HomeSpeed, Silence and Solitude

HomeSpeed, Silence and Solitude

Speed, Silence and Solitude

Part of the Research Program on: Space, Time and New Technologies of the Self

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, December 31, 2013


International Network for Alternative Academia – invites you to participate to the First International Symposium: Speed, Silence and Solitude. This trans-disciplinary project seeks to explore how new technologies are re-calibrating our notion of time, re-configuring our ideas of space and, as a result, how they are re-envisioning our understanding of the self and its relation to others.



This trans-disciplinary research project is interested in exploring how new technologies are re-calibrating our notion of time, re-configuring our ideas of space and, as a result, how they are re-envisioning our understanding of the self and its relation to others.

From smartphones to tablets, from Apps to Twitter, the new technologies and the social media to which they have given rise increasingly occupy our time and mediate our relationships. They encourage us to develop fast friends, guide us as to locate fast food, even helps us to find places to practice fast yoga. They keep us ever in the presence of others, always connected, ever accessible. We find ourselves amongst those who are rushing to catch up on what they have always already been behind on starting. It is a world in which speed has become the measure of all things, in which silence is rare, and in which solitude has at one and the same time become hard to find and difficult to escape. How are these experiences reshaping the way we perceive the world, see ourselves and relate to others?

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions interested in exploring and explaining these issues in a collective, deliberative and dialogical environment to send presentation proposals that address these general questions or the following themes:

1. Speed

  • How are our conceptions of time being recalibrated?
  • What has happened to our concept of leisure?
  • Have we lost the ability to look, to linger, to be bored? With what consequences?
  • How has our new conception of time affected rituals and relationships? What affects has our new conception of time had upon our rituals and relationships?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new cult of speed? What are we hurrying up for? What are we hurrying to escape?
  • What is the impact of the “slow movement”?
  • We seem in a rush in order to save time. But for what are we saving time? Can time be saved?
  • What is the relationship between speed and mortality? Do our new notions of time better prepare and equip us to deal with our mortality? Are we attempting to outrace and outwit time?
  • What are the relationships between acceleration, efficiency and effectiveness?
  • Traditional metaphors of time no longer seem adequate. Time no longer seems to be like a river or an ocean. What new metaphors seem apt to capture 21st century notions of time?
  • How has the new conception of time affected our perception of duration, anticipation and waiting? What has it done to patience?
  • What new experiences does speed afford us? What experiences does it undermine?
  • How do we conceptualize and measure slowness in the 21st century?

2. Silence

  • What is the value of silence?
  • Is silence any longer a possibility? Is it achievable?
  • In what ways are the new media changing our experience of silence? Have we lost language-free/sound-free space? Have we wanted to?
  • How are our understandings and valuing of introspection, reflection and thought being reconceived in a world filled with sound?
  • It seems the new media at one and the same time are making it ever harder to find silent moments and ever more difficult to escape. How can these simultaneous yet opposing experiences be explained?
  • How does hearing differ from listening? Are we witnessing the evolution of listening with the rise of new technologies?
  • What does silence sound like? Can silence be conceptualized? How can it be captured in words? How is it captured in music?

3. Solitude

  • How does solitude differ from loneliness? How does it differ from boredom?
  • What are the effects of our new experiences of being ‘alone together’?
  • What are the conditions for the possibility of solitude? Can these conditions be met in the 21st century?
  • What underlies our desire for solitude?
  • When do we seek solitude? Why do we sometimes fear it?
  • How is new media encouraging solitude? How is it undermining solitude? How can these opposing effects be explained?
  • How is our experience of travel and of vacation changing in response to a world always populated with others and other tourists? How much are we willing to pay to experience solitude?
  • How are our notions of space being reconfigured in a world where there are always others?
  • In a world always already populated with others, how are creativity, imagination and innovation being reconceived?

Submission guidelines 

If you are interested in participating in this Annual Symposium, submit a 400 to 500 word abstract as soon as possible and no later than Friday 25th of April, 2014. (For justifiable cases, we do uphold a tolerance period of fifteen days.)

Please use the following template for your submission:

  • First: Author(s);
  • Second: Affiliation, if any;
  • Third: Email Address;
  • Fourth: Title of Abstract and Proposal;
  • Fifth: The 400 to 500 Word Abstract.

To submit an abstract online follow these steps:

  • 1) Go to our webpage:
  • 2) Select your Symposium of choice within the list of annual events (listed by period and city)
  • 3) Go to LOG IN at the top of the page
  • 4) Create a User Name and Password for our system and log in
  • 5) Click on the Call for Papers for the Symposium
  • 6) Go to the end of the Call for Papers page and click on the First Step of Submission Process button
  • 7) Follow the instructions provided for completing the abstract submission process

For every abstract proposal submitted, we acknowledge receipt. If you do not receive a reply from us within three days, you should assume the submission process was not completed successfully. Please try again or contact our technical support for clarifications.

All presentation and paper proposals that address these questions and issues will be fully considered and evaluated. Evaluation of abstract submissions will be ongoing, from the opening date of Monday 14th of October, 2013. All Prospective Delegates can expect a reply time to their submission of three weeks.

Accepted abstracts will require a full draft paper by Friday 9th of May, 2014. Papers are for a 20 minute presentation, 8 to 10 pages long, double spaced, Times New Roman 12. All papers presented at the symposium are eligible for publication as part of a digital or paperback book.

We invite colleagues and people interested in participating to disseminate this call for papers. Thank you for sharing and cross-listing where and whenever appropriate.

Hope to meet you in Toronto!



The symposium will be held from Saturday 24th to Monday 26th of May, 2014

Institutional Partner: Humber ITAL

Symposium Coordinators

Wendy O'Brien

Professor of Social and Political Theory

School of Liberal Studies      

Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Alejandro Cervantes-Carson

General Coordinator

International Network for Alternative Academia

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain


Informational Note

Alternative Academia is an international network of intellectuals, academics, independent scholars and practitioners committed to creating spaces, both within and beyond traditional academe, for creative, trans-disciplinary and critical thinking on current debates and key themes. We offer annual and biannual symposiums at sites around the world, providing forums that foster the development of new frames of reference and innovative structures for the production and expansion of knowledge. Dialogue, discussion and deliberation define both the methods employed and the values upheld by this network.

Visit our website at:


  • Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Building: Lakeshore Commons - 3199 Lake Shore Blvd. W. (Lakeshore Campus)
    Toronto, Canada (M8V 1K8)


  • Friday, April 25, 2014


  • Philosophy, Cultural symbols and significance, Ideas of time and space, Personhood and identity, Technologically mediated social relations, Hyper-realities, Information technology, Trans-disciplinary, Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary studies


  • Alejandro Cervantes-Carson
    courriel : acc [at] alternative-academia [dot] net

Information source

  • Alejandro Cervantes-Carson
    courriel : acc [at] alternative-academia [dot] net


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Speed, Silence and Solitude », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, December 31, 2013,

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search