In the 21st century, conflict and division have manifested themselves in a variety of areas of public and artistic life. The legacy of war on terror, the credit crunch, the refugee crisis and new developments within democratic states provoked reaction across art and media. New forms of participation, protest and solidarity have also tested various institutional structures which need to respond to and channel public and private emotions. Therefore, artistic activity, often multimedial and hybrid, attempts to provoke conflict in the belief of creating energy of critical reflection which can then be absorbed to spark debate. Theatre, film and media aim not only at showing crises or divisions but also rehearse possibilities of community-building projects based on the idea of value sharing practices and social models.
Encouraging a critical perspective on the relationship between the academia and recent critical events we invite papers reflecting on how literature and culture, specifically theatre, film and media, relate to conflicts and divisions that emerge in direct consequence of social and political crises. With the promise of equality, democracy and access, the digital revolution has failed in uniting societies, creating instead bubbles organised according to algorithms that promote and fuel conflicts and divisions instead of fostering communication and dialogue based on commonalities. In light of recent events, starting with Covid-19 and the subsequent economic crises and ecological changes, and finishing with a threateningly growing polarisation between the left and the right, it is timely for humanities scholars to analyse and respond to the representations of crises in their respective fields. We welcome papers on how theatre, film and media studies engage in depicting, defining and confronting the following issues:
– polarisation of societies,
– tractable versus intractable conflicts,
– personal versus political conflicts,
– interpersonal conflict, inter-group conflict,
– acute and lasting antagonism,
– international versus local conflicts,
– constructive versus destructive conflict,
– fracturing and fractured democracies,
– divide and conquer policies,
– plutocracy versus gross inequality,
– commonality versus diversity,
– crisis of communication,
– conflicts in the digital era,
– social media and conflict,
– changing language of debate,
– cultural and religious polarities,
– art of protest, artistic spaces of conflict.
We wish the conference to testify to an actual relevance of humanities to negotiate the crises that define our reality, and we hope to prove through our discussion that humanities, and humanity, is not only a critical value, but also a powerful agency, in the face of conflict.
Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 May 2021.
Taking into account the unstable pandemic situation, the format of the conference will be decided at a later stage depending on the current medical restrictions.
Prof. Magdalena Cieślak
Dr. Agnieszka Rasmus