplines, investigate the continued ‘application’ of psychoanalysis within the field of sociological enquiry, and consider what the two disciplines might learn from each other today. How does psychoanalysis, attending to the unconscious fantasy life of the individual, move beyond the realm of private interests? Conversely, how does sociology reflect on the operation of the unconscious? What forms of psychoanalysis are sustainable in different socio-political climates? And how can a psychoanalytic sociology enhance our understanding of contemporary society.

Sociology and Psychoanalysis: The Unfilled Promise is organised by the Institute of Psychoanalysis, the British Sociological Association’s study group for Sociology, Psychoanalysis and the Psychosocial, and the UCL Institute of Education.

19th October 2016

BOOK LAUNCH: Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes and Young People’s Enterprise

Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes and Young People’s EnterpriseCelebrate the publication of Joy White’s book Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes and Young People’s Enterprise, published by Routledge.

Special guests include artist/entrepreneurs interviewed by the author in London and Ayia Napa.

About the book

Youth unemployment in the UK remains around the one million mark, with many young people from impoverished backgrounds becoming and remaining NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). However, the NEET categorisation covertly disguises and obscures the significance of the diverse range of activities, achievements and accomplishments of those who operate in the informal creative economy.

With grime music and its related enterprise a key component of the urban music economy, this book employs the inherent contradictions and questions that emerge from an exploration of the grime music scene to build a complex reading of the socio-economic significance of urban music. Incorporating insightful dialogue with the participants in this economy, White challenges the prevailing wisdom on marginalised young people, whilst also confronting the assumption that the inertia and localisation of the grime culture results from its close links to NEET “members” and the informal sector.

Joy is the first recipient of a grant from the ISRF Book Launch Fund, which offers existing or previous ISRF Fellows one grant of up to £500 towards the cost of holding an event at which their book  is launched.

22nd & 23rd September 2016

WORKSHOP: Financialisation, Social Investment and Europe's Social Question

Dr Charlie Dannreuther – recipient of an ISRF Flexible Grants for Small Groups Award for the project Financialisation, Social Investment and Europe’s Social Question – will convene a workshop in Roskilde, Denmark, bringing together scholars from England and Denmark to discuss the relationship between financialisation and social innovation in contemporary welfare provision.

Participants will include Charlie Dannreuther (University of Leeds), Dennis Cronin (University of Leeds), Claes Tepe Belfrage (Liverpool University), Caroline de la Porte (Copenhagen Business School) and Jo Infold (University of Leeds).

The following day will see contributions from Charlie Dannreuther, Sara Atkinson (University of Durham), Karolina Doughty (Wageningen University), Barbara Humberstone (Buckinghamshire New University) and Hanna Denton on the issue of ‘Rethinking the Social’, with a focus on sea swimming.

The public are invited to attend the afternoon session on Day Two. For information, contact Charlie Dannreuther.

23rd June 2016

“It Ain’t Where You’re From, It’s Where You’re At”: International Hip Hop Studies Conference

International Hip Hop Studies Conference

Former ISRF Independent Scholar Joy White will present her paper Crossing borders, moving on: the urban music economy as a transformative realm at the International Hip Hop Studies Conference at Wolfson College, Cambridge. The conference aims to address the question “What should hip hop scholars be doing now and in the future?”, and will attempt to take stock of where both hip hop and hip hop scholars are at.

20th June 2016

Picturing The Social: 2016 Conference

Visual Social Media Lab

The Visual Social Media Lab – whose Director, Farida Vis, is a member of the ISRF Digital Social Science Forum – has organised Picturing The Social, a one-day conference exploring contemporary image sharing on social media & online visual cultures, which aims to create productive dialogue.

The conference will take place on 20th June 2016 at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Attendance costs £20, including lunch.

Picturing The Social “seeks to create dialogue between different areas of research and practice relevant to the use of images on social media and to the wider visual web,” bringing together “prominent academic researchers from Visual Culture, Internet Studies, and Media Studies with industry-based researchers and practitioners from the areas of Social Data, Data Visualisation, Journalism and Data Analytics to explore crucial issues relevant to contemporary digital visual cultures.”

4th June 2016

Hackminster: Access to the A-Z of Everyday Politics

Former ISRF Mid-Career Fellow David Graeber will join entrepreneur and facilitator Mo Hashimi for a discussion entitled “You Can’t Say That!”: Trumping Political Taboos:

From Drumpf and Sanders in the USA, to UKIP, SNP and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, it seems we are living in an unprecedented political time. More than ever, political and economic taboos are trampled all over. Yet what are these taboos, and who gets to decide what we can and cannot say in politics?

Hackminster: Access to the A-Z of Everyday Politics is an open source conference, with workshops, panel discussions and film screenings, which aims to educate, empower, and equip the everyday person to make effective political change.

The conference is a collaboration between Queen Mary, University of London and People’s PPE, a grassroots organisation “which aims to deliver a series of lectures, seminars, debates and workshops aiming to empower the grassroots and enable ordinary people to become more politically engaged and literate.”

2nd & 3rd June 2016

Indigenous Visions of the Global Extinction Crisis

Indigenous Visions of the Global Extinction CrisisFormer ISRF Early Career Fellow Audra Mitchell convenes a workshop at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada.

In just four decades, more than half of the known species on Earth may have gone extinct. Western scientists studying patterns of extinction warn that in just a few centuries, more than 75% of life forms may be gone. In short, the planet is confronting a global extinction crisis, which may turn into the Earth’s ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ event. How can and should diverse human communities respond to this crisis?

17th May 2016


New Urban Multicultures: Conviviality & Racism Conference

Former ISRF Independent Scholar Joy White will present her paper Crossing borders, moving on: the urban music economy as a transformative realm at the New Urban Multicultures conference at Goldsmiths, University of London. The conference celebrates 20 years since the publication of Les Back’s New Ethnicities and Urban Cultures: Racisms and Multiculture in Young Lives and aims to examine the present and the future of the study of urban multiculture.