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The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade), The Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (University of Rijeka-Cres), The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention, The American University of Paris (Paris), The Centre de recherches internationales (SciencesPo-CERI) and The Faculty of Media and Communications (Belgrade)

Re-inventing/reconstructing cosmopolitanism in contested spaces and post-conflict zones

 25–27 May 2022

“The life of the other, the life that is not our own, is also our life since whatever sense ‘our’ life has is derived precisely from this sociality, this being already, and from the start, dependent on a world of others, constituted in and by a social world”. The other of Judith Butler is the universe of others to whom we are inescapably intertwined, irrespective of the arbitrariness of birth, borders, and the cultural particularism that segment social space, and to whom we are joined in “unchosen cohabitation” through the proximities wrought by the historical encounters, frictions, and collisions of people(s).

The purpose of this international conference is to encourage a multi- and transdisciplinary discussion of one of the core analytical and normative problems of our troubled present: the challenge of cultivating inclusive civic and social spaces at a moment when the difference is ubiquitously threatened by exclusionary ethno-nationalisms, the construction of material and symbolic walls of separation, spaces of conflict, and violence-laden representations of the essential alienness of cultural, political, and religious others.

We welcome critical examinations of this problem in various socio-spatial and temporal contexts – refugee flows and transnational migrations generated by poverty and war, civil conflicts and interactions in the world’s border areas and megacities where “North and South” and “East and West” uneasily meet, post-conflict zones at the edges of and in the interstices of states and empire(s)…We aim to broaden the scope to reflections on the necessary rethinking/reinvention/reconstitution of cosmopolitan space(s) challenged by social conflicts, war and/or mass violence.

A summer school will be held in conjunction with the conference. More information on the program, calendar, and registration will be provided in the Fall.

THE VENUE

The Cres antenna of the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe of the University of Rijeka is an emblematic venue for these themes: the Adriatic has always been a crossroads of transnational circulations (people, ideas, and goods), with multiple overlapping and intersecting cultural belongings and political identities. As Anita Sujoldžić has pointed out, until the early twentieth century, there were “firmly connected social spaces”’ in the Habsburg Empire “that cut across anachronistically drawn linguistic and ethno-national lines”, and “in which multiple allegiances (imperial, national, provincial or local) with both cosmopolitan and culturally contingent loyalties could be found.” The region has also, of course, been a locus of sharp ethno-nationalist divisions and armed conflicts, which have submerged the cosmopolitan lifeworlds that today should be purposely reconstituted.

SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR PAPERS:

  • Theoretical and philosophical foundations of cosmopolitanism.
  • Social science inquiry into the dynamics and precursors of social violence leading to disassembling of cosmopolitan space(s)
  • Historical examination of inclusive societies; their establishment and disassembling
  • Innovative interventions and other forms of social activism designed to reconcile conflict and promote co-existence
  • Memory controversies and efforts to address conflicting readings of the cosmopolitan past
  • Cosmopolitan critiques of globalisation and problems of global justice
  • The crisis of hospitality and the sociohistory of the labels of “othering” (refugees,   immigrants, ex-patriot, asylees, displaced persons, IDPs (internally displaced persons), PRSs, stateless persons, etc.)
  • Rethinking cosmopolitanism in Jewish history
  • Peace theory and cosmopolitanism
  • Anti-cosmopolitan rhetorics

ELIGIBILITY 

Applicants should be researchers, post-graduate students, and post-docs interested in or working on the above topics. We also welcome applications from civil society activists bringing particular insights to the conference’s content. Applicants from all countries are eligible to apply.

APPLICATION

/ All applicants should send a short bio and abstract to cosmocres2022@gmail.com no later than September 15th, 2021. We will get back to you by November 15th, 2021.

/ Abstracts should be 500 words max. for a presentation not exceeding 20 mins.

/ Participation fee: 180€ for faculty members; 100€ for students (limited financial aid can be made available to select participants in need, upon examination of their requests).

INFORMATION

Organizers will facilitate arranging accommodation in Cres city and its surroundings on the island of Cres but we kindly ask participants to emphasize if they opt for this option in their application. If any further details are needed, please contact us at cosmocres2022@gmail.com

A venue and forum for various scientific and research activities, the University of Rijeka’s Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe welcome visiting students and artists wishing to withdraw for a moment to a serene and inspiring collaboration setting.

We very much hope this event can happen in person. As the epidemiological situation shifts, we will need to decide what is feasible by the end of 2021. If need be we are technically equipped and prepared to transition our event to an online hybrid format.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE:

Brian Schiff, Philip Spero Golub, Gazela Pudar Drasko, Zona Zaric, Eileen Lallier, Sanja Bojanic, Constance Pâris de Bollardière, Petar Bojanic, Nadege Ragaru, Vera Mevorah. Dragana Stojanovic

ORGANIZATION BOARD:

Brian Schiff, Nadege Ragaru, Zona Zaric, Dragana Stojanovic, Sanja Bojanic, Petar Bojanic,Vera Mevorah