HomeBreaking boundaries: academia, activism and the arts

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Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

The international conference Breaking Boundaries: Academia, Activism and the Arts proposes to bring into focus and critically question common grounds and boundaries between and within the Humanities, political activity and aesthetic production.​At a time when boundaries are simultaneously questioned and reinforced – for example between geographical territories, political states, public and private spheres, gendered bodies, creative media, theory and practice, local and global, human, non-human and post-human – the question of what such frontiers stand for, and how and why they might be transgressed offers itself for and, indeed, urges discussion.

Announcement

Argument

The international conference Breaking Boundaries: Academia, Activism and the Arts proposes to bring into focus and critically question common grounds and boundaries between and within the Humanities, political activity and aesthetic production. Indeed, what is the role of the Humanities in our universities and in wider society today? How do - or should - they engage with other disciplines and with our contemporary political scenarios? As far-right movements gain popularity across Europe, and old and new discriminations appear legitimized by some political leaders around the world, how is it possible to challenge these from within academia? Is it still possible to separate academic work and political activism? How have the arts engaged with political activism in the past and how are they engaging with it today? Can closer interactions between artistic practices, academic work and activism support resistance to widespread political, economic and social discriminations against the various “Others” of our communities?

Intersections between different approaches to the representation and analysis of reality have been present in both artistic and academic debates throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. From the Frankfurt School to the establishment of Cultural Studies, to Feminist, Postcolonial and Comparative Studies, the active role of academic production as a way of engaging with the political has evolved within the field of Humanities and the Social Sciences. Similarly, the way some artistic movements have questioned and challenged the prevailing economic and political systems, as well as the role of the art institution within them, has taken different shapes and led to new forms and theorizations.

Recently, the word artivism (art + activism) has found its way into academia and is used, for example, by Asante (2009) to describe artists who use their creative skills to fight political injustice and oppression. As McCartney reminds us, however, "although artivism is a relatively new term, the practice of art and activism has a far longer history, and may be more recognisable in particular forms of creative resistance" (McCartney, 2018: 25). The ways in which artists, scholars and activists have, throughout history and in different media, incorporated, subverted and resisted ideological and political discourses by offering new ways of looking at and experiencing reality will be the thread guiding our discussion. At the same time, we ask: what is the role of scholars and of the field of Humanities in a neoliberal context, and how might insights coming from artists’ engagement in activism and acts of resistance inform academic practice?

We welcome proposals by academics, students and independent researchers from any discipline or scholarly field, as well as by artists and activists concerned with the relationship between different art forms, political activism and the role of academia, relating to different cultural and geopolitical contexts.

In particular, proposals might address, but need not be limited to, the following subjects:

  • Challenging representations of female, male and non binary identities
  • Feminism and the neoliberal context
  • Rewriting and reframing the canon through translation
  • Feminist, Queer and Postcolonial translation
  • Representations of non-normative corporalities in the arts
  • Documentary dance, site-specific dance and participatory dance
  • Cultural agents and artistic collectives as triggers or obstacles to social change
  • Subversive practices in literary and artistic creation
  • Questioning the role and limits of the canon in literary studies
  • Narratives of migration and diaspora
  • Academic and cultural boycott as political strategies
  • Rethinking postcolonial subjects in theory and practice
  • Cultural resistance in militarized contexts

Submission guidelines

We invite proposals (max. 300 words) for a 20 minute presentation in English or Portuguese. Proposals should also include the title of the paper, proponent’s name, institutional affiliation (if any), contact details, and a brief biographical note (max. 150 words).

Proposals should be sent to the following address: breakingboundaries@letras.ulisboa.pt

The conference’s working languages will be English and Portuguese. Please note that there will not be simultaneous translation. For further information, visit the website: https://breakingboundaries19.wixsite.com/conference/

Important Dates

  • Final Deadline for Proposal Submissions: 20/06/2019

  • Notification of Acceptance: 10/07/2019
  • Early Bird Registration Deadline: 31/07/2019
  • Last Day for Conference Registration: 20/08/2019

Organizing committee

  • Laura Fracalanza (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Laura López Casado (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Rosa Churcher Clarke (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Vanessa Montesi (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)

Scientific Committee

  • Doris Wieser (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Pénélope Patrix (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)
  • Susana Araújo (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa)

Places

  • Lisbon, Portugal

Date(s)

  • Thursday, June 20, 2019

Keywords

  • academia, activism, translation, gender, performance, postcolonial

Contact(s)

  • Vanessa Montesi
    courriel : breakingboundaries [at] letras [dot] ulisboa [dot] pt

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Vanessa Montesi
    courriel : breakingboundaries [at] letras [dot] ulisboa [dot] pt

To cite this announcement

« Breaking boundaries: academia, activism and the arts », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, https://calenda.org/619949

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