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Along with a small cadre of my fellow research postgraduates at the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at The University of Queensland, I’m involved in organising a conference, Perspectives on Progress, which will be held in November 2013.

This is our second call for papers. The abstracts are due 31 May 2013. If you can, please consider submitting an abstract. More information about the conference can be seen at our website – http://perspectives2013.org/, but the basic information is reproduced below.

Perspectives on Progress – An interdisciplinary postgraduate and early career researcher conference, at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. November 27-29, 2013.

The organising committee is pleased announce that Dr. Alastair Blanshard and Dr. Sarah Pinto have each agreed to deliver Key Note Addresses at Perspectives on Progress, 2013.

Dr. Blanshard is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney. His most recent monograph is Sex, Vice, and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (Wiley Blackwell, 2010). In addition to his work on ancient sexuality, Dr. Blanshard is also concerned with examining the role that the classical past plays in the history of ideas.

Dr. Mills’s Futures of Reproduction: Bioethics and Biopolitics (Springer, 2011) is a compelling interrogation of the myriad bioethical issues associated with liberal eugenics and selective reproduction. As the recipient of a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, Dr. Mills is currently working on a project concerned with exploring the concept of responsibility as it pertains to issues in reproductive and maternal-foetal medicine.

Call for Papers

In 1968, historian Sidney Pollard defined the Victorian ideal of ‘progress’ as, “the assumption that a pattern of change exists in the history of mankind… that it consists of irreversible changes in one direction only, and that this direction is towards improvement.” Despite the increasingly problematic nature of this ideal, the ‘progress myth’ still remains pervasive in the Western cultural tradition.

This postgraduate and early career researcher conference seeks to promote innovative interdisciplinary dialogues interrogating the concept of progress by bringing together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences.

Contributions are invited from disciplines ranging from history, classics, religion and philosophy through literary, media and cultural studies to anthropology, psychology and political science. Conference delegates will be invited to consider how the idea of progress influences their own work, while being given the opportunity to explore how this intersects with scholarship in other disciplines.

The conference committee invites proposals for papers in the form of an abstract of between 250 and 300 words to perspectivesonprogress2013@gmail.com by 31 May 2013. Paper format is a 20 minute paper with a 10 minute period for questions and answers.