Hope, Betrayal and Trust, 1st International Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Alejandro Cervantes-Carson, General Coordinator, International Network for Alternative Academia

1st International Symposium:
Hope, Betrayal and Trust

Part of the Research Program on:
Lost Virtues, Found Vices

International Network for Alternative Academia
(Extends a general invitation to participate)

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th of May, 2013
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Call for Papers

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the complex and fluid relationships between hope and trust, and how might betrayal play a productive role in this bond.

As concepts, ideas or simple notions, hope and trust seem to have simultaneously lost contemporary currency while being ever more necessary in our every day lives. We seem resigned to a kind of hopelessness, seem unwilling to trust others and are ready and willing to betray whomever we might need to in order to advance our own careers or personal agendas. Yet new technologies require us to place personal information online, to communicate with strangers, and to hold onto the promise of happiness. How are our maintenance of hope, our need to trust and our willingness to betray intertwined? How are these concepts evolving? In shifting our notions of the possible, challenging our understanding of the bonds between us, and framing our need to remember and to forget, how are these new conceptions redefining our notions of the moral self and of ethical beings?

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals that address these general questions or the following themes:

1. On Hope: Fluidity and Substance

- What is hope: an act, a sensation, a cluster of expectations, a feeling, a desire, an orientation?
- What place does hope have in our lives? Why do we hold on to the idea of hope?
- Is hope a characteristic and quality of certain societies and cultures? Is it a consequence of certain historical circumstances?
- How is hope constructed culturally and how does it translate into the experience and lives of groups and individuals?
- Does hope have social currency or value today?
- Are there lessons from the past or from cultures foreign to us that require our attention and critical understanding?
- How does hope relate to myths and superstitions? And how might it relate to a sense of reality and to forms of identity?
- Is hope a form of belonging?
- How does hope relate to faith and religion?
- What kind of principles and symbols inhabit definitions of hope and how are these accepted and shared among members of groups and communities?
- How do we perceive, conceive and evaluate hope in others?

2. The Possible and The Impossible

- What are the conditions for the possibility of hope?
- What discursive role does hope have in our lives?
- How does hope relate to time, temporality and chronology?
- How might hope relate to the past, present and future?
- Is hope always oriented to the future or to a general sense of the future? And if so, what does it require from the past and from the present?
- How does hope relate to the possible, the feasible and the realizable?
- What is the relationship between desire and hope? How do they shape and inform each other?
- What about desiring the impossible?
- Should hope have limits?
- Must hope be grounded in the possible? Can we hope for the impossible?

3. On Trust and Trusting

- What is the history of trust and how is trust established?
- How are new technologies and changes in social relations affecting our understanding of trust? How are they changing our definitions of trust and our experiences of trusting?
- How do we navigate in a world in which we are forced to trust more people at greater distances from us geographically, politically, socially?
- How has our understanding of the meaning and the requisites for trust evolved?
- What is the relationship between security and trust?
- Can one trust oneself?

4. Betrayal and Trust: A History of Politics?

- Can trust exist without the potential for betrayal? Is trust always a risk?
- What are the relationships between betrayal, trust, loyalty and love?
- How are these concepts related on a personal level? How are they enacted in politics?
- How do trust and betrayal relate to power and privilege?
- What are the conditions for the possibility of trust?
- What arguments and explanations do we deploy for trusting and betraying? Are they fundamentally the same for trust than for betrayal or do they belong to different domains and logics?
- What is the importance of intersubjectivity for trust? To what degree is betrayal intersubjective?
- What is the logic of betrayal? How is it related to the logic of the promise?
- Why is there a willingness for us to betray and a hesitation to believe we have been betrayed?
- What are the limits of loyalty?
- How do acts of remembering and of forgetting inform betrayal?
- Is betrayal avoidable?

5. The Bonds Between Us

- What is the nature of the bond in hope, betrayal and trust?
- Which binds us more tightly to others – trust or doubt?
- Regardless of feasibility, does hope require trust? Does trust require hope?
- Are the conditions for the possibility of trust, also necessary for hope?
- Does hope entail responsibility? What is the relationship between these two concepts?
- Can hope exist without the basic agreements that enable trust and also make possible betrayal?
- To what degree and in what way does hope depend on betrayal or the existence of the motivation to betray?
- What are the bonds created between the betrayer and the betrayed?
- Does betrayal, in any of its forms, renovate the need for hope, as it does for trust?
- Defending and upholding agreements generate the continuation of trust; is there something similar that happens in the domain of hope?
-Whether formal or informal, betrayal cannot exist before agreements; is there an equivalent with hope?
- Are disturbances in communication and understanding good territories for betrayal, for feeling betrayed, for perceiving betrayal in that action of others?
- Is trust and hope possible in a context of communicative disturbances?

6. Hopelessness?

- What are the conditions for the possibility of hopelessness?
- How would we live a life structured by constant threats of betrayal?
- Does hope have a place within strategic thinking and instrumental reason? How would we describe this place?
- How do hope and hopelessness relate to social, cultural and economic privilege? And how do they relate to disempowerment, destitution, marginalization and extreme poverty?
- How are hope and justice linked? What are the effects of each on the other?
- What are the problems with living a life devoid of hope or driven by hopelessness?
- Do we have or can we conceive of a space for the possibility of deciding to live embracing hopelessness?
- How would we understand an unrestricted and unconstrained personal choice to abandon hope altogether? Could we empathically respect this decision?
- Are there "false" hopes? Are all hopes "true"?
- What is the relationship between hopelessness, cynicism and despair?

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract by Friday 12th of April, 2013.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:
1) Go to our webpage: www.alternative-academia.net
2) Select your Symposium of choice within the list of annual events (listed by period and city)
3) Go to LOG IN at the top of the page
4) Create a User Name and Password for our system and log in
5) Click on the Call for Papers for the Symposium
6) Go to the end of the Call for Papers page and click on the First Step of Submission Process button
7) Follow the instructions provided for completing the abstract submission process

To facilitate the processing of abstracts, we ask that you use Arial Font Size 10 and that you use plain text, resisting the temptation of using special formatting, such as bold, italics or underline.

For every abstract proposal submitted, we acknowledge receipt. If you do not receive a reply from us within three days, you should assume the submission process was not completed successfully. Please try again or contact our technical support for clarifications.

All presentation and paper proposals that address these questions and issues will be fully considered and evaluated. Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Tuesday 30th of April, 2013. Papers presented at the symposium are eligible for publication as part of a digital or paperback book.

We invite colleagues and people interested in participating to disseminate this call for papers. Thank you for sharing and cross-listing where and whenever appropriate.

Hope to meet you in Toronto!

Symposium Coordinators:

Wendy O'Brien
Professor of Social and Political Theory
School of Liberal Studies
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Email: Wendy.OBrien@humber.ca

Marina Kaneti
PhD Candidate, Politics
New School for Social Research
New York, New York
Email: kanem368@newschool.edu

Alejandro Cervantes-Carson
General Coordinator
International Network for Alternative Academia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Email: acc@alternative-academia.net


Informational Note:

Alternative Academia is an international network of intellectuals, academics, independent scholars and practitioners committed to creating spaces, both within and beyond traditional academe, for creative, trans-disciplinary and critical thinking on key themes. We offer annual and biannual symposiums at sites around the world, providing forums that foster the development of new frames of reference and innovative structures for the production and expansion of knowledge and theory. Dialogue, discussion and deliberation define both the methods employed and the values upheld by this network.

Visit our website at: www.alternative-academia.net