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CALL FOR PAPERS

The Fourth Global Forum of Critical Studies
Asking Big Questions Again

23 - 24 October 2015, Lucca, Italy
Palazzo Bernardini

Deadline for Paper Proposals: 20th of September 2015

The Fourth Euroacademia Global Forum of Critical Studies aims to bring  
into an open floor the reflexive and questioning interaction among  
academics, intellectuals, practitioners and activists profoundly  
concerned with evaluative understandings of the world we’re living in.  
The focus of the forum is to initiate an arena where no question is  
misplaced and irrelevant as long as we acknowledge that evaluation,  
critical thinking and contestation are accessible trajectories to  
better understand our past, present and alternative scenarios for the  
future.

Conference Description:
Some say that the 21st Century or modernity altogether made humans  
more concerned with doing rather than being. As the classical Greek  
civilization valued the most reflexive thinking as a form of freedom  
from natural necessities, contemporary times profoundly involve  
individuals and the imaginary accompanying social practices in a  
restless logic of consumption, competition and engagement that  
profoundly - or some would say, radically – suspends or indefinitely  
postpones the autonomous capacity of human beings to question and  
reflect upon the social order and the meaning of social practices. The  
fast advancement of the logic of post-industrial societies, the  
gradual dissolution of alternative models to the capitalist logic and  
a multitude of other alerting factors pushed ahead a global spread  
culture of one-dimensional productions of meaning that advances a  
closure rather than a constant reflexive re-evaluation of  
cultural/social practices.
Many alternatives at hand are often condemned to marginality or lost  
in the plural practices where everything goes as long as it’s part of  
an intellectual market. The ‘fatal strategies’ of post-industrial  
societies to keep individuals captive, busy and seduced by contingent  
social arrangements and economic practices minimized the questioning  
detachment required to evaluate and give meaning through reflexive  
criticism and unlimited interrogation. Various labels were given to  
our unfolding times from apocalyptic ones to some more comforting yet  
not by chance lacking some vital optimism. Despite a wide-spread  
discontent and suspicion towards the daily realities of our current  
societies, most of the big questions are often left outside by the  
self-involved active pursuit of an imagined well-being that is no  
longer transgressed by harsh critical evaluation of its meaning. The  
academic arena itself also advances, supports, integrates and promotes  
limited particular methodologies that generate an effect of  
mainstreaming and often keeps researchers or practitioners out of the  
battle-ground for big questions.

The ongoing economic crisis made reality even harsher and pushed ahead  
the need for more thinking as many habitual categories lost their  
meaning or relevance. New ways of thinking could transgress some  
inappropriate conceptions or misconceptions that preserve their  
centrality due to the mechanics of habits. This is a time when a call  
to thinking is well-placed. This is a call to arms for critical  
studies that promotes alternative, questioning and multi-dimensional  
thinking.

Panels:
When it’s about critical thinking and critical studies there is  
intrinsically an unending open list of topics to be included. The  
Fourth Euroacademia Forum on Critical Studies proposes the 5 sections  
(that are by no means exclusive):

~ Theory/Philosophy
~ Politics
~ Cultural Studies
~ Political Economy
~ Arts and Performance

Papers on the following topics (and not only) are welcomed:

Diagnostics of Our Times: Where Is the 21st Century Heading? ~ Our  
Societies Are As Good As It Gets: How to Escape the Closure of  
Meaning? ~ Consumerist Societies and the Captivity of Thinking ~ The  
Being/Doing Nexus ~ Assessing Models of Capitalism ~ Markets, Capital  
and Inequalities ~ The Remains of Individual Autonomy ~ How Plural Our  
Societies Truly Are? ~ Debating Ideal vs. Real Multiculturalism ~  
Social Narcissism and Consumerism ~ The Role of Critical Thinking:  
Proposing Alternative Methodologies ~ Are There Any Alternatives to  
Capitalism Left? ~ Social Causes and the Pursuit of Social Beliefs ~  
Protest and Social Change ~ Re-Thinking Revolutions ~ Hegemony and the  
Remaining Possibilities for Social Criticism ~ Loneliness and  
Isolation in the Era of Mass Communication ~ Living Low Cost: Values,  
Meaning and Market Exchange ~ Ideology and Other Dominant Narratives ~  
Critical Economics ~ Post-Modernism and the Critique of Modernity ~  
Marx and the 21st Century ~ Debating the End of Communism ~  
Non-Oppositional Societies ~ Consolation, Complicity and Passivity  
Today ~ Who Still Waits For A Revolution? ~ C. Castoriadis and the  
Project of Autonomy ~ French Thinking and Alternatives for Thought ~  
Eastern Europe and the Enrollment to the School of Capitalism ~ China  
and the Logic of Growth ~ Crises of Culture ~ Left and Right:  
Political Spectrums and Pluralism Re-Discussed ~ Art as an Exchange  
Value ~ Originality and Complacency ~ Literatures and Authors ~ Heroes  
and Heroines in Electronic Literature ~ Fiction and the  
Fictionalization of the Contemporary World ~ Film and the Persisting  
Hunger for Heroic Imagination ~ The Illusory Charity and Imagined  
forms of Contemporary Humanisms ~ The Growing Social Irrelevance of  
Philosophy ~ Replacement of the Logic of Becoming by the Logic of  
Earning ~ How Do We Look Back at Tradition? ~ Just Wars or Unjust  
Thinking? ~ The Myth of Cosmopolitanism ~ Facing the Self ~  
Communication, Media and Simulacrum ~ Science, Pragmatics and  
Vocation: Who Pays What We Can’t Sell? ~ Is There Still a Postmodern  
or Any Other Kind of Condition? ~ Post-Marxist Way of Looking at Facts  
~ The School of Suspicion and Evaluative Thinking ~ Feminist Readings  
of Our Contemporary World ~ Post-Colonialism and the Refurbished  
Other(s) ~ Theory and Power ~ Queer Theory and Living After the Sexual  
Revolution ~ Subaltern Theory

Participant’s Profile
The conference is addressed to academics, intellectuals, researchers  
and professionals, practitioners and activists profoundly concerned  
with evaluative understandings of the world we’re living in. As the  
nature of the conference is intended to be multidisciplinary in nature  
different academic backgrounds are equally welcomed.

Post-graduate students, doctoral candidates and young researchers are  
equally welcomed to submit an abstract. Representatives of INGOs,  
NGOs, Think Tanks and activists willing to present their work,  
research, experiences or reflections are welcomed as well to submit  
the abstract of their contribution. Euroacademia does not promote the  
byzantine association of people with their institutions. As well the  
distinction between senior and junior researchers is not applied as a  
cleavage.

Abstracts will be reviewed and the participants are selected based on  
the proven quality of the abstract. The submitted paper for the  
conference proceedings is expected to be in accordance with the lines  
provided in the submitted abstract.

For more information see
http://euroacademia.eu/conference/fourth-forum-of-critical-studies/

You can apply on-line by completing the Application Form on the  
conference website or by sending a 300 words abstract together with  
the details of contact and affiliation until 20th of September 2015 at  
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The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Sean Franzel
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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