6th Global Conference: Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging


This multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the new and prominent place that the idea of culture has for the construction of identity and the implications of this for social membership in contemporary societies. In particular, the project will assess the context of major world transformations, for example, new forms of migration and the massive movements of people across the globe, as well as the impact of globalisation on tensions, conflicts and on the sense of rootedness and belonging. Looking to encourage innovative trans-disciplinary dialogues, we warmly welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it means for people, the world over, to forge identities in rapidly changing national, social and cultural contexts.

Papers, workshops and presentations are invited on any of the following themes:

1. Challenging Old Concepts of Self and Other
~ Who is Self and who is Other?
~ The new value of social diversity and cultural multiplicity; breaking with homogeneity and sameness
~ What is the place of difference and alterity, of normality and normalisation in defining identity and membership
~ How to account for social membership and cultural identity?
~ Making sense of transformations and their effects over culture, identity and membership
~ Othering, excluding, stygmatising

2. Nations, Nationhood and Nationalisms
~ What does it mean, today, to belong to a nation?
~ New migrants, new migratory flows and massive movements from peripheral to central countries
~ Resurgence of the local and the diminishing importance of the national
~ Are we living post-national realities?
~ What is the place of cultural claims in today’s forms of social membership?
~ Models of multiculturalism and the contemporary experience of multiculturalism(s)
~ Assimilation, integration, adaptation and other forms of placing the responsibility of change on the Other

3. Institutions, Organizations and Social Movements
~ Evaluating the promises and institutions of post-national governing
~ Institutions and organisations that do more for money than for people
~ Political battles over globalization
~ Social movements, new rebellion and alternative globalizations
~ Trans-cultural connections that escape institutional and political intentions or control
~ New forms of global exclusion

4. Persons, Personhood and the Inter-Personal
~ De-centering individuals and the making of persons; thinking and acting with others in mind and interpersonally
~ Tensions, contradictions and conflicts of identity formation and social membership
~ New sources and forms of belonging; new tribalism, localism, parochialism and communitarianism
~ Bonds of care across boundaries of inequality and exclusion, ideologies and religions, politics and power, nations and geography
~ Who am I if not the relation with others?
~ Non-recognition as cultural violence

5. Media and Artistic Representations
~ The role of new and old media in the construction of cultures and identities, of nations and place
~ Production and reproduction of cultural typing and stereotyping
~ The contested space of representing culture, identity and belonging
~ Art, media and how to challenge the rigid and impenetrable constructions of culture
~ Living, being and belonging through art
~ Life imitating art and fiction

6. Transnational Cultural Interlacing of Contemporary Life
~ What is shared from cultures? How are cultures shared? Who has access to the sharing of cultures?
~ Cultural claims and human rights
~ Exploring multiculturalism as a plural experience: Shouldn’t we be talking about multiculturalisms?
~ Living in a context with the cultural markers of a different context: Is that transculturalism?
~ Languages, idioms and new emerging forms of wanting to bridge the ‘invisible’ divide of cultures
~ Symbols and significations that connect people to places other than ‘their own’
~ Culture, identity and belonging by choice

7. New Concepts, New Forms of Inclusion
~ Recognition and respect without exclusion
~ An ethics for social relations in a new millennium
~ What to do with historically old concepts like tolerance, acceptance and hospitality?
~ Should not we all be strangers? Should not we all be foreigners?
~ Is there any use for cosmopolitanism these days?
~ Loving the other within the self; building fluid boundaries of belonging and being

The 2012 meeting of Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging will run alongside the forth meeting of our project on Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues and we anticipate holding sessions in common between the two projects.  We welcome any papers considering the problems or addressing issues of Fashion, Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 16th March 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 22nd June 2012.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Multiculturalism Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.


Time and Place:

Date:   Sunday, Sep 16, 2012
Venue:   Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
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