This year's Cumberland Colloquia scheme got off to a good start on Friday, as members of the 2017 committee met at the Lodge for the first time to discuss their plans for the forthcoming conference.

The group met staff from our Education team who will be mentoring them through the process of organising a conference on 'Social Cohesion in Times of Uncertainty: Political, Social and Cultural Change'.

Their colloquium will look at what social cohesion looks like in the 21st century and how it ought to look. It will draw on debates from multiple fields in the humanities, arts, human and social sciences.

The newly selected committee comprises of: 

  • Dr Matthew Donoghue (Chair), Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford
  • Kerstin Frie, PhD Student in Psychology at the University of Oxford
  • Dr Samentha Goethals, Senior Researcher in Labour Rights at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Dr Ben Whitham, Lecturer in International Relations at De Montfort University
  • Dr Sadek Kessous, Lecturer in English at University of Newcastle.


Members of the 2017 committee (l-r): Kerstin Frie, Dr Samentha Goethals, Dr Matthew Donoghue

Every year, Cumberland Lodge offers PhD students and early career researchers a platform to shape ethical and social debate through the Colloquia scheme. They have the chance to develop an academic conference from scratch. 

The scheme is now entering its fifth year and it has so far supported nine colloquia. Topics have ranged from the challenges posed by advances in biotechnology, to the corporate responsibility to protect human rights, whether or not the car has an ethical and sustainable future, and how discourses of religious otherness can be challenged to build a more inclusive society.

See here for further details.