3rd Global Conference
Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, Ideas
Thursday 6th May – Saturday 8th May 2010
Prague, Czech Republic
Call for Papers
Following last year’s successful second conference, the Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, Ideas Project will hold its Third Annual Conference in Prague in May 2010. 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.
This conference 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 underpinning this inaugural conference 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.
This year we wish to particularly encourage papers around two themes:
Intellectuals and the End of the Academy
Traditionally, the academy has been the fulcrum of intellectual endeavour, but the massification, commodification and vocationalisation of higher education with an overarching instrumentality to the way in which academic work is being shaped towards employment and economy may well bring a final separation of ‘academy’ as an idea and a set of values and the University and research institute system and the dominant sites of knowledge production. How should we understand the role of intellectuals in this transformation? Are academic values and freedoms dying? Is this a new crisis or symptomatic of past crises or the real face of the academy beneath lofty rhetoric? How will this change knowledge production, intellectual work and the intellectual as a subject? How should intellectuals respond and what alternatives are there?
Intellectuals after the Cultural Turn
With the ‘cultural turn’ now a feature of intellectual history and its promotion of inter-disciplinary practice for intellectuals across the arts and humanities and social sciences firmly established, how do we look back of the nature of the changes that it brought? Has it encouraged a frivolous post-modern disregard for the intellectual rigour of disciplinary knowledge and particular theoretical approaches to study or has it been a surface layer of creativity atop deep and persistent and entrenched disciplinary bodies? Has it encouraged a greater sense of deep engagement with the experiential in social life or has analysis become superficial and self-absorbed as intellectuals write for intellectuals? How has the cultural turn related to the rise of a media and culturally saturated society and how has that impacted on the intellectual? Has the cultural turn, however much it has transformed bodies of knowledge, been the means by which intellectuals’ structures, processes of engagement and practices have remained more continuous than changed?
Some indicative themes are suggested below to indicate the types of issues that might be addressed in conference papers and workshops.
A. History, the Intellectual and Intellectual Work.
B. Intellectuals and their Troubling Relationship to Knowledge.
C. Intellectuals and the Knowledge Society
D. Public Intellectuals and the Intellectual in Public and Political Life.
E. Intellectuals and Cultural Life.
F. Intellectuals and the Development of Bodies of Knowledge.
These are intended as illustrative themes and proposals on related areas are encouraged. 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 27th November 2009. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 19th March 2010.
300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). 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.
Joint Organising Chairs:
Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy
Edge Hill University, Lancashire
Network Founder and Leader
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 the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).
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
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)