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CFP: "Conflicted and divided – representations of crises in theatre, film and media"

Deadline: May 31st, 2021


University of Lodz

Faculty of Philology

Department of English Studies in Drama, Theatre and Film

"Conflicted and divided - representations of crises in theatre, film and media."

26-27 November 2021

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 organized 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. We are happy to announce two keynote speakers:

Prof. Edyta Lorek-Jezińska is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Anglophone Literature, Culture and Comparative Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). Her research interests include alternative theatre, performance, site and archive, disability studies and drama, trauma studies, hauntology and drama by women. She has published on site and environment in theatre as well as gender, intertextuality, corporeality, trauma and hauntology in British drama and performance. Dr Lyndon C.S. Way (MA, PhD) is a lecturer in Communications and Media within the Discourse and Society research cluster at the University of Liverpool. His research specialisms are relations between popular culture (digital popular culture, news and popular music) and politics, with a focus on protest politics. He approaches analysis through the lens of multimodal critical discourse studies informed by musicology, Critical Discourse Analysis and ethnography. He has published on music and digital popular culture as multimodal and political discourse.

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.

The full fee for the conference onsite – 400 PLN (100 EURO) The discount fee (PhD students) for the conference onsite – 200 PLN (50 EURO). If the conference takes place online, the fees will be reduced to 150 PLN (40 EURO) and 70 PLN (20 EURO) respectively. The organisers will announce the final format closer to the registration time.

Please send your abstract (250 words) and a short bio (50 words) by the 31st of May, 2021 to the following email address: rasmusag@yahoo.co.uk

For any conference updates, please visit https://dramathroughtheages.wordpress.com/.

Organising committee: Prof. Magdalena Cieślak Dr. Agnieszka Rasmus

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