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St Cuthbert's Society


IAS Fellow's Lecture: Dr Kathryn Yusoff

6th November 2017, 18:00, Dining Hall

Cuth's is hosting Dr Kathryn Yusoff from Queen Mary University of London during her stay at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Durham. Dr Yusoff will deliver a lecture entitled "Geosocial Strata" and all are welcome to attend.

The Anthropocene is the name given to the massive destratification of the planet (of the earth’s sub-surface, oceans, atmospheres, polar regions etc.). As a new geologic epoch, it prompts analysis of the relations between geologic forces and social practices. Awareness of how social worlds are an effect of and affect geology, rather than a world that is constituted through ‘our’ making (i.e. purely social), suggests an arrangement of power that is complicated by geologic relations. Identifying geologic force as a new regime of power in planetary politics brings the structures of exchange between geologic strata and social worlds into view. If power, according to Foucault, is a relation between forces, “geosocial strata” conceptualizes how stratifications organize and capture forces into political geology. This paper develops a concept of geosocial strata to examine the expression of social forms as a product of geologic forces in the Anthropocene. Geosocial strata, it is argued, are planes of social reproduction that both constrain and enable possible modes of expression (and thus political freedom).

What sort of events can I expect at Cuth's?

St Cuthbert's Society runs a number of diverse events designed to get as many people as possible involved with the Cuth's community. 

As a scholarly community we hold extra curricular lectures and seminars, bringing together minds from all disciplines, promising lively and thought-provoking discussions. 

  • Cuth's Research Forum is a regular event at which a member of the Society will share an element of their work in the form of an informal lecture to give others a taste of the different kinds of research happening in every faculty of the University. Topics have included King Arthur, Molière, galaxy formation, Austrian novels, fellowship among knights and hobbits, philosophy, landslides, string theory, knots in chemistry, and why tortoiseshell cats are always female.
  • Difficult Dialogues ask experts at the University to present their views on a certain question, such as ‘Can there be a just war?’, or ‘Should some drugs be legalised?’ which are then followed by an informal discussion between attendees. Often passionate and always scintillating, these discussions are not to be missed!
  • The Student Development and Employability Programme invites students to learn more about the world of work by listening to the experience and expertise of SCR members, alumni or visiting businesses. St Cuthbert’s Society aims to cover a wide range of employment options over the year enabling students to make informed decisions about future careers.
  • Sponsored Lectures and Symposia run throughout the year on a wide range of topics. They are open to all, regardless of faculty or degree level, as an opportunity for members of the Cuth's community to learn more about the research which goes on within it. Areas of research have included: the Northern Lights; work for reconciliation by Israelis and Palestinians bereaved in the conflict; the value of prisons; and political speechwriting.
  • Alumni Events are held regularly throughout the year in Durham and beyond, giving past students or individuals with a connection to Cuth's the opportunity to remain part of the Cuth's community. Events range from drinks receptions to informal lectures, and bring together both the intellectual and social side that makes St Cuthbert's so special.

The Society also hosts a number of social events throughout the year, giving students an opportunity to take some time away from academic commitments.

  • The Michaelmas Ball, The Feast of St Cuthbert and Cuth's Day are the three major events run by the JCR, held respectively in Michaelmas, Epiphany and Easter term. The Michaelmas Ball and the Feast are large-scale Formal Dinners with live music and entertainment during the evening. Cuth's Day is a festival-style all-day event after the summer exam season held in and around House 12 and its gardens. The JCR also organises a number of smaller scale events more regularly.
  • Formal Dinners are an excellent occasion to experience the excitement of life at Cuth’s. We host many themed and traditional Formals during term time, made successful by our talented catering team and the enthusiasm of all who attend. 
  • Open Mic Nights, usually held fortnightly, give Society members an opportunity to showcase their talent and entertain their friends in the comfort of the Bailey Bar. The Bar Steward has also previously run Cuth's Bingo and Pub Quizzes during term time.