1st Global Conference:Culture, Politics, Ethics: Aesthetics, Performance, Oppression, Resistance

Venue: Salzburg

Location: Salzburg, Austria

Event Date/Time: Mar 16, 2009 End Date/Time: Mar 16, 2009
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1st Global Conference Culture, Politics, Ethics: Aesthetics, Performance, Oppression, Resistance Monday 16th March - Wednesday 18th March 2009 Salzburg, Austria Call for Papers This inter-disciplinary project seeks to explore the complex and diverse interfaces of culture, politics and ethics in contemporary political life. The claims of those who insist we live in post-modernity and therefore in transformed times for political debate have significantly challenged the way we look at culture, ethics and politics. The cultural turn has alternately impoverished or enriched (or both) debate around and strategies and repertoires for political intervention and ethical articulations in the public realm, and therefore led to a renewed and critical interest in the relationship between cultural life, aesthetics and political thought and action. Ethics has been retrieved from philosophical formalism and academic marginalia to the forefront of political debate with alternate claims that it is the last grand narrative and the basis for thinking future particular formulations of political organisation and public life. Politics itself has shifted from a traditional focus on institutions and processed in organised systems to take concern at more disparate movement alignments in political representation and articulation within the public realm and the changed conditions and circumstances under which they have prominence. Whilst questions of power, resistance, oppression and inclusion are still important, questions of aesthetics, performance, the affective and governance have provided a critical framework for rethinking politics. The purpose of this project is to provide an international network and space to explore these issues and debates, and to explore them across disciplinary and domain boundaries. Hence, we are open to papers, panels or workshops on any areas of thinking where the connections between culture, politics and ethics are developed. We are particularly interested in papers, panels and workshops that transcend disciplinary and doctrinaire boundaries, seek synergies between different domains and levels of abstraction and analysis, and that seek to move forward the agenda for how we promote the understanding of and effective intervention in politics in the C21st. The Project underpinning this inaugural conference seeks to develop a critical understanding of the intersection of culture, politics and ethics, both in the past and present, and use that insight to speculate on present and future politics. In doing so, it recognises that the interdisciplinary basis of such an analysis will take in the fields of art, cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, politics, sociology, social theory and open avenues to wider and more diverse disciplinary connections. Some broad indicative themes are suggested below to indicate the sorts of issues that might be addressed in conference papers and workshops. A. The Impact of the Cultural Turn How has the cultural turn transformed politics and how superficial or deep is its transformation of political critique and action? How has cultural infusion changed the nature of political thought and action? What has been the impact of cultural concepts and ideas in understanding the nature of politics and ethical claims by contesting interests? How far is culture the central terrain of contemporary politics? What does it mean to identify culture as a central political terrain? B. The Ethical Turn in Contemporary Political Ideas and Action How far is ethics the last grand narrative in post-modern or late modern society? To what extent and in what ways has ethics become central and critical to political theory and discourse in contemporary thinking about politics? Does ethical discourse enrich, supplant or distract us from political discourse? How has contemporary ethical discourse sought to identify and develop new ways of thinking about contemporary culture and politics? C. The New Politics To what extent has conceptual and theoretical change and cultural, social and economic change created a new politics in the last 50 years? How far is the new politics a deep transformation or a superficial rearticulation? What are the main building blocks of the new politics and how has it changed contemporary public life? Who are the key actors and what are the key processes in the new politics, and how have they transformed the polity? D. Aesthetics and Performance To what extent and in what ways is the aesthetic critical in contemporary politics? How should we understand the relationship between aesthetics and politics in cultural performance and in political repertoires? How does art, and aesthetics in politics manifest itself in contemporary societies? How do we understand politics as a preformative and affective subject and engagement/self-engagement? To what extent does all politics have to recognise the performative and affective in its constitution and articulation? E. The Information Age and Politics In what ways and to what extent have changing media technologies and the shift towards a central role for information and information technologies in politics transformed politics and political life? How have media and information technologies transformed cultural life and political articulation and expression in contemporary societies? To what extent does media and information technologies impact on society require new theories to understand culture and politics in contemporary societies? F. Culture/Politics/Ethics: Historical Perspectives What can we retrieve and learn from in the history of studies in culture, ethics and politics that will inform present day thinking and action? How far are historical writings and ideas applicable to the present? G. Theories, Ideas and Culture/Politics/Ethics What contemporary theorists have best developed arguments and frameworks for understanding the synergies between culture, politics and ethics? What new ideas have developed to represent cultural, ethical and political