CFP: Hope: Probing the Boundaries (UK) (5/18/07; 9/17/07-9/19/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Rob Fisher

3rd Global Conference
Hope: Probing the Boundaries

Monday 17th September - Wednesday 19th September 2007
Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Papers
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference aims to
explore contemporary definitions, meanings and expressions of hope. In
particular, it will seek to examine the individual, social, national
and international contexts within which hope emerges as well as its
counterpart, hopelessness.

The theme and the sense of uncertainty pervades the start of the
twenty-first century. Although young, the past bears witness to the
brutality of genocides, atrocities, terrorism which acts to
counter-balance economic, political, technological and ecological
aspirations. Medicine and bio-ethics are split between those who
foresee the worst implications for persons and those who foresee the
promise of genetic engineering. Cultural conflicts likewise offer
scope for grave apprehension or the hopeful anticipation of a
culturally enriched shared world. This project is committed to the
view that now is the time look at the main spheres in which there
seems to be a pendulum between fear and hopeful expectation, with a
view to thinking out constructive strategies for exploration.

Papers, workshops and reports are invited on any of the following
possible areas for discussion;

    1. Human awareness of the passage of time; changing attitudes to
what H.G. Wells called 'the shape of things to come'. What are the
possible bases for thinking about the future?
    2. Expressions of these attitudes in contemporary culture –
portrayals in art, cinema, literature, radio, science fiction, theatre, tv
    3. The psychological basis of fear of the future. Why millennial
hopes are matched by millennial fears
    4. The concept of a new age. Utopian thinkers; Dystopian visions.
The connection with political movements. What do new agers want?
Hedonism and the simple life. The fear of longevity. The fear of
    5. Hopelessness, despair, indifference and resignation. The
meaning of life
    6. The science of the future. Prediction, risk and disaster management
    7. The phenomenology of hope. What is this phenomenon that we call
hope? How does it live and seemingly thrive in difficult times? How is
it sustained? How is it invoked? Is there any difference between those
who seem to be more hopeful than others?
    8. Does hope and the act of hoping/or the predisposition to hope
differ from culture to culture? What are those variances and what
accounts for them? How is hope differently instantiated among
cultures? What are those instantiations?
    9. The notion of open and closed futures
   10. The role and place of religion and religious movements.
   11. Risk, possibility and hope.
   12. Envisaging possible futures. The question of choice.
Cultivating hope. To boldly go.

These are indicative themes.

Papers will be considered on any related theme; the steering committee
also welcomes pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be
submitted by Friday 18th May 2007. If an abstract is accepted for the
conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 24th
August 2007.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs;
abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, PDF or RTF formats.

Dr Phil Fitzsimmons
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong

Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR

Stephen Morris
Independent Scholar,
New York, USA

The conference is part of the 'Probing the Boundaries' 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
published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for
publication in a themed hard copy volume.

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:

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Received on Fri Apr 06 2007 - 17:57:32 EDT