Event Date/Time: Apr 29, 2011 End Date/Time: May 01, 2011
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 30, 2010
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Conference Call for Papers:

“The Unacceptable"

29th April - 1st May 2011
Host: Department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University
Venue: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

It wasn’t so long ago that with heroin chic and SM clubbing, what had been considered unacceptable became a voguish pretext for mass marketing. Now, with global hysteria about paedophilia and violent computer games and increasing calls for internet censorship, the unacceptable is being reinvented as an object of policing.

The issue of what is ‘fit to present’ has always haunted culture, especially in its relationship with social institutions: the proscription of heresy, the erasure of bodies (because of their age, race or gender), the silencing of sexualities, the purging of languages, the classification of desires as pathologies . . . marking things as unacceptable has been a key strategy in governing the media, education, the arts as well as the practice of everyday life. Conversely, resistance to the banning of texts and practices has long been one of the hallmarks of movements for liberalisation.

Understanding how bodies, images and practices are judged unacceptable is key to understanding how culture, communication and creativity fit into society.


• What is now unacceptable?
• Did the unacceptable ever go away or did it merely shift from what was outlaw to an object of voyeurism?
• How does what is deemed unacceptable reflect the racial, gender and sexual fault-lines of a society?
• From incineration to pathologization: how have strategies for policing the unacceptable evolved?

Abstracts are sought that engage with topics such as (but not limited to):

• Body modification
• Pornography
• Transgression in the Arts
• Political censorship
• Youth Culture and Behaviour
• Free speech
• Hate speech
• Excommunication
• Sexual Subcultures
• Outlaw Fashion
• Social Networking sites
• Political and aesthetic avant-gardes
• Gangs
• Imposture
• Homophobia
• Drug culture
• Infidelity
• Secret Lives
• Welfare dependency
• Internet censorship
• Religious cults
• Violence
• Worklessness
• Control of school and higher education curriculums
• Obesity
• Behaviour in Public Space
• Racism

Please send abstracts of 300 words, or panel proposals, via email to unacceptableconference@gmail.com by Friday, 30th September 2010.

Sponsored and hosted by the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Australia.

For more details and keynotes:


North Ryde

Additional Information

Registration costs will be available soon