‘Revelations’ Online Workshop

October 25, 2021

Online workshop  

14th January 2022

Revelations attempt to make available what was previously not so. There is the attention-grabbing kind: the tabloid story that depicts the sordid affairs of a celebrity, the machinations of a powerful corporation, and so on. There is also the subtler kind, often implying insights forged from hours and hours of painstaking work that leads to a sudden breakthrough; such as the archaeological documentary that draws on unearthed evidence to tell the story of an ancient civilization or the findings of detailed journalistic investigation. Then there are the solidarity-promoting kind that seek to find public recognition for previously personalized troubles and identities.


Through such efforts, the closed off, unrecognized, unintelligible, and unacknowledged become manifest. In being previously closed off, unrecognized, unintelligible, and unacknowledged, what becomes made available can be imparted with considerable significance as can its tellers.


Treating revelation as a verb and accomplishment rather than a noun and fait accompli, this workshop will therefore explore the quality of attention and engagement produced through revealing. We will seeks to address questions such as:

  • How does the appeal to ‘revealing’, as a guiding orientation and ideal, play out in contemporary debates?
  • Who or what is empowered through revelations and calls to reveal?
  • What kinds of invitations-to-understanding and feeling are associated with making known what was closed off, unrecognized, unintelligible, and unacknowledged?
  • How does movement and mix – between belief and scepticism, investment and divestment, solidity and fluidity, the sense that things are what they seem and that things are not what they seem – characterise the process of revealing?
  • How are tellers, audiences, technologies, methods, and objects bound together through appeals to reveal?
  • How can a focus on revelations shape understandings of secrecy, surveillance and or studies of knowledge (un)making?
  • If we as researchers don’t set ourselves the task of getting as firm of a grip as possible on the world – that is, if we do not set out to expose the (real) (hidden) (untold) true story about revelations – what other possibilities exist?


Through addressing these and other questions, the workshop seeks to provide greater refinement to a concept often invoked but insufficiently examined. If you are interested in attending this virtual event, please sign up via Eventbrite.



Revelations Workshop Programme  

Session 1: 9:30-10:00 

What if?

Presenter: Brian Rappert (University of Exeter)



Session 2: 10:00- 11:25

It’s a Scandal!

Presenter: Steve Woolgar “Jimmy Savile and the Situated Dynamics of Revelation” (Linköping University)
Presenter: Owen Thomas “Scandology” (University of Exeter)


Break: 11:25-11:40 


Session 3: 11:40-12:40 
A Life Told: Revelation in Autobiography
Presenter: Elspeth Van Veeran “Confessions and the Elicitation/Obfuscation of Revelation” (University of Bristol)


Lunch: 12:40-13:30


Session 4: 13:30 – 14:30 
The Security of Revelations
Presenter: Tasniem Anwar “Lingering Secrets: Haunting and Ghostly Revelations” (University of Amsterdam)

Commentator: Lisa Stampnitzky (University of Sheffield)


Break: 14:30-14:45


Session 5: 14:45-15:45
Do We Need Talk about Conspiracies?
Presenter: Brian Rappert “A Small Step Forward or a Giant Leap Behind” (University of Exeter)
Commentator: Clare Birchall (KCL)


Session 6: 15:45-16:15
Final Disclosures



%d bloggers like this: