"Fearful Futures: Cultural Studies and the Question of Agency in the 21st Century"
We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality. The possible global futures we face are fearful, indeed.
In this context, cultural studies has a unique role to play in tracing the genealogy of the present moment and charting different paths forward. As never before, cultural studies is called to return to its activist roots, to diagnose the ideologies driving hatred and intolerance, and to posit different models of social engagement and organization. Looking to the past, what do we learn about the challenges of today? How does culture replicate itself (or critically engage itself) in the classroom, in literature, in social media, in film, in the visual and theatrical arts, in the family and among peer groups? How do we rise to the challenge of articulating a notion of human rights that also respects cultural difference? How do cultural representations of the environment abet or challenge the forces driving climate change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual activist as teacher, writer, social scientist and community member?
This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together a range of academics, independent researchers, artists and activists to explore the challenges that we face in the twenty-first century. While we have every right to fear the future, we also have agency in creating that future. Can we commit to a cosmopolitanism that celebrates difference and that challenges social inequity? On our ability to answer to that question affirmatively likely hangs our very survival.
The organisers encourage submissions that approach the conference theme from a variety of perspectives. However, the submission of other topics for consideration is welcome and we also encourage sessions within and across a variety of interdisciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Abstracts should address one or more of the streams listed on the Call for Papers page, identifying a relevant sub-theme.
The Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS2017) will be held alongside The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2017 (ACCS2017). Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.
In conjunction with our Global Partners, including Osaka University (Japan), Lehigh University – College of Arts & Sciences (USA) and the University of Barcelona (Spain), we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2018.
Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA
Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn, Barcelona University, Spain
Professor Baden Offord, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
Dr Seiko Yasumoto, University of Sydney, Australia
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Why Join an IAFOR Conference?
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) welcomes academics from all over the world to our interdisciplinary conferences held in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Our events provide a unique international, intercultural and interdisciplinary environment in which to hear the latest world-class research and network with leading academics, professionals and practitioners.
Our conferences are meticulously planned under the direction of prominent academics to ensure that they offer programmes of the highest level, and are supported by some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including the University of London (UK), Virginia Tech (USA), Barcelona University (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), University of Sussex (UK), Medill School of Journalism (USA), Moscow State University (Russia) and The University of Tokyo, (Japan).
By facilitating dialogue between the world’s academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world. We welcome you to engage in this expanding global academic community of individuals and network of institutions, and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.