2nd Global Conference: Culture, Politics, Ethics (March 2010: Salzburg, Austria)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Rob Fisher/Inter-Disciplinary.Net

2nd Global Conference
Culture, Politics, Ethics

Friday 12th March - Sunday 14th March 2010
Salzburg, Austria

Call for Papers
After a successful first conference, this inter-disciplinary project seeks papers for its second global conference. The project seeks to explore the complex and diverse interfaces of culture, politics and ethics in contemporary political life. The claims of those who insist we live in post-modernity and therefore in transformed times for political debate have significantly challenged the way we look at culture, ethics and politics. The 'cultural turn' has alternately impoverished or enriched (or both) debate around and strategies and repertoires for political intervention and ethical articulations in the public realm, and therefore led to a renewed and critical interest in the relationship between cultural life, aesthetics and political thought and action. Ethics has been retrieved from philosophical formalism and academic marginalia to the forefront of political debate with alternate claims that it is the 'last grand narrative' and the basis for thinking future particular formulations of political organisation and public life. Politics itself has shifted from a traditional focus on institutions and processed in organised systems to take concern at more disparate movement alignments in political representation and articulation within the public realm and the changed conditions and circumstances under which they have prominence. Whilst questions of power, resistance, oppression and inclusion are still important, questions of aesthetics, performance, the affective and governance have provided a critical framework for rethinking politics.

The purpose of this project is to provide an international network and space to explore these issues and debates, and to explore them across disciplinary and domain boundaries. Hence, we are open to papers, panels or workshops on any areas of thinking where the connections between culture, politics and ethics are developed. We are particularly interested in papers, panels and workshops that transcend disciplinary and doctrinaire boundaries, seek synergies between different domains and levels of abstraction and analysis, and that seek to move forward the agenda for how we promote the understanding of and effective intervention in politics in the C21st.

The Project underpinning this conference seeks to develop a critical understanding of the intersection of culture, politics and ethics, both in the past and present, and use that insight to speculate on present and future politics. In doing so, it recognises that the interdisciplinary basis of such an analysis will take in the fields of art, cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, politics, sociology, social theory and open avenues to wider and more diverse disciplinary connections.

Some broad indicative themes are suggested below to indicate the sorts of issues that might be addressed in conference papers and workshops.

A. The Impact of the Cultural Turn
How has the cultural turn transformed politics and how superficial or deep is its transformation of political critique and action? How has cultural infusion changed the nature of political thought and action? What has been the impact of cultural concepts and ideas in understanding the nature of politics and ethical claims by contesting interests? How far is culture the central terrain of contemporary politics? What does it mean to identify culture as a central political terrain?

B. The Ethical Turn in Contemporary Political Ideas and Action
How far is ethics the 'last grand narrative' in post-modern or late modern society? To what extent and in what ways has ethics become central and critical to political theory and discourse in contemporary thinking about politics? Does ethical discourse enrich, supplant or distract us from political discourse? How has contemporary ethical discourse sought to identify and develop new ways of thinking about contemporary culture and politics?

C. The New Politics
To what extent has conceptual and theoretical change and cultural, social and economic change created a new politics in the last 50 years? How far is the new politics a deep transformation or a superficial rearticulation? What are the main building blocks of the new politics and how has it changed contemporary public life? Who are the key actors and what are the key processes in the new politics, and how have they transformed the polity?

D. Aesthetics and Performance
To what extent and in what ways is the aesthetic critical in contemporary politics? How should we understand the relationship between aesthetics and politics in cultural performance and in political repertoires? How does art, and aesthetics in politics manifest itself in contemporary societies? How do we understand politics as a performative and affective subject and engagement/self-engagement? To what extent does all politics have to recognise the performative and affective in its constitution and articulation?

E. The Information Age and Politics
In what ways and to what extent have changing media technologies and the shift towards a central role for information and information technologies in politics transformed politics and political life? How have media and information technologies transformed cultural life and political articulation and expression in contemporary societies? To what extent does media and information technologies impact on society require new theories to understand culture and politics in contemporary societies?

F. Culture/Politics/Ethics: Historical Perspectives
What can we retrieve and learn from in the history of studies in culture, ethics and politics that will inform present day thinking and action? How far are historical writings and ideas applicable to the present?

G. Theories, Ideas and Culture/Politics/Ethics
What contemporary theorists have best developed arguments and frameworks for understanding the synergies between culture, politics and ethics? What new ideas have developed to represent cultural, ethical and political change and how persuasive are they? To what extent are the intellectual positions and foundations of different schools of thought and thinkers persuasive in understand cultural. Political and ethical change or continuity in contemporary societies

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 2nd October 2009. All submissions are minimally double blind peer reviewed where appropriate. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 5th February 2010. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs
Paul Reynolds
Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy
Centre Director, CREED,
Edge Hill University
United Kingdom
E-mail: prr@inter-disciplinary.net

Rob Fisher
Network Founder & Network Leader
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
United Kingdom
E-mail: cpe2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Critical Issues programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Submission of selected papers may be encouraged for the new Inter-Disciplinary.Net Journal The Global Journal of Ethics in Public Life to be launched in 2010, or in a themed hard copy volume for the accompanying book series. This project is run by Inter-disciplinary.Net in association with the Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation (CREED) at Edge Hill University.

For further details about the project, please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit: