Call for Papers for an international and interdisciplinary symposium
Representing Future. On The Cultural Matrix Of The Prognostic
Place: University of Münster, the castle ballroom (Schlossplatz 5)
Date: 7. /8. July 2011
Organisers: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hartmann, Oliwia Murawska, M.A.
Future is a social and cultural key category with which man is confronted in all areas of life on a daily basis. In order to generate his social existence, man has to plan, expect, create, think, anticipate and organize the future. Society provides a contingent of prognostic practices, techniques of cognition and models of knowledge, which have proven themselves historically and still continue to do so in diverse fields (for instance economics, politics, science, religion etc.). Both the range and properties of methods for conceptualising the future are culturally codified – this means they are part of a cultural matrix.
It is the aim of the Münster symposium to put these codifications into perspective and – using an interdisciplinary approach – view the interdependencies and connections between the structures of cultural groups and their respective prognostic methods and images of the future. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to examine:
1. which prognostic techniques are utilised in individual epistemic contexts, such as economics, politics, religion, science, or respectively in the diverse ethnic, social or occupational sectors, and on what paradigmatic assumptions they are based,
2. what weight is given to categories of planning, security, trust, risk, knowledge and faith,
3. what the time frame is for such prognostic knowledge and awareness of the future;
4. which social and environmental radii are included (the individual, microscopic and macroscopic level, global structures, universalia),
5. what systematic characteristics do conceptualisations of the future have (system-stabilising, static, regenerative vs. system changing, dynamic, constructive),
6. if and in how far positions define themselves as actively engaged towards or passively expecting the future,
7. what kind of deviation do the production of prognostic knowledge and future consciousness show in an intercultural and historical comparison.
The symposium has to be international and interdisciplinary if these questions are to be answered. Scientists and researchers from all fields (humanities, cultural and social sciences, natural sciences) are welcome to participate to discuss the questions mentioned above from their subject-specific perspectives. Suggestions for presentations combining thematic expertise with an underlying reflection on the cultural and social logic of knowledge on the future are invited to be submitted. The group of participants should encompass scientists from fields such as ethnology, history, social and cultural anthropology, folklore studies, philosophy, cultural history, history of ideas, art, history of art, religious studies and theology, history of ideas with a focus on non-European cultures, philology, sociology, political science, economics, ecology, medicine, biology, mathematics, physics, meteorology etc.
Please send suggestions until 31. December 2010 by mail or email to the above mentioned address. Suggestions should include the title of the planned lecture and an abstract (content and main theses) of not more than two pages. We will inform you about the acceptance status in the beginning of next year and will publish the programme in March 2011. We, the organisers, are eagerly awaiting your ideas and suggestions.
Best regards from Münster
Andreas Hartmann and Oliwia Murawska
Institute for Volkskunde/ European Ethnology
48151 Münster (Germany)
Phone: 0049 251 8324400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0049 251 8324400 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 8324402
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