CFP: Happiness: Lessons from the Arts (grad) (UK) (9/4/06; 11/24/06-11/25/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Rowan Boyson
contact email: 

Happiness: Lessons from the Arts
London, 24-25 November 2006
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Proposals for papers, panels and practice-based presentations are
invited for a collaborative two-day graduate conference organised by
the London Consortium and Queen Mary, University of London.

The happiness of other people: a noble aspiration for progressive
politics or a tyrannous doctrine of conformism and passivity? This
intellectual fault-line is one of several that have emerged since a
leading economist argued that public policy should aim to increase the
population's happiness, not just its income. The enthusiasm for a
politics of happiness in Whitehall and elsewhere has been in part
generated by a boom in research from the sciences, leading some to
hail the birth of a new discipline of 'hedonic psychology.'

This interdisciplinary conference will investigate conceptualisations
and representations of happiness as well as unhappiness in different
disciplines, arts and periods, from architecture to Marxism to
psychoanalysis. It aims to put pressure on today's dominant social
science and neuroscientific models with an emphasis on cultural,
aesthetic and theoretical aspects of the theme.

In addition to panels of graduate papers, the conference will include:
 - workshops run by leading academics whose work has recently
addressed happiness.
 - a professional development session for graduate students.

Happiness: Lessons from the Arts seeks to provide a forum for emerging
scholars in a wide variety of disciplines and research interests;
architecture, history, geography, film, literature, life writing,
journalism, performance, philosophy, psychology, theology, music and

A respected e-journal has expressed interest in publishing conference

Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:
self-interest and collective visions of happiness; utilitarianism;
political critiques of happiness; pleasure and eroticism; religious
enthusiasm; unhappiness; negation; asceticism; psychoanalysis;
mourning and melancholy; geographical spaces of happiness;
architecture and wellbeing; utopia; pursuing the American Dream;
performing happiness; how texts and art objects can create happiness
in their subjects.

Deadline: Monday, September 4, 2006.
Proposals (300 words; please include institutional affiliation) for
20-minute papers, panels of three papers or practice-based
presentations, and any queries, should be emailed to:
Conference website:

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Received on Fri Aug 04 2006 - 09:26:28 EDT