The conference starts in a week

In a weeks time we will be over halfway through the first day of the Concepts of Community Conference. Community is often at the heart of academic work, but there is little consensus across fields and historical periods as to what we consider a community and what constitutes the communities we often discuss.  The panels on the first day of the conference will cover a really wide range of themes from political, cultural and emotional communtities to how communities effect and are effected by different generational engagment with them. The second day examines communities of ideas and texts and also different kinds of participation that can be found in various communities. The aims of the conference are to explore how we understand, use and conceptualise communities in our research across many different periods of time and disciplines. We have speakers from History, Music, English and Archaeology to gather the widest range of possible ways in which thinking about various concepts of community can challenge and enhance our research. This promises to be a really exciting conference and a fantastic two days which will aim to create connections between different fields and explore what we all bring to the table. On the end of the second day we will hold a roundtable discussion to try and bring everything we will have heard over the two days together and to hopefully reach some consensus about what we understand communities to be and how they can be used. Register now to attend at

Call for Papers

March 21st and 22nd 2016

The University of Sheffield

Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street.


Concepts of community have long since been grappled with by scholars across departments and disciplines. Communities are not simply confined by physical walls, institutional allegiances or geographical proximity. The concept that often defines the proximate community, that of sharing common ideas and beliefs, can transcend studies of locality. Political, devotional, emotional or imagined communities, for example, are instilled and defined through words, images, ideals and practices. Social network theory provides a means to conceptualise communities that cut across the organisational structures of life. Through the study of these different concepts of community scholars are offered new ways of addressing existing scholarly frameworks, studies of cultural boundaries, and group and individual identities.

This two-day conference aims to address the ways in which these concepts of community are addressed and analysed through panels and round-table discussion. We invite contributions that discuss the role of interdisciplinary methodology in conceptualising wider communities, to assert the difficulties in defining community away from local boundaries and to understand the various ways in which the concepts of communities are created, reaffirmed and connected. How are concepts of community addressed in your field? How does this study of community re-imagine scholarly precedents and offer new perspectives? Does the concept of ‘community’ prevent the intricacies of tension and conflict from being addressed? In what ways does the study of these communities cross disciplines, time periods and perspectives?

We welcome 15-20 minute papers from post-graduate and early career researchers who study community and communities. To express interest in attending or giving a paper, please email Elizabeth Goodwin and Laura Alston with your name and a 250-word abstractby Friday 5th February.


Map and Event Details

The Concepts of Community Conference will be held on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd March at the Humanities Research Institute (HRI), 34 Gell Street, Sheffield.

The HRI is approximately twenty minutes walk from Sheffield train station. Alternatively, trams running from the train station to the University (blue route) take around 10 minutes.

The HRI can be accessed from Upper Hanover Street, behind the old Henderson’s Relish building.