20 Sep 2015


Forms of Appearances of the Political in Contemporary Democracies 1/6

Conceptual Analysis: Rhetoric, Poetics and Populist Talk in Contemporary Politics

University of Latvia (Main Building, Raiņa bulvāris 19). February 22-23, 2016.

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) study group Forms of Appearances of the Political in Contemporary Democracies announces a CFP for its winter symposium. The first session of the group will be organized  in cooperation with the Latvian University in Riga, Latvia.

The topic, Identifying the Political, will address the verbal play and its connection to physical presences of today’s political reality and approach it from the point of view of social, artistic, aesthetic and cultural analysis.

By focusing on the conceptual base of the appearances of the political we wish to articulate clearly the artistic, aesthetic and cultural forces underlying today’s political thinking. We also want to inaugurate a debate on the role of cultural approaches in political analysis. To really discuss the political we need to establish a deeper understanding of the key concepts and their cultural extensions before elaborating on other forms of investigating them.

This could, for example, be related to the impact of concepts like migration / refugee. What cultural significance do these (or any similar politically explosive) concepts anchor to?

We wish to break new paths in connecting the cultural humanities and the political sciences. This symposium thus invites the participants to explore bravely new ways of studying the issue. We believe that experimentation is crucial for rethinking the political.

Our partner in the winter session 2016 is the University of Latvia in Riga and we collaborate closely with Pauls Daija, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art & the Faculty of Theology.

About the Study Group

The intention of Forms of Appearances of the Political in Contemporary Democracies is to create a platform for future collaborations and applications, and to exchange knowledge and share common interest. It is important for the group to consult a variety of fields as broad as possible including political theory, philosophy, communication, social sciences and cultural studies, and we hope that scholars from all areas of interest would join us.

Participating in this first meeting of the group does not imply any obligation for participating in future meetings. We hope, however, that participants will be involved in building a strong community on this topic for future activities reflecting the diversity of interests in the community. Future seminars will focus on History, Material Culture, Activism, Political Art and Aesthetics in the Everyday, and Communication. The list of sites for the study circle is planned to be of the following order: Riga, Orivesi (NSU Summer Camp), Bratislava, St. Petersburg, Berlin (NSU Summer Camp) and Copenhagen, but changes and additions might apply. And we are open to any propositions concerning collaboration partners and sites.

We invite proposals for presentations addressing different problems relating to this call. We hope that academicians, artists, students, third sector agents and intellectuals would participate. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions from the coordinators!

Format of presentation can be either:
15 minutes presentation + 15 minutes discussion
30 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion.
Please indicate your wish in the abstract!

We encourage you to give an oral presentation, i.e. no dry reading of a paper or reading from texts on power points (use power points for pictures, illustration of similar material). What matters is the content and what you have to say, not the rhetorical performance. Any form of experimental presentation is very much welcomed.

Submit an abstract (300-500 words) via e-mail to the coordinators Max Ryynänen & Carsten Friberg: max.ryynanen@nsuweb.org and/or carsten.friberg@nsuweb.org.
If you wish to participate without giving a presentation, please write a short (150-300 words) description of yourself.

Deadline of submitting: November 30, 2015.

The applications will be viewed ASAP. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than December 15. Preliminary program will be announced late December 2015.

Later submission is possible but we will prioritize early submissions.

The participation fee:
Students, unemployed and freelancers €30
Baltic students €10
Others €50.

We will use the fees to cover some food and other expenses for the participants.

Please bookmark the blog of the study circle: http://appearancesofthepolitical.blogspot.com.

Link to the Nordic Summer University here.

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