What is a boundary?
A boundary is a border, a line, a division that not only separates but also gives shape and definition. Boundaries can be enabling, they can give a sense of knowing, of comfort and of identity. Staying within boundaries, however, can mean that you are unaware of possibilities that lie beyond them, potential new ways in which to be and think. Boundaries are complicated, filled with power dynamics and issues of inclusion and exclusion. Therefore, exploring the possibilities, discomforts, and ideas beyond the boundaries within which we have come to understand ourselves, our work and our ways of thinking can be exhilarating, terrifying and, for scholars, necessary.
As graduate and professional students, it is imperative that we network beyond the bounded circles and lines of thought to which we have become so accustomed, the boundaries of our disciplinary lenses, or our defined areas of geographical focus. How do those working in different disciplines see the same subject? To borrow from Jennifer Robinson (2015), how can we “think through elsewhere?” We suggest that one way is to provide spaces that are germane to the sharing and the generation of new ideas.
To this end, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) at Queen’s University is excited to announce that it will be hosting the Scholarship Beyond Boundaries Conference happening on Queen’s University campus in Kingston, Ontario from 29 February to 1 March 2020. As alluded to above, this conference aims to facilitate conversations between scholars of different disciplines through multidisciplinary and/or multi-spatial panels. By making participants aware of alternate literature or considering their work from different perspectives/places these panel discussions have the potential to strengthen lines of inquiry and inspire new ones. As such, presentations are designed to be understood by those outside of the speaker’s area of focus. Further, presenters have been encouraged to collaborate prior to the conference by sharing their papers and ideas, in turn providing constructive feedback on their fellow panelists’ work. Attendees will have ample opportunity to listen to a wide variety of panels, engage in interesting discussions, participate in workshops and network beyond regular disciplinary boundaries.
With a truly exceptional program, this conference promises to be an event that gets people thinking, talking, and networking beyond boundaries. It includes two keynote panel discussions (one on interdisciplinarity at Queens and the other on the Anthropocene); 15 panels with graduate students discussing everything from Identity to Artificial Intelligence, Canada’s Arctic and Education; as well as four workshops that include topics on dance, publishing, and inclusivity, and heritage.
Behind every successful conference, is a team of people working hard to ensure that all of its moving parts come together seamlessly so that those attending the event can focus on what matters most – learning and networking with others.
Our conference team itself is an indicator of how graduate students can work together and go beyond boundaries with team members representing: Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geography, English, Physics, Law, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Cultural Studies, Policy Studies and the School of Kinesiology.
Under the leadership of Claudia Hirtenfelder, the International Student Affairs Commissioner for the SGPS this team has managed everything from applications to catering, panels, and conference bags.
Thank you for all of your hard work in the lead up to this conference, we are extremely grateful for all of your energy, work, and dedication.
In keeping with the conference theme of “‘going beyond boundaries,”’ we appealed to a variety of faculties, departments, and organisational bodies at Queen’s University and in the Kingston community to get involved and become sponsors. We were overwhelmed by their response. Without these sponsors this event would not be the caliber it is as they helped us shape the direction of the conference through their sponsored panels and were instrumental in reducing the conference registration costs (which were originally $55 for SGPS members and $85 for non- SGPS members).
Together we raised $1,400 in cash donations and had in-kind donations to the value of $3,375. The sponsorship has included everything from venues (SGS, QUIC, and the Faculty of Engineering) to providing snacks (Ban Righ Centre), workshop services (SASS, KAM, Queen’s Swing Dance), photography (Oliver H Photo), recording services (SAPLab, Hyacinth Podcast, CFRC 101.9, Beyond Canada), and cash donations (Faculty of Education, Fireplace Series, School of Policy Studies, APPLE, Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies, SASS, ICELab, and the Equity and Human Rights Office).
Thank you sponsors for seeing value in an event designed to get graduate students networking and thinking beyond their institutional boundaries and for making this event the success that it is.
This conference event is organized by Tone Deaf Collective Celebrate to celebrate Leap Day and offers a fantastic opportunity for conference participants to go beyond the boundaries of a traditional conference setting and socialize with each other some more. It is a dance party at the Grad Club, featuring Vancouver-based beatboxer / producer Shamik Bilgi, and Kingston-based DJs LA Foster and Rimka Puri!
Please confirm your attendance on Facebook by following this link and clicking ‘going’
See you there!