Arts and Social Sciences in focus as international postgraduates unite in Aberdeen

Postgraduate students from universities across the world are expected to flock to Aberdeen for an annual conference – thought to be the largest of its kind staged in the UK, if not globally.

The annual Moving Forward conference will be held at the King's College campus, University of Aberdeen, during Tuesday July  21 and Wednesday July 22, and is expected to attract record numbers of postgraduate students of the Arts and Social Sciences.

Now in its sixth year, the event aims to bring together research students from different departments, schools and universities to raise, discuss and debate common issues and problems.

It is hoped that attendees will network and form lasting friendships and contacts with one another.

This year, the sessions aim to reflect interdisciplinarity within the Arts and Social Sciences and professional and early-career speakers from a range of disciplines will deliver presentations on their research and postgraduate experience.

Social anthropologist, Professor Timothy Ingold, of the University of Aberdeen, will begin a series of four plenary sessions by speaking about Fields of study and lines of interest.

Other invited guests include Dr Elizabeth Stokoe, of Loughborough University, who will talk on Interaction across the disciplines, University of Aberdeen Professor Peter Stollery, from the School of Education whose topic is Sound Travels; a journey from lone acousmate to sonic collaborator, and Professor Chris Fynsk, from the University's School of Language and Literature, on The idea of the Centre of Modern Thought.

In addition, there will be a series of 46 postgraduate parallel sessions as well as rolling Poster Session, giving conference participants an opportunity to present or display their research project orally or pictorially and to encourage both formal and informal discussions between delegates.

Further, throughout the event, there will be both music and art installations, fashioned by Aberdeen students, on display in Elphinstone Hall where the conference will be accommodated. There will also be two music performances from musicians of the School of Music and the Elphinstone Institute respectively, which will draw the event to a close.

Conference organiser, Heather M. Morgan, Doctoral Candidate, University of Aberdeen, said: "Moving Forward is now well established at the University of Aberdeen and the conference has changed and grown over the years.

"It really began ten years ago when twenty like-minded Aberdeen-based postgraduate students in Law and Social Sciences came together for a one day workshop to share in each other's research. Since then, the event has been developed into a conference, which has now grown to include visiting delegates and Higher Education Academy support and recognition in terms of postgraduate training provision.

"Today, it is, we're sure, the widest-reaching, and best-established postgraduate conference of its kind. Thanks to the financial sponsorships of the College, its constituent Schools and the Roberts Fund, plus the dedication and teamwork of the eleven-strong organising committee, the 2009 event promises to be both inspiring and exciting!"

Attendance, which is £25 at registration, will include refreshments and lunch for both days. There will also be a conference Evening Reception on the first day, next Tuesday 21 July, for which there is an additional fee of £20.

For further information and a full programme, visit the website at