LINGUIST List 25.4873

Tue Dec 02 2014

Calls: Philosophy of Lang, Ling & Literature, Discourse Analysis/Greece

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 02-Dec-2014
From: Maria Vara <>
Subject: Rethinking Democracy in Literature, Language and Culture
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Full Title: Rethinking Democracy in Literature, Language and Culture

Date: 15-May-2015 - 17-May-2015
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Contact Person: Effie Yiannopoulou
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Ling & Literature; Philosophy of Language

Call Deadline: 20-Dec-2014

Meeting Description:

Theories of democracy seem to be as varied as the wide-ranging debates over the viability of a democratic system. Since the time of Aristotle and Plato a significant number of philosophers and social theorists have investigated notions of autonomy and selfhood, the role of the state, the degree of egalitarianism and individual power, as well as the issue of liberal acquiescence to undemocratic political practices. This last issue has gained momentum in the present day when the humanistic values that democracy has always claimed as a priority are challenged by neoliberal politics and interventionist economic policies.

It is the aim of this conference to contribute to the existing – and growing – body of thought on the theory and workings of democracy from the perspective of the humanities, approaching democracy not only as a political system but as a malleable ideological construct open to interpretation and renegotiation. We are especially interested in exploring the role of literature, art, culture (from paintings and films to television ads, computer games and the social media), philosophy and language in producing, disseminating, resisting and even rethinking democratic ethics, ideologies and narratives across different historical periods, genres of representation and cultural (Anglophone) spaces. Finding ourselves caught up in the midst of a political and economic upheaval that has witnessed a surge in “undemocratic” legislative, cultural or affective responses to difference in traditionally “democratic” societies in the West, we seek to probe into and highlight the representational politics of democracy, the processes through which democratic ideas of equality, freedom and justice have become narrativised, (mis)interpreted and inscribed into signifying systems, cultural practices and meaning-making processes. It is in this context that this conference will seek to examine not only how literature and art have responded to democratic institutions but equally how different modes of representation have contributed to the fashioning of different historically-situated and culturally-bound models of democratic conduct and sensibility. Have, for example, digitalization and the unlimited access to information via the internet contributed to the creation of more tolerant contemporary “cyber-democracies” which identify the democratic with the visible and the known? Or, is surprise and risk-taking still an integral aspect of democratic ethics in fictional and artistic representation as much as in cultural patterns of behavior—to follow Jacques Rancière’s thinking?

Call for Papers:

We invite papers that focus on the relationship between democratic processes and representation, social life, political thought, and cultural values. Democracy may be thought in relation to the following:

- Literature, language, culture and art
- The “social imaginary”
- Nation-building; citizenship; sovereignty
- Human rights; equality; freedom
- Ideas of friendship, hospitality, tolerance, comfort, security
- Emotion; affect; desire (e.g. propaganda, patriotism)
- Identities (ethnicity, race, gender, class, age, disability)
- Bodies (human & animal)
- Globalization; cosmopolitanism
- Neoliberal or free market views of democracy
- Neo-fascism and the rise of the far-right
- Non-institutional activism
- Education; pedagogy; the classroom situation
- Ecology; the environment
- Print culture; older and new technologies; images; digitalization; the social media;
- The popular (literature, culture, art)
- Narrative; storytelling

Proposals (400 words) and a short biographical note should be sent to Effie Yiannopoulou ( and Zoe Detsi ( by 20 December 2014.

Page Updated: 02-Dec-2014