Critical Event Studies


June 2016

Sustainability and ethics of volunteers?

In the next response to ‘Events/Festivals are…?’ Dr. Linda Wilks, a researcher who has published widely on festivals, ponders the reliance of volunteers in the sector:

Events/festivals are…..often heavily reliant on volunteers to organise and steward them. But how much ‘fun’ is festival volunteering, is it really worth the effort for organisers, and how sustainable is a reliance on volunteers in the long run?

Is this a question of ethics? A question of economics? What is the role of emotional labour in the sector and is this managed effectively?

Come along to the symposium to explore this with Linda!

Events/Festivals are…continued…

Philip Crowther from Sheffield Hallam University has shared his thoughts on the question, ‘Events/Festivals are…?’ and it encompasses issues of who is involved in creating the experience and what might occur…

A dynamic and co-creative space which facilitates many and varied outcomes, sometimes planned often not.

I think this little quote also sums up what the symposium will be!

A short and sweet reflection…

Whilst this next reflection from Dr. Rebecca Finkel on the question ‘Events/Festivals are…?’ might seem straightforward, it opens up plenty of questions about the very nature of events. What is the nature of place? Who are the people? Who are included? Who are left out?

Why not come along to the symposium so we can explore this further!

Events/Festivals are…..meaningful bridges between people and places.

Festivals/Events are….? Next up…

Here we have a reflection from delegate Vanessa Schofield, a PhD student at University of Durham.

…….openings that rupture the normal order of things, or put things out of joint. Thinking with the philosopher Badiou, they bring to light a possibility that was previously impossible, invisible or even unthinkable. Drawing on the possible/impossible binary, the event therefore reflects a possible that is wrested from the impossible. Events arise from a moment that is perceived and seized as an opportunity to critically contemplate the present, in order to intervene into it and to change and reshape its course for the better, through creating novel connections, affiliations and organisations.

Stay tuned for more insights and musings from the symposium delegates!

Symposium: Featured Panelist (part 2)

Our next featured panelist is Maurice Roche, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at University of Sheffield…


Maurice Roche is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, UK.  His main interests are in  the sociology of popular culture including ‘mega-events’, and also the sociology of European society.

Continue reading “Symposium: Featured Panelist (part 2)”

Events/Festivals are…(a series of reflections)

As part of the registration for the symposium, we have asked delegates to respond to the question:

Events/festivals are….?

I will be posting a selection of the responses on the blog over the weeks….

First up we have Prof. David McGillivray‘s reflection:

Continue reading “Events/Festivals are…(a series of reflections)”

What is open space technology?

Have you ever attended a conference and after 3 days of parallel sessions think…’well I never got to discuss xxx’ or ‘I found coffee break the most productive time’ or ‘I had something to say but there wasn’t the space for it’?


Continue reading “What is open space technology?”

Symposium: Featured Panelist

We are delighted to announce the panelists for the symposium and will feature the biography of each on the site in the lead up to the event. First up, we are pleased to welcome one of the initial industry supporters of the critical event studies group…

James McVeigh Head of Marketing and Innovation, Festivals Edinburgh, Scotland

Continue reading “Symposium: Featured Panelist”

Making Events Critical: A symposium

Friday 9th September 2016
MadLab, Manchester

The Critical Events Studies Symposium will be a one day event to examine how we can take a critical view of events and festivals. The symposium has grown out of various discussions amongst academics from a variety of disciplines (i.e. not just those teaching events or related subjects) to find a forum to work in a multi-disciplinary fashion in order to make new connections and explore new avenues of research.

Continue reading “Making Events Critical: A symposium”

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