There are a number of reading groups operating across the School, run by LLC staff and students and catering to a diverse range of interests and subject specialities.
Read on for more details and find out how you can get involved.
American Television Reading Group
The American Television Reading Group is an Edinburgh-based "reading" group for postgraduates, researchers, and fellow Netflix binge-watchers interested in the cultural relevance of American TV. We meet every other Wednesday in 50 George Square during term time to discuss everything from cartoons for adults to HBO's latest and greatest and what these shows reveal about American culture at large.
Especially in today’s turbulent social climate, the importance of accessible visual media should not be underestimated. Our group aims to discuss critical issues such as the ways in which American television has been politicised, the extent to which certain shows have given voice to marginalised social groups, and much more.
Sessions are episodic rather than serialised, so feel free to drop in at any point throughout the semester. If you are interested in leading a session on a particular theme or TV show, you are welcome to get in touch with the co-convenors to discuss this opportunity further.
Classical and Medieval Islamic History Reading Group
Feel free to contact the organiser with any questions.
The CRAG — Creation of Reality Group
What exactly is meant when we talk of creation of reality? Since the second half of the 20th century, ‘creation of reality’ is a compound that has gained exponential momentum in books and other publications (fiction and non-fiction). The general increase in the human belief that reality is, or can be to differing extents, created by us, is apparent in social processes of empowerment or disempowerment. ‘Creation of reality’ is also a growing scheme within the humanities, in the diverse corrugations of social constructivism. It is also vivid in the science-fictional idea of terraforming or planetary engineering, or in New Age beliefs of supra-agency. Contemporary philosophers of mind touch the ‘creation of reality’ theme through discussions on cognitive enhancement, virtual reality, or contemplative reprogramming, and they explore our cognitive capacities to shape our surroundings beyond our organismic apparatus. And last but not least, in the last five decades, growing environmental consciousness and interest for holistic life-on-earth studies seem to call for the development of an interdisciplinary comprehension (a meta-geobiology?) of Nature (more and more artefactual), and Technoculture (more and more perceived as natural).
Only one month after its creation in 2015, the Crag has been awarded by the Researcher-Led Initiative Fund. The Creation of Reality Group is an interdisciplinary platform, an open academic 'think-plateau'. Its ambition is to conduct research on the worldly impact of creation. The group is also conceived as a work-in-progress laboratory for a (recurrent?) multidisciplinary and public event that will manifest our research in different forms, theoretical, practical, editorial, multimedia or artistic. Researchers and students from all schools are welcome.
Fantasy and Folklore Reading Group
A reading group for Edinburgh-based postgrads, researchers, and dragon enthusiasts interested in the study of fantasy, myth and fairy tales. We meet roughly every three weeks for informal chats on selected readings, ranging from monster theory to feminist rewritings of mythology.
Interdisciplinary Feminism and Gender Reading Group
The Interdisciplinary Feminism and Gender Reading Group meets monthly around the George Square area, to read and discuss feminist theory and activism, gender studies, intersectionality, current issues - and more. We are mostly postgraduates and researchers, but everyone is welcome.
We have a Google account where we post readings and meeting dates, as well as a rarely updated blog, but most of online pre- and post-meeting discussions happen in our Facebook group. This is where we plan the meetings, texts or excursions, and post any other feministy information. Join us there, or if you have any questions feel free to contact main organiser Lena Wånggren.
"Intersections and Borderlines" Theory Reading Group
"Intersections and Borderlines" is an interdisciplinary reading group at the University of Edinburgh that focuses on intersectionality, that is, on the many shades of identity (political, sexual, ethnic, and so on) and how they relate to each other. We want to read and discuss texts focusing on the intersections between different approaches in literary and cultural studies, such as queer theory, masculinities and gender theory, queer of colour critique, diaspora, migration and exile, geo-political and sexual marginality, transculturalism, etc. As our own research focuses cover a wide range of ideas and theories, we would like to invite everyone whose interests touch upon these topics.
Information on meetings are published via our Facebook group. We usually meet at Levels Café on Holyrood Road, every other Thursday morning, with exact times, as well as the readings, posted on the Facebook page).
The Nineteenth Century Reading Group
The Nineteenth-Century Research Seminars (NCRS) is a monthly seminar series that provides a cross- and inter-disciplinary space for nineteenth-century studies researchers.
The NCRS will provide a space in which doctoral researchers and early career researchers working on the nineteenth century can meet, discuss their research, form connections and sow the seeds for future collaborations. Each seminar consists of two papers: one paper from a University of Edinburgh-based researcher and one paper from a researcher based in any other higher education institution. The seminars will run on the last Thursday of the month during the Spring Semester. A call for papers will be sent out in October 2015.
The NCRS in 2016 will be convened by Olivia Ferguson (Olivia.Ferguson@ed.ac.uk).
The NCRS was co-founded by a team of doctoral researchers from across the College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Tim Cooper (HCA), Muireann Crowley (LLC), Lucy Linforth (LLC) and Shannon Rollins (ECA). The seminar series has been made possible thanks to a generous award from the University of Edinburgh’s Researcher-Led Initiative Fund.
All seminars take place in the Seminar Room in the Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities (IASH), 2 Hope Park Square.
More information and programmes from previous years can be found at http://edinburgh19thcentury.weebly.com
Medieval Literature Reading Group
This reading group is designed to be an informal forum for the discussion of medieval texts. We welcome anyone who is interested in the Middle Ages for any reason; whether you are studying medieval literature, history or art, or if you simply love neo-medieval literatures of the nineteenth century onwards and would like to read the texts that inspired these later periods. Our long-term aim is to gain a broader understanding of areas of medieval thought and trends in literature during the period c.500 1600. We take an interdisciplinary approach, and are interested in seeing what ideas contemporary writers of different nationalities were discussing in their work. One of our aims is to see what links can be made between texts that might not at first glance have that much in common, or how dialogues can be opened retrospectively in this way. We meet informally over tea and biscuits approximately every month. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested!
The Sirenaics: Early Modern Drama Reading Group
The Sirenaics are an interdisciplinary, informal group for reading works of Early Modern drama (broadly defined) out loud and discussing them, generally over a glass or two of wine. All interested postgraduates and members of staff are welcome to attend and to suggest plays, and research specialism in the area is not required. We meet about once a month, in the George Square area and usually in the evenings; our next play will be "The Roaring Girl" at the end of January.
LLC Philosophy provides an interdisciplinary space to share research and ideas that address or raise philosophical issues in the study of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures (LLC). A reading group, open to all university students and staff, meets once a week to discuss new texts and topics. Led by, and primarily aimed at, doctoral researchers and early career academics, LLC Philosophy hopes to host a conference in 2017-2018. Find us on Tuesdays at 5pm in room S37 of 7 George Square, email us or find us on Facebook.