Inter-Cultural Dialogues, 3rd International Symposium (Angers, France: Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th of August, 2013)

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

International Network for Alternative Academia - Extends a general invitation to participate

3rd International Symposium: Inter-Cultural Dialogues

Part of the Research Program on: Recognition and the Politics of Otherness

Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th of August, 2013

Angers, Pays-de-la-Loire, France

Partner: Université Catholique de l’Ouest
Venue: IPLV, UCO (3 Place André Leroy)
Main Campus (Building: Bâtiment Scientifique)

Call for Papers

(Abstract Submission Period Opens: Monday 3rd of June, 2013)
(Abstract Deadline: Friday 12th of July, 2013)

This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring the diverse ways in which notions of culture and cultural interactions have impacted, at global and local levels, ongoing constructions of identity, society and politics, as well as frameworks of knowledge, ideology and truth.

It has become a common place to speak about globalization as a process that has made the world smaller and more interconnected. But beneath such claims multiple processes remain analytically undefined and critically unexplored. We are interested in assessing how ideas of culture and cultural interactions shape identity, membership, place, rootedness and belonging while simultaneously encouraging misunderstanding, tension and conflict, estrangement, isolation and alienation. In particular, the project will investigate world transformations that have structured cultural flows, given rise to new forms of hybridity, increased nomadic lives and encouraged the proliferation of transitory and transversal interconnections.

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. Contemporary Reconfigurations of Culture: Who Cares?

- What new conceptions of culture are emerging?
- How can we account for the emergence of new and contemporary conceptions of culture? What kind of processes can explain why culture is seen today as multiple, polyvalent and even internally contradictory?
- How are contemporary conceptions of culture remaking conceptions of self and other, recasting our understanding of our links, bonds and relations, requiring us to rethink antinomies and antagonisms?
- How can we transform the binary perversions and contradictory forces of culture: diversity versus homogeneity, multiplicity versus sameness, alterity versus normality, recognition versus misrecognition?
- The textures of cultures in contemporary landscapes seem at one and the same time fixed and fluid, porous and hermetic, rigid and flexible, liquid and solid. How are these divisions to be explained? What factors hold them in play?
- How can we rethink the concept of culture, such that it overcomes its conceptual and historical limits?
- Do we really need the concept of culture? What does this concept help to reveal? What does the concept shroud?

2. Cultural Boundaries, Peoples and Places: Why Bother?

- With the push towards the dislocation and decoupling of culture and nation, of culture and place, of culture and history, how are new solidarities, new ethnicities, and new nations taking shape?
- As we witness the dismantling and de-mythologizing culture’s prominent place in nationally bound identities and histories, what is being offered to fill in the gap? If we are witnessing the death of national culture, what is being born to take its place?
- How can we understand the resurgence of the local, in light of the diminishing importance of the national and global?
- What does it mean, today, to be part of a culture and to be part of multiple cultures? Why does it matter?
- How are new forms of global migration influencing the development of the hybridity, helping to reconcile of cultural difference and cultural diversity?
- What are the political, social and ethical problems with the politics of imposing ‘culture’ onto others? Whose rights and responsibilities need to be addressed? How are these issues being resolved in practice via policies of assimilation, integration, adaptation in the case of the ‘forcing’ of native cultures on migrants?

3. Identities and Inter-Subjectivities: What Difference?

- Are we witnessing the fragmentation or the ever more stringent amalgamation of the self?
- How is the de-centering of the self influencing our understanding of the other, recasting the bonds between us, and reshaping the contours of our relationships?
- How do tensions, contradictions and conflicts in and between cultures influence identity formation and structure social membership?
- What new sources and forms of belonging do we see emerging from the re-definition of culture? What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of new forms of tribalism, localism, parochialism and communitarianism?
- How are bonds of care established across boundaries of inequality and exclusion, ideologies and religions, politics and power, nations and geography?
- Who am I if not in relation with others? How does relationality inform identity?
- How do silence, the adoption of subaltern positions and strategic subordinations affect identity formation? How do they affect perceptions of identity?
- Is non-recognition a form of cultural violence?
- How do we frame an ethics in an age of disrespect and entitlement?
- How are new forms of communication impacting the emergence of identities? What is the impact of social networks, video games and online communities on the display, performance and construction of identities?

4. Cultural Formations: Who Knows?

- What are the dynamics and processes that define the central tenets of a culture?
- How are cultures defined and redefined? Who participates in the social and political task of defining and redefining culture?
- What is shared within cultures? How are cultures shared? Who has access to the sharing of cultures?
- Who destroys culture? What processes and procedures are utilized in this process?
- How are symbols and significations used to connect people to cultures other than ‘their own’? What are the strengths of such attempts at unification? What are the weaknesses?
- How is culture shaped by ideals of destiny, happenstance, choice and politics in this process?
- Culture appears to be an infinite source for the production of contradictory signification and meaning. How is it employed for the construction of identity and membership? How is it employed as a means for exclusion?

5. Politicizing Culture: What Matters?

- How has culture been transformed into a battle ground for politics and the political? To what affect?
- Political battles over the principles and core values of a culture or over those principles that exist in across cultures pose challenges for government agencies and social groups. How are these battles being framed discursively? How are they being resolved in practice?
- The dynamics of cultural recognition and misrecognition preoccupy government agencies and social movements. How are these processes best conceptualized?
- What is the place of cultural claims in today’s forms of social and political membership?
- How are trans-cultural connections that escape institutional and political control formed? How viable and stable are the bonds forged in this manner?
- When cultural practices conflict with human rights claims, how are cultural heritage and political responsibility being balanced? How should they be balanced?

6. Art and Cultural Representations: Why Pretend?

- What is the role of the media in the construction of cultures and identities?
- What are the means of production and reproduction by which cultural recognition and misrecognition develop?
- How should the contested space of representing meaning and identity be negotiated?
- How can art, media challenge the rigid and impenetrable constructions of culture? How can it perpetuate such ideals of culture?
- How does art foster cultural membership? How can it be employed in reconfiguring and reshaping such identifications?
- Culture may be seen as fiction and fiction as culture. Given this is the case, is there the possibility for the truth in/of art?

7. Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Who’s Watching?

- How are cultural boundaries subject to interpenetration, overlapping, crossovers, interlacing, hybridization and interdependence? To what affect?
- How are emerging languages, idioms and images bridging the ‘invisible’ divide of cultures?
- How is recognition and respect across cultures fostered? How is it undermined?
- Can we revamp historical concepts such as tolerance, acceptance and hospitality to mesh with contemporary conceptions of cultural divide?
- How is the concept of time employed in the reinterpretation of culture? What is the role of nostalgia, memory and forgetting in the merging and emergence of new cultures?
- How might we develop an ethics for cultural relations?

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract as soon as possible and no later than Friday, 12th of July, 2013. (For justifiable cases, we do uphold a tolerance period of a week.)

Please use the following template for your submission:
First: Author(s);
Second: Affiliation, if any;
Third: Email Address;
Fourth: Title of Abstract and Proposal;
Fifth: The 400 to 500 Word Abstract.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:
1) Go to our webpage:
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

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. Evaluation of abstract submissions will be ongoing, from the opening date of Monday 3rd of June, 2013. All Prospective Delegates can expect a reply time to their submission of two weeks, maximum.

Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Monday 12th of August, 2013. Papers are for a 20 minute presentation, 8 to 10 pages long, double spaced, Times New Roman 12. All 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 Angers!

Symposium Coordinators:

Albin Wagener
Directeur de l'IPLV
Institut en Perfectionnement en Langues Vivantes
Université Catholique de l'Ouest
Angers, France

Charlene Rajendran
Lecturer – Performance and Theatre Education
Visual and Performing Arts Academic Group
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University

Alejandro Cervantes-Carson
General Coordinator
International Network for Alternative Academia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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