CFP: [International] Conference call

full name / name of organization: 
Malgorzata Sokol
contact email: 

Us and Them â€" Them and Us: Constructions of the Other in Cultural
Stereotypes â€" Perceptions, Challenges, Meanings, May 6-8, 2009, University
of Szczecin, Poland
We encounter “them” every day often unaware of “their” constructed nature
which results from our cultural standards and the perception of ourselves.
Preconceptions of the Other are chiefly articulated through stereotypes.
For sociologists stereotypes can initially assist in coming to terms with a
complex world. Then they might serve as a first key to access the
previously unknown. In intercultural communication their value is defined
by their potential of either opening new vistas of other cultures or
impeding them. In short stereotypes are ambivalent and ambiguous and
contribute to shaping identities.
At worst auto- and heterostereotypes have left their traces on cultural
relations between European countries or within allegedly homogeneous
cultures as in the United Kingdom. Though ultimately not the cause of wars,
stereotypes helped pave the way to open (World War I and II) and concealed
warfare (Cold War). But even if not taken to the extremes, stereotypes seem
to live a life of their own against all the odds of rational knowledge.
The conference seeks to examine the constructedness of stereotypes from the
angles of many disciplines and will put its focus on cultural relations
between Europe and anglophone cultures and on patterns of preconception
within the anglophone world. Language, literature and the arts are major
construction sites of stereotypes and cultural identities
as are children`s and classroom books. Translation activities may be
considered an original border country of cultural encounters and so are
(inter) cultural studies. While media tend by their very nature to foster
stereotypes, recent intercultural teaching strategies in the foreign
English language classroom strive for the opposite.
The English Philology Department of Szczecin University is pleased to
announce a conference on the issues of identity, stereotypes and linguistic
rights. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain the organizer
conclude that the city of Szczecin, at the crossroads of important European
transit routes and located in a sensitive cultural border zone, seems to be
an ideal site for this conference. Under the rule of Poland, Denmark,
Sweden, Prussia, Germany and France, the city has always adjusted well to
its inhabitants and their ways of life. Szczecin therefore is ready to
bring together East and West and North and South!

Registration fee: 75 Euro
Deadline for abstracts: Dec 15, 2008
Sent to:

Organizing committee:
dr. hab. Kamila Turewicz, Prof. US
Prof. Uwe Zagratzki
dr Anna Gonerko-Frej
dr MaÅ'gorzata SokóÅ'
dr Joanna Witkowska

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Received on Mon Sep 15 2008 - 10:27:57 EDT