EXTENDED DEADLINE - CFP Interdisciplinary International Conference - The Politics and Poetics of Community within the Anglophone Left

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Sorbonne Université - Université Paris-Nanterre

The Politics and Poetics of Community within the Anglophone Left


International Conference

Sorbonne Université / Paris Nanterre University

Paris / Nanterre, France

March 21-23, 2024


Dear colleagues,


It is a pleasure to invite you to submit proposals for the international conference “The Politics and Poetics of Community within the Anglophone Left.” Organized jointly by Sorbonne University and Paris Nanterre University, this three-day conference will take place in Paris and Nanterre, France on March 21-23, 2024.




The notion of community is among what Walter Bryce Gallie called “essentially contested concepts.” Although there may be widespread agreement on the basic meaning of community, the best way to create and sustain it fuels endless debates that neither pure logic nor empirical evidence can definitively settle. Community building is rather subject to constant political and cultural struggle. The Anglosphere is no exception. 


This conference aims to gather research on the building and maintenance of communities whose principles or ideas are associated with the political left, within the English-speaking world. Over the past five decades, neoliberal globalization has posed acute challenges to the Anglophone left as traditional forms of community and collective organization have struggled to resist the withering effects of global markets and industrial reorganization. Right-wing movements have sought to rebuild and sustain communities via conservative religious values, rural and small-town identities, and xenophobic nationalism. How have left-wing movements offered alternative approaches to community, making use of values such as social empowerment, equality, liberty, inclusion, and solidarity? How can past experiences continue to inspire those of the present? What political and cultural strategies are deployed to build such communities? 


“Politics of community” refers to both public policies aimed at strengthening community structures, as well as activism aimed at mobilizing the members of a community for a common political purpose. Local and intentional communities are often innovative laboratories for alternatives to the established social order, while identity-based community politics can mobilize oppressed social groups far beyond the local level. This conference welcomes both empirical case studies and theoretical research on left-wing politics of community within the Anglosphere, whether it be on a local, regional, national, or international scale.


“Poetics of community” can apply to both artistic communities and representations of community in various works of art (literature, poetry, cinema, visual arts, etc.). Writers, artists, filmmakers, etc. have found that a certain kind of functioning community enables the fulfillment of real material needs, while it also inspires the development and transmission of shared artistic projects and political horizons. Left-wing artistic communities within the Anglosphere have often found themselves in an antagonistic relationship with broader efforts to construct conservative national narratives. In addition to research on artistic communities, this conference welcomes studies on literary and artistic creations that, for example, invite us to imagine utopian communities, or that participate in the construction of shared memories of past communities, presented as either models or counter-models for left-wing movements.


We invite proposals for 20-minute conference papers from all disciplines within the social sciences, arts, and humanities. We particularly encourage participants to reflect on questions of interdisciplinarity, intermediality, and their connection to the notion of community. We also welcome proposals that use other types of media (visual arts, film, theater, dance, poetry, etc.). 


Relevant topics, when related to left-wing communities within the English-speaking world, include but are not limited to:

  • artistic communities
  • community development projects
  • community organizing
  • community wealth building
  • comparative approaches to the definition, formation, and maintenance of community
  • lyric communities, the relations between the lyric self and a community
  • LGBTQ+ communities
  • representations of community in art and literature
  • urban planning conceived to strengthen community structures
  • utopia
  • etc.


Guidelines for submission


To submit your proposal, please send a title, an abstract (300-400 words), and a short biography (100-200 words) to politics.poetics.conf@gmail.com by OCTOBER 15, 2023. Proposals may be submitted in English or French as the conference will be held in both languages.




After the conference, contributors will be encouraged to submit a final paper proposal to be considered for a joint publication. 




October 15, 2023: deadline to submit abstracts

November 1, 2023: notification of acceptance to speak at the conference

March 21-23, 2024: in-person conference in Paris and Nanterre, France

June 30, 2024: deadline to submit final paper proposals for publication

September 15, 2024: notification of acceptance / request for corrections

October 31, 2024: submission of corrected papers


Organizing committee


  • Tom Allen, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen
  • Adeline Chevrier-Bosseau, Sorbonne University
  • Laurence Gervais, Paris Nanterre University
  • Nicolas Jara Joly, Paris Nanterre University
  • Bradley Smith, Paris Nanterre University


We look forward to reading your proposals and thank you for your interest in our conference.




The organizing committee