Mobile Utopia Bonfire School

29 October – 2 November 2017, CeMoRe, Lancaster University
To participate in the Bonfire School, applicants should submit a 300 word abstract that describes their research, addressing the following questions: What are you researching? Why? What does or could utopia as a concept or method do for you? Please contact Aurora Trujillo.

Participants who will also be at the Mobile Utopia Conference will be expected to present results from the Mobile Utopia Bonfire School and the Mobile Utopia Experiment at the Conference. You need to register separately for the Bonfire School (link will be provided here shortly) and for the Conference (Link to Conference Registration Page).

Participation in the Bonfire School is limited to 25 PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, artists, practitioners.

The Bonfire School provides opportunities to participate in a range of activities, including:

Presentation-based discussions: A speedy, fun series of 3 minute presentations about your research – What are you researching? Why? What does or could utopia as a concept or method do for you? Student, staff, postdoc presentations will be mixed, followed by discussion.

Master classes: (after Erik Olin Wright) Learning in small groups of one member of staff and 1-3 students/postdocs. Each student/postdoc has a total of ten minutes, divided roughly evenly between the student telling the senior researcher something puzzling about their research and them responding with off-the-cuff comments and suggestions. The point here is NOT for students to give a five minute summary of their research, but rather to identify a problem in need of feedback. The optimal presentation spends roughly 1-2 minutes describing the broad research question/domain and then 2-3 minutes focusing on unresolved issues: something puzzling or confusing; a bottleneck in the project; a difficult (and perhaps annoying) objection that has been raised by someone; a mysterious finding that doesn’t make sense; a seemingly intractable methodological problem; an ethical issue about the research. The senior researcher questions, comments, provides advice, constructive critique. These initial exchanges are followed by discussion.

Mentoring: In pairs or threes staff/students/postdocs discuss successes and failures related to the practicalities of research and career.

Writing Exchange: Taking inspiration from the activities at the Bonfire school, participants will have the opportunity to produce and exchange a 500-1000 word piece of writing for constructive critique with other participants.

The Mobile Utopia Experiment: As part of the Cemore|T2M|Cosmobilities 2017 Conference (2-5November), there will be a creative experimental pre-enactment of mobile utopia, with various activities. Participants in the Bonfire School will participate in the experiment. See here for more information about the experiment.

For further detail, please see Preliminary Programme.

Bursaries and Travel Grants

Applications for travel grants are now closed.

A small number of bursaries and travel grants are available. Allocation is competitive and based on peer review of the research abstract submission. Please complete this Travel Grant Application Form by 05 June 2017. Decisions will be made by 12 June.

Note that the Bonfire School is one of several events and we would be delighted to welcome you for the whole week.

There are many ways to participate:

1. Take part in all of it, the Bonfire School, the Mobile Utopia Experiment and the Mobile Utopia Conference 29th October – 5th November 2017
2. Join the Bonfire School to discuss your research and participate in the Mobile Utopia Experiment (you don’t have to bring an experiment) 30th October – 2nd November 2017
3. Make a Mobile Utopia Experiment and bring it to Lancaster 1-2nd November 2017

We’d be delighted to welcome you. Registration will open shortly here (early registration is recommended).

If you have any questions, please contact us.