Is Thought Action? NICA/ASCA Conference: CFP deadline 15 Sept 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis/Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis
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Is Thought Action?
NICA/ASCA Conference Exploring Tensions Between Academic Theory and Praxis

28-29 November 2013, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Keynote Lectures by Sut Jhally and TBA.

"[People in the humanities] don't know how to articulate how their work can have concrete effects on the world in which they live," Judith Butler said in 2000, pointing to a general anxiety in the humanities that asks, "What effect are any of us having, and what effect can we have?"

Under the catchphrase "Is Thought Action?" this conference aims to investigate that anxiety, which in 2013 appears as acute as it did thirteen years ago, and to channel it into a productive dialogue. Our goal is to explore and critique points of tension between academic practice in the humanities and the wider world in the broadest sense. (How) does academic research in the humanities enter into a larger dialogue beyond the academy? Is an insistence on quantifiable results essentially opposed to the logic of humanities research? What productive avenues of contact between practice and humanities research are already being explored? How can interdisciplinarity facilitate dialogue in "a common language"?

The conference is open to all academics working in the humanities and/or social sciences, especially PhD and Research Master students (presenters can receive 1 ETCS). Proposals for papers that pertain to all aspects of the relationship between theory and practice are welcome. Papers reflecting on existing practices, experiments and experiences are especially encouraged. Please submit your proposal (max. 300 words) with a short biographical note (max. 150 words) by 15 September 2013 to If selected you will be asked to submit a paper of 3-4000 words (excluding bibliography) before 25 October 2013.

Aside from academic papers, we also welcome and very much encourage proposals for artworks, poetry/short fiction readings, film screenings or performances. When submitting creative works, please also send a proposal and short bio (as above).

The "Is Thought Action?" Conference will be a mixture of panel discussions, showcases of creative works and two keynote lectures, one of which will be delivered by Sut Jhally, Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Founder and Executive Director of the Media Education Foundation.


Potential topics/angles for papers include but are not limited to:
Practice-based work in academia: What, how, and why?
(How) does practice-based work inform teaching and research?
"Bad writing" -- Obscurantism or anti-intellectualism?
Activism and academia
Interdisciplinarity as a way to broaden focus and reach
Interdisciplinary cross-communication
Mainstream media representation of academic research
Moral responsibility vs. academic freedom of thought
Precarious employment in academia and its consequences
Class, gender, ethnicity in academia
Radical critique and practical change
Radical theory vs. moral and political limits
Corporate influence on academia

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