Taboo: 2nd Annual SHARE PG Symposium

Friday 26th September saw the second annual School of History, Archaeology and Religion Postgraduate Symposium, this year on the theme of the taboo. There was a very fascinating talk given by Dr Louise Child on the theories and application of taboo as a label and way of thinking with. This keynote ranged between the theories of Durkheim to the representation of the taboo in artefacts of popular culture such as Silence of the Lambs. This discussion was developed further in a round table session after lunch (CU catering doing a good job as always; they do some of the best catering for veggies such as me). Before that myself and another current postgraduate researcher have papers which touched on aspects of the taboo. My presentation, with an outline of my accompanying talk is at the bottom of the page (click the settings cog and show notes for the outline of the spoken parts). It's always a difficult task writing for an audience of highly intelligent and educated peers who specialise is different fields to your own, so hopefully my contribution was neither too involved nor patronisingly simple. A much deeper discussion into the religious and legal implications of loci of power in the middle Roman Republic would odd course be not just possible but desirable. Oh well, it wasn't the occasion for that.

I also did a 3 minute thesis presentation, which I hadn't really prepped for. I was a little over time, but not by much, which I was pretty happy with considering I was talking unscripted.

Both my segments generated a bit of Q & A which is always encouraging, and great to engage one's research with peers in a structured but less formal environment. Also I think it pays to be able to explain the topic and rationale like this to a differently specialised audience.

We were subsequently challenged to come up with a tweet-length explanation of one's thesis. This was mine: 

Would have been good to use the occasion as an ice breaker for new postgraduate researchers to outline their research. I'm going to push for that for next year's symposium.


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