Members of our 2017 Cumberland Colloquium report on their September conference

Published Date: 
Friday, 6 October 2017
Dr Matt Donoghue, Kerstin Frie, Dr Samentha Goethals, and Dr Ben Whitham

'Social Cohesion in Times of Uncertainty', held on 24 - 25 September 2017, was a two-day colloquium which brought together practitioners, third sector representatives and academics, particularly postgraduate researchers and early career academics, from multiple fields in the social sciences, humanities, and human sciences, to discuss how to address social divisions.

Societies around the world are experiencing overlapping and interlinked political, social and economic crises that are pulling us unevenly in every direction: pressing strangers together and pulling neighbours apart, creating new forms of hate and new forms of kinship.  The effects of the 2008 financial crisis can still be felt in households worldwide, whilst the political events of Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the rise of right wing populism across Europe simultaneously creates intense uncertainty whilst promising security and familiarity.

The 2017 colloquium sought to answer five central questions, each drawing on different disciplines and policy areas: 

  • What should social cohesion look like, and how should we build it? 
  • How can we understand and bridge the many gaps in our society? 
  • How might we re-examine the complex relation between cultural works and social cohesion? 
  • How do businesses enhance or hinder social cohesion? 
  • How does the politics of (in)security affect cohesion?

To find out how these questions were responded to by delegates and speakers alike, please read the Colloquium Committe's Report, available for download in PDF format above.

2017's Colloquim Committee was:

Dr Matt Donoghue, University of Oxford

Kerstin Fries, University of Oxford

Dr Samentha Goethals, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Sadek Kessous, Newcastle University

Dr Ben Whitham, De Montfort University

To find out more about the Colloquia Scheme, please click here.  Applications to organise and host a colloquium in Autumn 2018 have now closed.  Applications to host 2019's colloquium will open in September 2018.