Keynote Speaker: Professor Margaret Chatterjee, New Delhi, India
Call for Papers
The conference will explore the way pluralism poses challenges in the world today. The theme is of special importance since there are other tendencies which pull in an opposite direction - the most evident of these being globalization.
The project will seek to identify and begin to delimit the boundaries of 'pluralism'; discussion will also centre on the following areas:
Political. Currently political wisdom seems to lag behind economic forces which generate cross border institutional networks. United Nations efforts coexist with the emergence of a super power while at the same time national sovereignties proclaim stridently their own separate identities and older sovereignties face the problem of fissiparous tendencies within their own borders. Migrations introduce the extra territorial factor into culture, giving rise to multiple allegiances. Can all these be reconciled?
Economic. The main issues are how major trends in dominant economies affect the many weaker economies. Focus will be on pluralism as seen in mixed economies and the influence of world economic forces on the two thirds world.
Social. Special reference will be made to the marginalised who fall outside the consumerist culture of the relatively prosperous. Identifying the problems and advantages of multi-cultural societies will be a key aim. The relationship between pluralism and social pathology will also be explored.
Religion. Is religion a hitherto unutilised resource for bringing about a better world, or is it a regressive force seen at its worst in authoritative regimes and fundamentalist mind sets? Can religion step in and unify the fragments? Can humans live without certainties? Does pluralism mean fragmentation? Is a peaceful religiously plural society problematic?
Literature. Is the basic concept of contemporary pluralism reinforced by recent moves in literary criticism e.g., the language of fragmentation, deconstruction. The project will explore pluralist and non-pluralist trends in contemporary fiction. The fate of little traditions will also be examined.
Pluralism in medicine. How has pluralism influenced and affected developments in medicine and medical practice? Why has there been such tremendous growth in alternative systems of medicine and therapy?
Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of seminars will develop with an open door for other associated manifestations of the pluralist theme in our time.
Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 13th June 2003. Full draft papers should be submitted by Friday 22nd August 2003.
All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be developed in the light of conference conversations and feedback for publication in a hard copy themed volume as part of the At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries series of books.
Papers should be submitted to Dr Rob Fisher as an email attachment in Word, WordPerfect or RTF formats; abstracts can also be submitted in the body of the email text rather than as an attachment.
Further details, information and a booking form can be found at our website.
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