Next OpenSpace meeting – Tuesday 10 March 4-6pm

We would like to invite you to the next OpenSpace meeting on Tuesday 10th March at 4-6pm in room G35/36 in Arthur Lewis Building (number 36 on the University of Manchester campus map). 

For this session, we are very pleased to have

1) Robert Schulz from Politics speaking on “Neither repetition nor reflection: sacrificial commemoration practices and post-conflict reconciliation“.
“How the past is remembered is crucial to the identities of political communities. It is particularly important to divided societies that went through violent conflict, such as Northern Ireland. How the past is remembered influences post-conflict reconstruction, i.e. the establishment of new political institutions, as well as post-conflict reconciliation, i.e. the rebuilding of relationships across communal boundaries. But how do we analyse the meaning of commemoration practices? The academic literature dealing with the role of commemoration in post-conflict reconciliation argues that commemoration can either keep the conflict alive (repetition) or facilitate reconciliation through remorse and critical memory (reflection). This presentation introduces a third mechanism that is different from repetition and reflection: Girardian sacrificial commemoration has to be seen as a mechanism that, although violent and exclusionary, contributes to a calming down of conflict.”

2) Judith Krauss from IDPM speaking on “Paradoxes of certification: Thoughts from doing research in the Nicaraguan cocoa sector“.
“Conventional wisdom considers certification a universal panacea – a confirmation for consumers and brand manufacturers alike that the production of chocolate bars’ defining ingredient, cocoa, abides by certain standards. However, certification entails manifold paradoxes in terms of realities produced and reproduced in representations, as I found in researching three chocolate global production networks and particularly the Nicaraguan cocoa sector. This conversation aims to flag and discuss a few of these phenomena, ranging from the consequences of certification’s auditing and documentation requirements conceived in the Global North, to representations put forward by and about the certifying ‘stewards of virtue’ (Blowfield and Dolan 2008), to consumers’ attitudes towards certification as recounted in focus group discussions.”

We look forward to seeing as many as of you there for what looks to be a fascinating discussion.

OpenSpace is an interdisciplinary forum for PhD researchers in SEED and beyond to discuss ideas and present their research in a critical but friendly and relaxed environment. The typical format is two presentations of approximately 20 minutes without powerpoint followed by questions and open discussion of ideas. We also provide a little food and drink to help us get into the spirit! You can find a little more info here on our website:

We are still looking for presenters for some of the meetings, so if you are thinking about presenting or would like to know more about it then please do contact us with any questions. Invitations to present are open to anyone in the mid to final stages of their PhD and we encourage presentations from across a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 10th!

Caglar (Planning), Matt (Planning), Nadim (Politics), Sabrina (Politics), Caroline (Politics), Joe (Geography)

OpenSpace is kindly supported and funded by Cities@Manchester (


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