[H-verkko] CFP: The West: Concept, Narrative, and Politics

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To Kesä 2 13:27:56 EEST 2016

Agricolan artikkelipyyntöihin on lähetetty uusi ilmoitus:
The West: Concept, Narrative, and Politics
CFP for the international conference

The West: Concept, Narrative, and Politics

December 8–9, 2016

Jyväskylä, Finland

Organized by the Department of History and ethnology, University of Jyväskylä

What are, and have been, the shifting meanings of the West? Does the West exist,
and if so, how – in action, identity, politics, thought, popular culture,
imagination, rhetoric, and academic texts?

During the past decade, we have witnessed a proliferation in studies focusing on
the West (or Western society/culture/countries/people). These studies have
discussed the West as a concept, narrative, civilization, identity, unit in
international relations, and as a both real and imagined community. We have seen
critical and constructive studies, and the emergence of a still unsettled
framework called Occidentalism.

And yet it seems that the idea of the West remains as elusive as ever. Why
certain geographical/political/cultural areas are called the West, which
countries or groups belong to the West, and what socio-cultural elements make a
society Western? Answers to these questions appear to depend on the speaker and
the discursive context. Sometimes the concept refers to a certain geopolitical
formation, political system, values or ideologies; often it connotes to a high
level of technological development or scientific progress; at other times it
simply refers to the populations who are the richest and consume the most. In
the historical imagination, the Western world is based on a series of
interrelated phenomena including Christianity, the Enlightenment, the scientific
and industrial revolutions, colonialism, and Cold War. Still, despite of it
being fuzzy, contested, and criticized, the concept of the West continues to be
current. It is evoked in a variety of situations all over the world as a
convenient shorthand expression taken for granted by both speakers and

The aim of this conference is not to repudiate the concept, nor to produce
conclusive definitions of it. Instead, we aim to problematize the idea of the
West even further, explore its functions, and thus to enlarge our understanding
of it. We also wish to bring together researchers, united by their interest in
the idea of the West, to share their latest findings and thoughts.

We welcome abstracts from all disciplines within human and social sciences to
discuss the past, present, and future of the idea of the West. Possible topics
for the papers include, but are not limited to:

International relations, politics, and geopolitics
“Western” culture, society, tradition, history
“Western” philosophy, science, rationalism
“Western” values, morality, ideologies
Christianity, neo-religions, New Age, secularism, atheism
Capitalism, consumerism, socioeconomic West
Racial, ethnic, minorities’ West
“Western” modernity
The West as an imagined community
“Banal Occidentalism”
Antipodal narratives, Orientalism/Occidentalism, “the West and the rest”
Images/representations of the “West”, “Western countries”, or “Western
How to study the West? Theories and methodologies.

Abstracts: 200–300 words, deadline August 31st, 2016.

Send your abstract with your name and affiliation to: westconf2016 at jyu.fi

Venue: Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Keynote speakers: TBA.

Participation fee: 40 €. 

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Jukka Jouhki & Henna-Riikka Pennanen

Department of History and Ethnology

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

More information on the conference website:


Twitter: thewest2016

Facebook: www.facebook.com/westconf2016

Instagram: westconf2016

Email: westconf2016 at jyu.fi

Ilmoituksen lähetti: Henna-Riikka Pennanen <henna-riikka.pennanen at jyu.fi>
Ilmoitus vanhentuu: 1.9.2016
Lisätietoja WWW-osoitteesta: https://thewestnetwork.wordpress.com