2-3 June 2011: Youth Challenges Traditions? Reconsidering Changes in Austrian and British Society 1960-1989

full name / name of organization: 
University of London, School of Advanced Study, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies

Call for papers

'The survival of mankind will depend to a large extent on the ability of people who think differently to act together.' (Geert Hofstede: Culture's Consequences, Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations [Sage, 2001])

Well into the 21st century, the time has come to re-evaluate how traditions have been challenged through different forms of culture in both Austria and Britain in the second half of the 20th century. The generational unit most often linked with challenging traditions is 'youth', first identified as a social and cultural phenomenon in the 1950s. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s many attempts were made – mainly, but not only, by young people – to challenge taken-for-granted traditions which the parental generation had brought from the past.

The conference aims to investigate various ways in which norms in society have been questioned, opposed and, in some cases, changed by youth. The period of enquiry begins in 1960 with the first post-Second World War generation coming of age and ends before the fall of communism in 1989.

We aim to foster cross-disciplinary exchange and therefore invite researchers from all disciplines. Papers can focus on Austria or Britain but also on the interconnections between the two.

This conference seeks to investigate the following questions (amongst others)
- Who was interested in changing society and for what reason(s)?
- Who was actively involved and in what way?
- Which practices were employed to challenge traditions?
- What was the outcome?
- What influence did it have on society as a whole?
- Are some of the outcomes still relevant today?
- What can we learn for the future?

Broad themes might include
- Applied/fine art
- Architecture
- Fashion
- Film/tv
- Literature
- Music
- Photography

Please send an abstract of approximately 200 words for papers of twenty minutes' duration to Bianca.Zaininger@postgrad.sas.ac.uk by 28 February 2011.

Co-Ordinators: Bianca Zaininger and Martin Liebscher (IGRS, London)
Venue: Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU