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Hellenic Semiotic Society and Department of French Studies and Modern Languages of the University of Cyprus


The Hellenic Semiotic Society and the Department of French Studies and Modern Languages of the University of Cyprus are organizing an international conference on The Everyday. The conference will take place from 5 to 7 November 2010 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Working languages are English, French, and Greek.

From Sigmund Freud's The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901) and Henri Lefebvre's Critique of Everyday Life (1947) to Ben Highmore's The Everyday Life Reader (2001) and Marc Augé's recent The Metro Revisited (2008), the everyday seems to have established itself as a legitimate and ever-challenging object of study and critique. Whether as theatre of the rhythmical and the durable, as reproduction machine of the habitual and the commonplace, or as opportunity for the radical moment to shine through the repetitive and the mundane, everyday life offers fertile epistemological ground. It is being continuously reinvented by political and cultural critique, historicized and chronicled, and has often acted as a catalyst for the rethinking of dominant critical patterns. The aim of this conference is to explore theoretical issues arising from the concept of the everyday, as well as to examine expressions and representations of everyday life that have occurred in recent decades.

Keynote speakers include Marc Augé (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and Ben Highmore (University of Sussex)

Since this is an interdisciplinary endeavor, proposals could cover, yet need not be limited to, the following aspects of the matter:

1) Theory and historiography of the everyday
• Semiotic theories of the everyday.
• Marxist, structuralist and poststructuralist approaches to the everyday.
• The everyday as an object of cultural studies.
• Historiography of the everyday, historiography via the everyday.

2) Rituals, institutions, and constructions of the everyday
• The interface of fixed structures and the flow of everyday life.
• Everyday life and patterns of behaviour and conduct: greeting rituals, reading newspapers, favourite web pages, lunch breaks, tea ceremonies, medication regimens, day-to-day religiosity.
• Institutions: education, camps, hospitals, asylums, prisons, concentration camps, orphanages, child-towns, the everyday life of addicts and the homeless, psychotherapy.
• Old and new attempts to construct and reform everyday life: the Soviet New Man, the purist languages, modern Hebrew, the rhetoric of «five minutes of your daily time».
• Nostalgia and idealization of the everyday: the «cozy neighborhood», the «picturesque village», the «quiet life», the «lost sense of community», the «suffocating life in the city», the Lebensreform tradition, alternative ways of life.
• The regulation of everyday life in the programmatic language of politics and the law – the everyday life of citizens.
• The production, use, reception and experience of everyday space: colloquial and/or monumental architecture and city-planning, everyday spaces and their design (homes, offices, social centers, entertainment establishments, gyms), everyday life in communication and transport.

3) Literatures of the everyday
• The everyday as thematic axis in literature, theatre, film, television, news media, advertisement, political discourse, religious texts; the reproduction of the everyday in translation, synching, dubbing and subtitles; genre- and media- specific limitations of negotiating the everyday.
• Art and media of the everyday: repetitive narratives; pop art; poster art; soap operas; hit lists; news journalism; up-to-date reporting.
• Archiving, systematizing, documenting and narrating everyday life: prayer books, travelers' and pilgrims' notes, school curricula, phone reminders, culture pages in newspapers, «50 years ago today» news items, personal diaries, blogs, lifestyle codes, real time TV.
• The expression of hierarchies, ideologies and norms of dialect, conflicts between dialects through everyday references to humour, feelings, swearwords, allusions, metaphors and parables; the translatability of the above and the foreignization of translation.
• The language of the everyday: different ways of expression and the various significations of the everyday; colloquial phrases; appellations; slogans and the language of advertisement; jargon; sociolects; everyday language as an agent of linguistic evolution.
• The everyday as determining factor of communication in linguistic interpretation and as mirror of the translation strategy, from «appropriative» and transparent to «alienating» and non-transparent translations; the intervening role of the translator in the reproduction of the everyday, the translation of the everyday and the perception of the «foreign», the translated everyday as a vehicle of globalization and its canonization through translation.

4) The biopolitics of everyday life
• The everyday as counterpoint to the political, the private versus the public everyday; everyday life as a liberatory mandate and the revolution of everyday life from the 1960s to the 21st century: racial equality, feminism, LGBT rights, youth and anti-globalization movements, the new analysis of work, post-1989 politics, ecology.
• Stances, values and motivations of the body: aesthetics (cosmetics, fashion, make-up); disciplinary regimes (diets, fasting, workouts, hygiene); diversions (eccentricities, eating disorders); radical renegotiations of the body (plastic surgery, sex change operations, euthanasia).
• The biopolitics of the everyday and the states of exception: permanent war, permanent state of emergency after 9/11; return to normality in Iraq and Afghanistan; low-intensity warfare and the long-term plunder for raw materials in Africa and Asia; the routine-free everyday life on Palestinian territories; the day after world-changing events.

Abstracts for 20-minute papers and panel proposals should be submitted to Betty Kaklamanidou ( and Apostolos Lampropoulos ( no later than April 30, 2010. Presentation proposals (300-350 words) should specify which of the four main aspects of the call for papers they relate to the most, make clear their theoretical and/or methodological orientation, and include a short bio (50-70 words).

Conference Languages
English, French, and Greek

Contribution towards the Publication of Selected Papers
Speakers: 100 €
Students (grad, post-grad, doctoral, etc.): 30 €

All papers presented at the conference will be included in the conference eBook. Selected papers will be published in a themed hard copy volume.

Important Dates
Proposals for papers/panels (300-350 words): 30th April 2010
Confirmation of participation: 20th May2010
Provisional program: 20th June 2010
Final program: 15th September 2010
Arrival of participants: 4th November 2010
Departure of participants: 7th November 2010


Scientific Committee
Eleni Hodolidou
Betty Kaklamanidou
Alexandros-Ph. Lagopoulos
Apostolos Lampropoulos
Efi Lamprou
Gregoris Paschalidis
Anthi Wiedenmeier
Lia Yoka