2nd Global Conference
Intellectuals - Knowledge, Power, Ideas
Friday 8th May - Sunday 10th May 2009
Call for Papers
Following last year’s very successful inaugural conference, the Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, Ideas Project will hold its second annual conference in Budapest in May 2009. The conference is a keystone of the ’Intellectuals’ Inter-disciplinary.Net project that seeks to explore the role, character, nature and place of intellectuals and intellectual work in contemporary society.
Whilst the ‘intellectual’ emerges as a particular category with the development of modernity, the ‘knowledgeable’ and knowledge producers have been an important historical agent and social actor since the early Greek philosophers, and knowledge production, whether religious, scientific or philosophical, has been important in shaping social, political, economic and cultural change. Intellectuals and the knowledge they produce have been subject to competing representations: from an ‘elect’ producing knowledge for its own sake to different forms of philosopher king, servant of the state or dissenting movement intellectuals connecting politically with change in the social world. In contemporary ‘knowledge’ societies, much of the focus on the intellectual as a ‘public’ figure, residing within the media intelligentsia or institutions of higher learning, but competing theories of intellectuals and their work identify elitist, meritocratic and radical alternatives about who intellectuals are, what they do, how they are connected to and divided from other social institutions, and why we understand them the way we do.
The Project seeks to build, by annual conferences and network activity, both an evidenced and critical understanding of the intellectual and intellectual work in the past and a critical understanding of intellectuals and intellectual work in the present, and its prospects for the future. In doing so, it recognises that the interdisciplinary basis of such an analysis will take in the fields of cultural studies, education studies (with a particular focus on higher education), history, literature, philosophy, politics, sociology, social theory and open avenues to wider and more diverse disciplinary connections, and the project welcomes interdisciplinary explorations. Some indicative themes are suggested below to indicate the types of issues that might be addressed in conference papers and workshops. The first of the themes is one we particularly wish to emphasise at this conference.
A. The Intellectual, War and Conflict
How do we understand the rights, responsibilities and duties of intellectuals in times of conflict and war? To who or what do intellectuals owe duties and responsibilities in war and conflict? What constitutes loyalty and disloyalty when intellectuals speak to truth? Should intellectuals be detached or committed in their approach to conflict and war? What constitutes complicity intellectual work about war and conflict and how should we judge both? How do we distinguish intellectual honesty from strategic opportunism in intellectuals’ interventions in war and conflict? What is the scope and limits to free speech and intellectual commentary during war and conflict?
B. The Making of the Modern Intellectual and Intellectual Work.
How do we understand the role and impact of intellectuals and intellectual work in the past in shaping intellectuals and intellectual work in the present? What historical categorisations, roles, models and places in conceiving the intellectual influence how intellectuals see themselves and their work today? How have the roles, natures and places of intellectuals changed through history? What do historical understandings of the intellectual tell us about the intellectual today?
C. Intellectuals and the 21st Century Academy.
What roles, functions and positions do intellectuals take within learning institutions and what has the impact of change in learning institutions made on intellectuals? What overlap and interplay is there between the academy and the intellectual? What moral, cultural, political and educational principles underpin the academy and the learning institution today? How has the association between academy and intellectual been impacted on by recent change in society, economy and politics in the 21st century?
D. Intellectuals and the Knowledge Society
How has the intellectual changed in their role, character and place in the knowledge society? How have the internet and ICT’s changed the way intellectuals work and intellectual work is produced, distributed and exchanged? How has the knowledge society changed our understanding of the intellectual in society? Have we moved from the primacy of the mode of production to the primacy of the mode of information?
E. Public Intellectuals and the Intellectual in Public and Political Life.
What is a public intellectual and how is a public intellectual distinguished from other intellectuals and knowledge producers? What roles and places do public intellectuals have in past and contemporary societies? Are intellectuals and is intellectual work always political? What political and public roles do intellectuals play?
F. Intellectuals and Cultural Life.
How have intellectuals impacted on cultural life, in shaping everyday experience, providing frameworks for understanding and producing cultural enrichment? In what ways have intellectuals played a role in shaping the cultural milieu? What is the relationship between the intellectual and the artist or producer of cultural knowledge and products? What is the relationship between intellectuals and the aesthetic?
G. Intellectuals and the Development of Bodies of Knowledge.
How do intellectuals produce and create knowledge? How should we understand the processes of knowledge production and creation as social and political and well as research processes? How should we understand notions of discovery, exploration and speaking truth in the context of critical perspectives on knowledge creation? How have particular bodies of knowledge developed historically and come to play determining roles in social, cultural, political and economic change?
These themes are intended as illustrative and proposals on related areas are welcomed. Panel proposals, workshops and joint presentations are also welcome. The conference aims to bring together people from different areas, disciplines, professions and interests to share ideas and explore questions in a way that is innovative and exciting.
Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 9th January 2009. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th April 2009. The draft paper should be of no more than 8 or 9 pages long and ready for a 20 minute (maximum) presentation during the conference.
300 word abstracts should be submitted to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:
author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract.
We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Social and Psychological Sciences,
Edge Hill University
The conference is part of the Critical Issues programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume.
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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