An interdisciplinary conference organized by the NDA-funded FCMAP Group of Investigators and by the BCCW Research Group, Brunel University, London.
Will Self, novelist and social commentator
Fay Weldon, novelist and social commentator
Barbara Czarniawska (Gothenburg Research Institute),
Gillian Crossby (Director, Centre for Policy on Ageing),
Keith Richards (Third Age Trust),
Dorothy Sheridan (Director, Mass Observation),
Pat Thane (Institute of Historical Research)
Plenary Panel on ‘Ageing Policy’
Plenary Panel on ‘Third and Fourth Age Subjectivity’
Representations of ageing circulate in culture and society, as part of a narrative which underwrites social experience; impacting on identity, agency, attitudes, policy and quality of life in general. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis of these narratives helps us understand both ageing as it is currently experienced and the emerging shifts in these representations that indicate possible ways in which it may well be experienced in the future.
According to Rejuvenating Ageing Research, the 2009 report by the Academy of Medical Science, average life expectancy in the UK is increasing at more than five hours a day, every day. However, more fundamentally, the report describes ageing as a biological side effect potentially susceptible to treatment and thus opens up the possibility of medically targeting the process of ageing itself. Mapping and planning such transformations is an imperative challenge for scholars, researchers and for other stake holders in various fields. Already the extension of healthy life-expectancy for many into their eighties and nineties makes a mockery of addressing people in their sixties or seventies as old. Rather than see ageing as a problem—a condition defined by decline, frailty and vulnerability, one to be addressed in terms of fiscal policy and care—enlightened research needs to see increased longevity bringing about exciting and radical changes of cultural forms; transforming collective and individual experience in the Twenty-First Century.
New Cultures of Ageing will bring social science, social policy and social gerontology specialists together with academics and professionals from other disciplines, such as literature and history, to examine the changing scene of ageing in contemporary Britain. Our common understanding is that both social narratives of ageing and actual conditions of life are in flux. By providing a forum for mapping that flux, this event will investigate the necessity for future-directed inflections across many disciplines. The organizers specifically encourage papers concerned with methodologies and projects based upon a model of social inclusion and participative engagement for people in the post-retirement age range.
Proposals crossing boundaries and challenging preconceptions are most welcome.
The FICTION AND THE CULTURAL MEDIATIONS OF AGEING PROJECT (FCMAP) based in the BRUNEL CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY WRITING (BCCW) is funded by Research Councils UK and is part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme: http://newdynamics.group.shef.ac.uk/
300 word abstracts for 15 - 20 minute papers should be submitted by 1st December 2010 to: firstname.lastname@example.org Add your name and affiliation; use the following subject line as the submissions will be sorted automatically: ‘New Cultures of Ageing conference FCMAP Brunel’
NOTIFICATION OF PAPER ACCEPTANCE:
Notification of the acceptance of paper proposals will be sent out by 6 December 2010.
Waged: £80; Unwaged/ retired/postgrad: £55 (early bird rates – by 7 January 2011 - £60/£40).
Accommodation: £45 bed and breakfast on campus (limited availability).
Registration and payment deadline: 25 February 2011 [after which £25 late registration fee applies].
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