1st Global Conference
Hope: Probing the Boundaries

Monday 8th - Wednesday 10th August 2005
Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Papers
(please cross post where appropriate)

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference aims to 
explore contemporary definitions, meanings and expressions of hope. 
In particular, it will seek to examine the individual, social, 
national and international contexts within which hope emerges as well 
as its counterpart, hopelessness.

The theme and the sense of uncertainty pervades the start of the 
twenty-first century. Although young, the past bears witness to the 
brutality of genocides, atrocities, terrorism which acts to 
counter-balance economic, political, technological and ecological 
aspirations. Medicine and bio-ethics are split between those who 
foresee the worst implications for persons and those who foresee the 
promise of genetic engineering. Cultural conflicts likewise offer 
scope for grave apprehension or the hopeful anticipation of a 
culturally enriched shared world. This project is committed to the 
view that now is the time look at the main spheres in which there 
seems to be a pendulum between fear and hopeful expectation, with a 
view to thinking out constructive strategies for exploration.

Papers, workshops and reports are invited on any of the following 
possible areas for discussion;

1. Human awareness of the passage of time; changing attitudes to what 
H.G. Wells called ëthe shape of things to comeí. What are the 
possible bases for thinking about the future?
2. Expressions of these attitudes in contemporary culture ñ 
portrayals in art, cinema, literature, radio, science fiction, 
theatre, tv
3. The psychological basis of fear of the future. Why millennial 
hopes are matched by millennial fears
4. The concept of a new age. Utopian thinkers; Dystopian visions. The 
connection with political movements. What do new agers want? Hedonism 
and the simple life. The fear of longevity. The fear of loneliness
5. Hopelessness, despair, indifference and resignation. The meaning of life
6. The science of the future. Prediction, risk and disaster management
7. The phenomenology of hope. What is this phenomenon that we call 
hope? How does it live and seemingly thrive in difficult times? How 
is it sustained? How is it invoked? Is there any difference between 
those who seem to be more hopeful than others?
8. Does hope and the act of hoping/or the predisposition to hope 
differ from culture to culture? What are those variances and what 
accounts for them? How is hope differently instantiated among 
cultures? What are those instantiations?
9. The notion of open and closed futures
10. The role and place of religion and religious movements.
11. Risk, possibility and hope.
12. Envisaging possible futures. The question of choice. Cultivating 
hope. To boldly go.

These are indicative themes. Papers are welcome on these and related themes.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts 
should be submitted by Friday 13th May 2005. If an abstract is 
accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted 
by Friday 15th July 2005.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; 
abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, PDF or RTF formats.

Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, 149B Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
Email: [log in to unmask]

Stephen Morris
Independent Scholar,
New York, USA
Email: [log in to unmask]

Stephen Neff
University of Pennsylvania, USA
Email: [log in to unmask]

The conference is part of the ëProbing the Boundariesí programme of 
research projects. It aims to bring together people from different 
areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions 
which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be 
published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for 
publication in a themed hard copy volume.

For further information about the project please visit:

For further information about the conference please visit:

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Meghan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: