Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Queen's & Kingston host many conferences and other speaking opportunities.  As we here of any that may be relevant to you the graduate student, we will post here ( some may be a little further a field).

17th Annual Rehabilitation Research Colloquium

On May 1st, 2015 the School of Rehabilitation Therapy will be hosting the 17th Annual Rehabilitation Research Colloquium. The aim of the Colloquium is to present the most recent research being conducted by graduate students (MSc, MScPT, MScOT, PhD) and post-doctoral fellows in fields relating to rehabilitation science. Abstract submission will begin February 2015 where students can submit work from: completed projects, preliminary results, or proposals.

Contact rehabsci@queensu.ca or visit http://rehab.queensu.ca/colloquium/index.htm for more information. 

Queen's University Cultural Studies Graduate Symposium, Undisciplined 2015

After a two-year hiatus, we are pleased to announce that Queen's University Cultural Studies Graduate Symposium, Undisciplined 2015, is currently accepting abstract submissions. The event will be held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario on March 27 & 28, 2015.


 Organized horizontally by a group of graduate students, involved in modes of inquiry that intersect the humanities, social sciences, activism, and the arts, Undisciplined 2015 is a space for sharing scholarly, artistic, and/or activist work that theorizes the cultural and socio-political forces that shape lived experiences in neoliberal times. This symposium invites presentations that are undisciplined in both theory and method: emphatic interdisciplinarity is expected; non-traditional methodologies are welcome; collective empowerment, interventions and transformations are expected.    

 In its sixth year, the Cultural Studies Program at Queen’s University has 80 M.A. and Ph.D. students enrolled in a diverse range of research projects that reflect this commitment to undisciplinarity. We draw from the histories, methodologies, and theoretical approaches of disciplines as varied as gender studies, global development studies, sociology, art history, film studies, and literary studies – we believe this to be most effective and generative in examining the particular research questions that guide our work.

 Considering a diverse audience, applicants are encouraged to relate their theoretical, creative, and/or activist contributions to the experiences and knowledges of those who come together under the banner of Cultural Studies.

 Please note that although refreshments will be provided during the symposium, we are unable to fund travel or accommodations for participants. However, there will be no registration fee for attendees or presenters at this symposium. Everyone is welcome to attend!


April 26, 2015
Wallace Hall, John Deutsch University Centre
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Boredom can be perceived as both stifling and liberating: as an emptiness to be avoided or else as a overflowing of time and space. In this view boredom is monotonous, repetitive, and dull, but it is also a potential source of insight and creativity - a pause that gives perspective or an empty space to be filled. 

This symposium seeks to engage boredom and to explore the dangers and potentials it represents in a way that moves beyond the confines of traditional academic conferences. We welcome proposals for participation of the following types:

1. Academic papers (10-20 minutes)

2. Presentations from community organizations (10-20 minutes)

3. Workshops or activities (30-75 minutes)

4. Performances (10-30 minutes)

Academic Keynote: Dr. Michael E. Gardiner (Western). Dr. Gardiner is Professor of Sociology at Western University, where he researches theories of affect, especially boredom, in relation to political economy. He will be speaking on the sociology of boredom.

Community Keynote: Nathan Townend (Kingston). Townend is interim-President of the Kingston Greens and Green Party candidate for Kingston and The Islands in the 2015 federal election. He will be speaking on boredom and political apathy.


Please send proposals to engagingboredom@gmail.com by April 1st 2015 and include the name(s) and university affiliation(s) and/or other relevant affiliation(s) of the presenters. Please specify the amount of time required as well as audio, visual, and space requirements.

For academic presentations, please send a publication-ready titled abstract of 200-300 words.
For presentations, workshops, and performances, please send an outline (~1 page) of the proposed presentation, workshop, or performance, including a description of the organization(s) involved (if applicable) and a brief explanation of the ways the proposed presentation, workshop, or performance engages boredom or related themes.

For more information visit engagingboredom.wordpress.com


  • Apathy - eg. activist interventions into political apathy
  • Art - eg. artworks or studies of art history and visual culture that thematize boredom (eg. John Baldessari's "I will not make any more boring art") employ repetitive mark-making (eg. pointillism), rely on algorithms (eg. Jorinde Voigt's schematic line drawings), or explore extreme formal reduction (eg. minimalism).
  • Attention - eg. boredom as unfocused attention; neuroscientific studies on the perceptual effects of attention and focus, for example, the role of attention in the "binding problem"
  • Boredom and Modernity - eg. boredom as social alienation; historical studies on the affective consequences of the shift from rural to urban life in the industrializing West; phenomenology of factory line labour
  • Choice - eg. choice overload in our options as consumers; debates around the secularizing or disenchanting effects of ideological and religious pluralism
  • Creativity - eg. artist talks or practitioner anecdotes on boredom as either a stifle or a boon to creativity; philosophical, psychological, or sociocultural studies on the relationship between boredom and creativity; writer's block or creative block vs. flow (re: Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's theory of "flow")
  • Depression - eg. psychological studies of how lack of interest, flat affect, and psychomotor retardation figure in diagnosis and treatment of depression
  • Emptiness - eg. from existential emptiness in movements and ideologies like nihilism or Dada, to spatial emptiness in theories of the sublime
  • Leisure/Play - eg. the loss of distinction between leisure and labour activities as the same information communication technologies are used in both work and play; the changing forms of children's play and imagination in the context of digital overstimulation or "information overload"
  • Literature - eg. literary works or studies that have thematized or reproduced boredom (mid-century conceptualists' "uncreative writing," Kenneth Goldsmith's concept of the "unboring boring," the Russian genre of "boredom novels" (lishni chelovek), David Foster Wallace's novel The Pale King)
  • Meaning - eg. boredom as a spiritual or philosophical affliction, from acedia in The Desert Fathers to ennui as a bourgeois distinction
  • Meditation/Contemplation - eg. the differences between "superficial" and "profound" boredom; boredom as a meditative state; workshops on enduring or embracing boredom in meditative practices
  • Morality - eg. boredom as the root of evil - the connection between boredom and anxiety, boredom and cruelty, boredom and antisocial tendencies - in philosophical and theological thought (Baudelaire, Kierkegaard, etc.); contemporary depictions of boredom as a moral failing in an overdeveloped world
  • Procrastination - eg. boredom from an educational or managerial perspective - strategies on how to find interest in rote tasks
  • Repetition - eg. boredom as predictability, or repetitiveness (Benjamin on boredom and the cycles of fashion in The Arcades Project; Nietzsche's concept of the eternal return; Deleuze's concept of difference and repetition)
  • Time - eg. boredom characterized as an experience of time slowed, stilled, or warped in theories of time consciousness (Heidegger, Husserl, Bergson)

McGill-Queen's Graduate Conference in History - Call for Proposals

The Conference (6th-7th March 2015), will feature key note speaker, Professor Fredrik Logevall, Cornell University, winner of the 2013 Pulitizer Prize in History in addition to a roundtable discussion on the future uses and implications of the rise of digital humanities.

The Conference encourages proposals from any geographic region or temporal period.  Interdisciplinary submissions are welcome. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a 125 word academic biography in Word or PDF to mcgillqueens2015@gmail.com by 1st December 2014.

For more information please email or check out www.mcgillqueens2015.wordpress.com

University of Ottawa - Jean-Paul Dionne Symposium held on March 5-6, 2015, hosted by the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

Western science has long been guided by Cartesian philosophy which is based on universal characteristics to define binary categories. This tradition continues in mainstream conceptualizations of “body/mind”, “quantitative/qualitative”, and “natural science/social science”. This conference aims to go beyond restrictive conventional binaries that have isolated and segregated academic disciplines to highlight the interconnection between scholarship in all fields. 

As a trans-disciplinary conference, we aim to bring together bodies of knowledge and in so doing, emphasize the fluidities of disciplinary intertwinnings. We invite graduate students to re-consider their conceptualizations of research from initial philosophical assumptions to the ways in which they engage in the research process and knowledge dissemination. In this sense, you are invited to dance with and delve into the “conventional” and the “unconventional" as you situate your presentation with the overall conference theme: "Def(y|in)ing the Conventional: Moving Bodies of Knowledge". 

Topics can be expressed through such fields as: 

  • Education 
  • Health Sciences 
  • Sociology 
  • Psychology 
  • Human Kinetics 

This conference, held in both English and French, will give participants the opportunity to improve their public-speaking skills and generate a network of students and professors that share their intellectual interests. 

Full details on how to apply & criteria (521KB)