“Risk and Crisis Communication in the Digital Age”

Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 19 – 21 October 2017

Crisis Communication research emerged as a response to the need of conceiving emergency plans to deal with events that have a negative effect on stakeholders’ perception of organizations. However, researchers soon demonstrated that crisis communication is more than a reaction, and it should be perceived as a strategic tool to plan organizational life. The absence of a strategic crisis management thinking and discourse, besides posing a risk to organizations also limits response to societal challenges such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks and wars. In addition to this, the Digital Age poses new risks to the typical planning methods, while making available new sorts of tools that can be used to plan, implement and evaluate crisis management.
Departing from this context, the 5th International Crisis Communication Conference aims to discuss how crisis communication can be used by business and the public sector in a strategic fashion. Which theories and case studies can help better plan and implement crisis communication plans? How do organizations learn from the past, i.e. how do they evaluate previous crisis and order to be better prepared for the future? How did the digital challenge traditional strategies of crisis communication? Which sorts of new risks are brought by digital media and how can one learn from previous online crisis? Are corporate and non-corporate organizations ready to face online crisis communication?
While seeking answer for these questions, the conference will deepen and extend the exchange of ideas and approaches across disciplines and between Crisis Communication theories and researches.

  • To examine the role and practices of communication professionals in relation to internal and external aspects of crisis communication,
  • To reflect about and to expose new roles and practices of strategic approaches to internal and external crisis communication,
  • To contribute to knowledge development about crisis communication cases of public and nongovernmental organizations,
  • To discuss and reflect about crisis communication theories and research,
  • To present case studies based on empirical material,
  • To clarify the importance of a strategic crisis communication plan.

The conference includes a panel for corporate discussion and cases presentation, which will contribute to the industry crisis management debate. The conference will also include Young Scholars activities – YECREA.

Submissions should deal with one of the following sub-themes:

  • Corporate Crisis Communication;
  • External Crisis Communication;
  • Internal Crisis Communication;
  • Non-Corporate Crisis Communication;
  • Public and Nongovernmental Organizations Crisis Communication;
  • Integrated Communication;
  • Crisis Communication Management;
  • New Media Crisis Communication;
  • Strategic Crisis Communication Management;
  • Media/Journalism (crisis reporting).

Presentation proposals in English language are to be submitted as meaningful extended abstracts (max. 500 words, references excluded). Abstracts should state the title of the presentation, purpose, theoretical approach, methodology, (expected) findings, implications, relevance, and originality of the study. Include contact information for all authors (name, organization, address, email address and phone). Abstracts must be presented in Word format, in 1.5 line spacing and 12 point Times New Roman font size.

Deadline for submissions
The deadline for submissions is April 17, 2017. Please send the abstract to: crisis5@fch.lisboa.ucp.pt. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by e-mail by June 9, 2017.

The Registration Fees are:

  • 70€ lunch and coffee-breaks included;
  • 95€ Conference dinner included;
  • 35€ non-presenting.

Keynote speakers
Professor W. Timothy Coombs – Texas A&M University (confirmed)
More to be announced soon
Organizing Committee
Professor Carla Ganito
Professor Nelson Ribeiro
Professor Maria Inês Romba

The 5th International Crisis Communication Conference will take place at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, in Lisbon (Portugal), on October 19 – 21. The conference is organized by the ECREA Crisis Communication Section, and hosted by the Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC), Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP).


Submissions: crisis5@fch.lisboa.ucp.pt

MORE INFO: http://crisis5-ecrea.com


Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies

September 7-9 2017

Goethe University Frankfurt

The sixth Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school will be hosted by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform from September 7-9, 2017 at Goethe University Frankfurt. Confirmed keynote speakers are Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz), Andreas Huyssen (Columbia University, New York) and Anna Reading (King’s College London).

This year’s Mnemonics summer school addresses the ‘social life of memory’. Memory studies is based on the premise that memories emerge (as Maurice Halbwachs argued) within ‘social frameworks’. But this is just the first stage of memory’s social dynamics. Those memories which have an impact in culture don’t just stand still, but lead a vibrant ‘social life’: They are mediated and remediated, emphatically welcomed and harshly criticized, handed on across generations, they travel across space, become connected with other memories or turn into a paradigm for further experience. Conversely, books about the past that are not sold and read, oral stories that are not passed on to grandchildren, history films that are not screened and reviewed, monuments that nobody visits, public apologies that do not engender heated debates – all these will fail to have an effect in memory culture. Memory ‘lives’ only insofar as it is continually shared among people, moves from minds and bodies to media and back again, is performed, remediated, translated, received, discussed and negotiated.

Once we conceive of objects and media as part of memory culture, we realize that these are not stable entities, containing unalterable meanings, but that they unfold their mnemonic significance only within dynamic and transitory social processes. This insight entails methodological consequences. It creates the need to use more complex theory/methodology-designs in order to do justice to the moving constellations we study. This may also mean connecting humanities- and social sciences-approaches. Reception theories, reader response theories, audience studies, performance studies, sociological and political science-methods, museum visitor studies, social history, social psychology, ethnography, or actor-network theory – these all belong to the long list of approaches that we may want to draw on in order to study what our research group here in Frankfurt calls ‘socio-medial constellations’ of memory.

The metaphor of the ‘social life of memory’ is not yet a clear-cut concept. However, it resonates with existing ideas, from Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘social life of discourse’ to Arjun Appadurai’s ‘social life of things’ or Alondra Nelson’s ‘the social life of DNA’. It also brings to mind the ‘afterlife’ of artworks as it was addressed by Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin. More recently, and within the new memory studies, Astrid Erll and Stephanie Wodianka have addressed the life of ‘memory-making films’ by studying their embeddedness in social contexts and in ‘plurimedial constellations’. In her study of Walter Scott, Ann Rigney has theorized the social (after-)lives of texts and authors in cultural memory.

The summer school welcomes paper proposals that display a keen interest in the dynamic interplay of medial and social aspects of memory culture and that suggest ways to explore ‘the social life of memory’ – from the perspectives of contemporary memory cultures across the globe as well as from historical viewpoints. Possible topics include, but are emphatically not restricted to, the following:

  • What social practices and networks bring (and have historically brought) memory to life (or fail to do so)?
  • How are media of memory socially framed and reframed?
  • How can we study the social reception of media of memory (e.g. via discursive remembering, in interpretive communities, by historical audiences etc.) ?
  • What are the social dynamics of memory-translation (the ‘cultural translation’ of memories, but also ‘literal translations’ of memory texts)?
  • Which performances express and foster the social life of memory, or inhibit it?
  • How do memory objects ‘travel’, what are their trajectories (or mnemonic ‘object biographies’)?
  • What are the economics and politics of mnemonic objects (in the sense of Appadurai’s ‘social life of things’)?
  • How do space and movement influence the social life of memory?
  • How does time factor in the social life of memory (when do memories emerge, circulate or become inert)?
  • How does politics enable or interfere with the social life of memory?
  • What types of ‘social life’ can we distinguish (lives as ‘monumental memory’, as ‘countermemory’, ‘agonistic lives’ etc.)?
  • How can we critically assess the logic of the metaphor of ‘social life’ (and its possible religious, biologistic etc. overtones) and find concepts that fine-tune, substitute or complement it?


ESSCS – Winter Seminar

Lisbon, January 25-26, 2017

Underwriting Culture/Cultures of Under-Writing

Deadline for submissions: January 9, 2017

Underwriting generally refers to an act of guaranteeing, sponsoring, backing, enshrined in insurance practices. By literally writing under the signature of the owner of the insured cargo, by countersigning, the insurer confirmed the acceptance of the risk of the endeavor and guaranteed the insured’s right to claim compensation for eventual hazard. Underwriting then provides legitimacy to an activity (shipping) and its object (cargo) and grants it institutional recognition by a regulatory body. The practice legalizes as well, by placing under the control of a body of legal practices, activities that could even eventually have been situated at its very limits (e.g. slave trading, contraband, et alia). Underwriting provides a promise of stability to a risky endeavor, while acting as a contract that expects to hold on the avowal of the risks it aims to back.

In literal terms however, underwriting connotes the prefix under as a resistance to the very act of writing, marrying under with counter (as in countersigning). As Jacques Derrida famously claimed, writing always connotes an element of fracture, of removal from ‘the real’ context. Writing bears the signature of a physical absence – of the subject and of the context – and articulates a moment of rupture, enacted as a counter act or as a mode of dissent under the very act of writing. In fact, “If a certain ‘break’ is always possible, that with which it breaks must necessarily bear the mark of this possibility inscribed in its structure.” (Derrida, 1988:64).

The workshop aims to discuss underwriting as a conceptual tool for the analysis of culture from a threefold perspective: as an institutional act of legitimation of emerging artistic practices; as a strategy of artistic dissent; as a practice of criticality, conflating authority and critique, affirmation and denial.

Abstracts for 20’ presentations addressing cultural practices as modes of under-writing should be sent by January 9, 2017 to lxconsortium@gmail.com

The Lisbon Consortium
A/C Diana Gonçalves
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Palma de Cima
1649-023 Lisboa

Reading list:
Jacques Derrida , “Signature, Event, Context”, Limited Inc., Chicago: Northwestern U. Press, 1988.
Maurizio Ferraris “The Signature”, Documentality, New York: Fordham U. Press, 2012.

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VII Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture

Global Translations

Lisbon, June 26 – July 1, 2017

Deadline for submissions: January 30, 2017

Translation is a concept, and a practice, at the heart of contemporary experience. The legacies of the past, along with modern-day technology and worldviews, have allowed for, indeed have invited, the coming together of multiple identities, through various languages and a plurality of cultures. Nowadays, translation inhabits the world in new and irrevocably radical ways, and any definition of globalization – hegemonic, utopian or imaginary – must involve translation.

Etymologically meaning ‘the activity of carrying across’ (Tymockzo, 1999: 20), translation may be the actual epitome of the global world, particularly if one accepts the broadest definition of ‘globalization’, i.e., that ‘“globalization” refers to the processes by which more people across large distances become connected in more and different ways’ (Lechner and Boli, 2012: 1) – a ‘global village’ needs translation, and translation is, of course, never innocent, as linguistic translation can help imposing hegemony or promoting resistance. Thus, translation, or the rejection of it, has been used as a political tool in every meeting of others, be it in the colonial past or in the post-colonial or neo-colonial present.

Translation has always meant, to a greater or smaller extent, displacement, and is never a one-way process and always involves beings as well as goods-in-transit. This translatedness of people and things, either voluntary or forced, has come to change the world, in practical as well as conceptual terms. The 21st century may well prove to be the age of migration, with millions – of people, goods, ideas, dollars – getting translated every day. These are Appadurai’s ‘objects in motion’ (2001) in ‘a world in flows’ (1996). Reinforced by long-distance technology (media, transports, etc.) and overreaching hegemonies, translation becomes a metaphor for modern-day experience, and a practical and a conceptual tool to better negotiate the world around.

To understand how cultural phenomena are affected and shaped by translation is, therefore, a task for culture studies, as the recent ‘translation turn’ may attest (Bassnett, 1990; Bachmann-Medick, 2009). This turn in culture studies testifies to the crucial impact of ‘difference’ – be it in the sense of Paul Gilroy’s convivial cosmopolitan worldview (2004) or the rather more pessimistic take of Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘liquidity’ (1998, 2011) or of Appiah’s interrogative musings (2006) – has on the imaginings of culture, on cultural performativity, on the ability to negotiate meanings, values, beliefs and practices and potentially raising what be called ‘cosmopolitan empathy’ (Beck, 2006). ‘Cosmopolitanization’ as a process which ‘comprises the development of multiple loyalties as well as the increase in the diverse transnational forms of life’ (Beck, 2006: 9) must be inhabited by translation in a radically intimate way – a translation that is both an act of love and disruption, and that begins at home with oneself. As Emily Apter put it, ‘[c]ast as an act of love, and an act of disruption, translation becomes a means of repositioning the subject in the world and in history; a means of rendering self-knowledge foreign to itself; a way of denaturalizing citizens, taking them out of the comfort zone of national space, daily ritual, and pre-given domestic arrangements’ (2006: 6). Seen as such, every form of translation begins with self-translation.
The Summer School invites proposals by doctoral students and post-docs that address, though may not be not be strictly limited to, the topics below:

• The globalization of art and art markets
• The monolingualization of economics and economic practices
• Migration as translation
• Cultural mediation and negotiation
• Fear and the absence of translation
• The invention of the ‘other’ in and through translation
• Translating ideas, methods, policies across the world
• (Un)Translatability and the rise of demotic media and politics
• (Translated) Identities in the global world
• Nationalism and the global village
• Self-translation and critical thinking in the global world
• Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitanization, and globalization

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Michael Cronin (Dublin City University)
  • Sandra Bermann (Princeton University)
  • Alexandra Lopes (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
  • Uwe Wirth (Justus-Liebig University)
  • Rui Carvalho Homem (Universidade do Porto)
  • Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff University)
  • Aamir Mufti (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Hanif Kureishi (British writer and filmmaker)

Master Classes

  • Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (University of Warwick)
  • Knut Ove Eliassen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • Adriana Martins (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

The Summer School will take place at several cultural institutions in Lisbon and will gather outstanding doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from around the world. In the morning there will be lectures and master classes by invited keynote speakers. In the afternoon there will be paper presentations by doctoral students.

Paper proposals
Proposals should be sent to lxconsortium@gmail.com no later than January 30, 2017 and include paper title, abstract in English (200 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning ongoing research.
Applicants will be informed of the result of their submissions by Feb. 19, 2017.

Rules for presentation
The organizing committee shall place presenters in small groups according to the research focus of their papers. They are advised to stay in these groups for the duration of the Summer School, so a structured exchange of ideas may be developed to its full potential.

Full papers submission
Presenters are required to send in full papers by May 30, 2017.

The papers will then be circulated amongst the members of each research group and in the slot allotted to each participant (30’), only 10’ may be used for a brief summary of the research piece. The Summer School is a place of networked exchange of ideas and organizers wish to have as much time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Ideally, in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.

Registration fees
Participants with paper – 265€ for the entire week (includes lectures, master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)
Participants without paper – €50 per session/day | 165€ for the entire week (lectures and master classes only)

Fee exemptions
For The Lisbon Consortium students, the students from Universities affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies and members of the Excellence Network in Cultural Studies there is no registration fee.

Organizing Committee
• Isabel Capeloa Gil
• Peter Hanenberg
• Alexandra Lopes
• Paulo de Campos Pinto
• Diana Gonçalves
• Clara Caldeira

The Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture is an annual meeting organized by the Lisbon Consortium, a collaborative research network between the Master and PhD programs in Culture Studies at Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the main cultural institutions in Lisbon.

The MA in Culture Studies is ranked no. 3 in the world by the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking in Arts Management.

For further information, please contact us through lxconsortium@gmail.com or lxconsortium@fch.lisboa.ucp.pt. Find us online at http://www.lisbonconsortium.com.

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Call for Articles – Diffractions: Graduate Journal for Study of Culture

Issue 7: Black Matters

Deadline for articles: May 30 2016

I am a blackstar, the statement by David Bowie (1947-2016) in his latest and ultimate album, which bids farewell to one of the greatest performers of our time, lends itself as a pretext to pay tribute to his legacy and to herald the aim of this issue to address the productivity of black – as colour, word and idea – within the cultural. In Blackstar, Bowie couples the dark imagery of a burial with a celebratory resonance which suggests the ambiguous significance of black across cultures, times and languages. Reestablished by artists in the exhibition Black is a colour, held in Paris in 1946, after its exclusion from the realm of colours following Newton’s scientific analysis of the visible spectrum, black has been continuously acknowledged as a central category in cultural discourse. Within the complex relationship between colours, black has always spawned a wide range of social meanings. This singularity within the chromatic spectrum calls for a reflection that crosses different concerns, from race to aesthetics, the politics of visibility and the manifold dimensions of cultural production. From black books to black clothes and black paintings, from black flags to black days, from black holes to black carbon and black boxes, black reflects the plurality of cultural artefacts, events and issues, social codes and political subjectivities, thus conveying the complexity of contemporary culture this issue aims to engage with.

For instance, its currency within debates about race is in many ways tied with the emergence of post-colonial discourses and their revision of modernity’s legacies. Nicholas Mirzoeff (2016) has recently referred to the “geological color line” to address the implications of racialization within the context of the Anthropocene, of that which comes to matter as human life. Black also informs the notion of “necropolitics” (Mbembe, 2003), a form of biopolitical governmentality in which the technologies of control through which life is managed increasingly coexist with technologies of destruction. Black also saturates the imagination of petrocapitalism and “oil cultures”, informing visions of both abundance and environmental disaster (Barrett, Worden, and Stoekl, 2014). Furthermore, its instantiations in popular and visual culture, such as the phenomena around black cool (Walker, 2012) or “the trouble with post-blackness” (Baker and Simons, 2015), articulate the theoretical, artistic and mediatic perspectives that both struggle and deal with the symbolic meaning(s) of blackness. As Michelle M. Wright argues, “the myriad ways in which blackness is sold is dizzying”, insofar as it works as a social, cultural and political currency that “helps to sell jazz, pop, hip hop, a variety of professional sports, Barack Obama […]” (Wright, 2015: 1). Black is also a signifier of invisibility, of erasure from the visual field (as in “black ops”), but also of hyper-visibility, of that which is othered, queered, and made visible through negative lenses. On the other hand, black can emerge as a provocative difference, a productive irritation to (white) normativity, and as a driver of critical approaches to knowledge production, as the creolization of theory advocated by Lionnet and Shih (2011). The idea of black has also been recurrent in artistic production, serving as label to distinguish genres and categories, such as Black Metal and noir aesthetics. The very proliferation of genres such as neo-noir seems to suggest the persistence and renewal of black aesthetic codes across time, proving the continued relevance of black to address the present.

At a global moment shaped by a wide array of exchanges across cultures, how does black sustain its singularity among colours? Has black (and blackness) gained (or lost) ground in theoretical discourse and cultural production? Does black (still) matter?

  • Black across languages and cultures
  • Black in visual arts, music and literature
  • Black and blackness in popular culture
  • (post-)Blackness, race and the politics of representation
  • Race, necropolitics and the Anthropocene
  • Black lives, (social) media and cultural mourning
  • Oil cultures, extraction and capitalism
  • Noir and neo-noir aesthetics
  • Gender and intersectionality
  • Dark mythologies and narratives across times
  • The cultural imaginary of string theory
  • Black flags, black books and black days
  • Black in ritual cultures and social codes (mourning, dress codes, etc.)
  • Black boxing, visibility and surveillance.

We look forward to receiving full articles of no more than 7000 words (not including bibliography) by May 30 2016 to the e-mail info.diffractions@gmail.com.

Diffractions welcomes articles in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Please follow the journal’s house style and submission guidelines at http://www.diffractions.net/submission-guidelines.

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The Culture@Work network invites applications for the workshop

| Circulating Critical Practices  |


Barcelona, April 24-25, 2015

Deadline for applications: March 23, 2015

The first workshop organised by the Culture@Work network in Copenhagen identified a substantial background of critical practices. An entire range of activities loosely connected around academic, cultural and political platforms emerge as a powerful thread that challenges the actual institutional map. A new division of labor appears as a consequence of these transformations leading to an increasing circulation of critical practices. Beyond established university departments and cultural institutions, nowadays research demands an innovative model of organization that should be able to exploit collective and heterogeneous agents. Although most of these cross-disciplinary initiatives have been contemplated as being strategic and transitional, they deserve closer examination before they wither away or else get inscribed as new wings of old institutions.

This second workshop will focus on the mutating nature of critical practices in as much as they traverse institutions of all kinds as well as non-institutional spaces. The questions arising will tackle the paradoxes that riddle the economy of these practices –sometimes considered marginal and experimental– as they become integrated in the neoliberal framework. Their rapid assimilation raises doubts as to whether alternative and critical positions can be maintained at all. Is there any chance to expect an antagonistic structure in the sphere of cultural production? Location, temporality and genealogy are to be considered key features of those practices which are contingently referred as research, teaching, curating, activism and more generally speaking, outputs of the creative class. Thus, there is an urgent demand to identify the different forms of knowledge and capital that flow productively, simultaneously creating alliances and interrupting mutual instrumentalisation.

Special emphasis goes to the contextual analysis of cultural policies that more and more are left out of the state administration. In a changing scenario critical practices risk to be dissolved among the vast number of autonomous initiatives of the cultural field. At this particular moment we welcome reports and diagnoses on these transformative trends informed by cultural agents coming from different perspectives. We are interested in contributions either coming from the core of the creative process or from the mediating sphere in any of the disciplines. And we would like to take into account that the two venues chosen to host this conference, the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona MACBA and the Universitat de Barcelona UB, invite to consider the affective dimension that brings together institutions of all sizes and colors as well as cultural agents operating in a wide range of fields.


The conference is the second of two gatherings organised by the Culture@Work network, a joint European project aimed at gauging how contemporary culture is put to work in new contexts. The network is founded by the School of Human Sciences at the Catholic University of Portugal (The Lisbon Consortium) in collaboration with the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) and the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The Barcelona workshop is co-organized by MACBA and Universitat de Barcelona (UB) Art, Globalization, Interculturality / AGI Research group


The conference will feature public lectures and presentations by Maria Lind (Stockholm), Eyal Weizman (London), and Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (Copenhagen).

Program subject to changes.

On the second day of the conference, a number of parallel working groups will be organised on the backdrop of the input provided by the submitted proposals from the participants. The group sessions will be based on presentations and discussions, but will also involve an aspect of production, as the groups will present their findings in a final plenary discussion, paving way for a concluding debate.

Participants are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute contributions to the working groups on the second day of the conference. In addition to the traditional academic paper format, we welcome performative work, presentation of relevant material for discussion, screenings, etc. Please include a 300 word abstract of your contribution and a short description of your work when applying.

Submission deadline is March 23, 2015. For submissions and queries, send an email to criticalpractices@macba.cat

There will be a limited number of EU sponsored grants for travel and accommodation costs for participants from the partner institutions, please indicate if you will also apply for the grant.

The workshop is co-funded by the Culture programme of the European Union.

For more information on the conference in Barcelona visit www.macba.cat and www.cultureatwork.eu.

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Call for Articles

Diffractions – Graduate Journal for the Study of Culture

Issue 5 | Urban Imaginaries

Deadline for article submissions: April 30 2015

As James Donald put it long ago, “there is no such thing as a city”. As a complex product of both material and imaginary forces, cities are plural entities at the intersection of geographically and historically specific institutions, governmental intervention, global market relations, political participation and creative transgression. In this constitutive diversity, Donald argued, the city “is above all a representation”. Indeed, the city is continuously made and remade through acts of imagination, grounded as much in the materiality of physical space as in the historically constituted ideas about urban life. In the vein of Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”, cities, as nations, can be conceived as spaces imagined into existence through multiple forms of representations and collective interactions.

Cities have become, more than ever, an outlet of often clashing social energies, where internal tensions and translocal connections intersect to shape but also contest the way urban life is configured and experienced. The popularity of the term “glocalization” – “the simultaneity – the co-presence – of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies” (Robertson, 1992) – suggests that global fluxes have led both to globalizing impulses and to multiple reactions against cultural uniformity through the “production of locality” (Appadurai, 1996). As social spaces where contradictory impulses coexist, cities are the site of political, legal and economic regulation, but also of creativity and dissenting practices.

Several authors have proposed the term “new metropolitanism” (Lenz et al. 2006) as a new concept to account for urban agency with regard to the material, cultural, social, and political processes that inform daily practices in a metropolitan setting. Drawing a divide between the history of modern metropolis – thoroughly scrutinized by the likes of Walter Benjamin and Georg Simmel – and contemporary world cities, the term “new metropolitanism” pays attention to the reorganization of present-day urban spaces, driven by cosmopolitan ideals, multicultural imaginaries, global economic transformations, political participation and creative vitality. At the same time, the term can be an analytic resource to tackle the conflicting forces at play in contemporary cities, seen as sites of emancipatory fantasies and associative imagination, but also of control, coercion and exclusion.

Rather than unified forms then, cities are heterogenous spaces where “urban cultures of difference” (ibid, 19) come into contact, where conflict and struggle constitute experience and drive change (Brantz et al, 2014). This issue wishes therefore to examine the ways in which cultural and political imagination have shaped and contested the configuration and experience of historical and present-day urban space.

Topics may included but are not restricted to the following:

– Metropolitanism and urban cultures of difference

– Globalization, translocality and placemaking

– Austerity urbanism and post-industrial cities

– Dynamics of creativity and gentrification

– The right to the city: Urban citizenship and participatory culture

– Boundaries, centres and peripheries

– Ghost cities

– Cities and colonial imagination

– Experiencing the city: tourism and authenticity

– City branding

– Entrepreneurial and smart cities

– Surveillance and Public Space

– Cities as affective spaces

– Urban imagination in literature and the arts

We look forward to receiving full articles of no more than 20 A4 pages (not including bibliography) and a short bio of about 150 words by April 30 2015 at the following address: submissions@diffractions.net.

Diffractions welcomes articles written in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Please follow the journal’s submission guidelines athttp://www.diffractions.net/submission-guidelines
DIFFRACTIONS also accepts book reviews that may not be related to the issue’s topic. If you wish to write a book review, please contact us at reviews@diffractions.net.

Find us online at http://www.diffractions.net.

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9th International Colloquium on Translation Studies in Portugal
CECC|FCH – Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon

22 – 23 October 2015

Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2015

‘Like all people, we perceive the version of reality that our culture communicates. Like others having or living in more than one culture, we get multiple, often opposing messages. The coming together of two self-consistent but habitually incomparable frames of reference causes un choque, a cultural collision’ (Anzaldúa, 1987: 78). The 2nd half of the 20th century has been shaped by movement – literally physical movement but also intellectual and imaginative mobility. As the age of ‘the post’ (post-structuralism, post-modernism, post-colonialism, post-feminism, post-humanism, etc.), the last 60-70 years have been a space of resisting and/or questioning traditional values and age-old certainties, of radical (r)evolutions in science, technology, politics and finance, of utopias, disillusionment and the (re)emergence of authoritarianism and an us-versus-them mentality.

As a powerful – albeit often non-assuming – platform for innovation and transformation, translation has shaped the world we live in in more ways than we are probably aware of. This two-day conference wishes to address how translation as the ‘circulatory system’ (Sontag, 2007) of ideas, discourses, models, texts, aesthetic forms is/may be inhabited by the hidden, and at times unacknowledged, urge for border-crossing and (r)evolution.

The essential elsewhereness of translation, which, at least to some extent, always straddles two (or more) languages, cultures and worldviews, to paraphrase Salman Rushdie, the movement towards others that translation always embodies – even when it attempts to erase and/or silence otherness –, the negotiations, tensions and fears that translating involves may imply that all translators are (metaphorically) border-dwellers, attempting to smuggle ideas, formats, possibilities. Therefore, the study of translation may uncover unsuspected territories of resistance to the status quo, as well as of rebellion against the silences, the forgetfulness, the dominant discourses and practices of the present, i.e., a gesture towards the future.

Papers on the following areas are welcome:

  • translation, canon, and counternarratives
  • translation and protest
  • (mis)translation as a political act
  • social/political/economic/aesthetic changes and translation
  • translation and violence (colonial, civil wars, terrorism, censorship, etc.)
  • translation and women’s liberation
  • translation in the media
  • translation and decolonization/neocolonization
  • autobiography, witness bearing and translation
  • translation goes to university
  • translation, science and technology
  • the economics of translation in the global world

Papers on other topics are also welcome.

Keynote speakers:

  • Teresa Seruya (University of Lisbon / CECC)
  • Esperanza Bielsa (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

The conference languages are English and Portuguese. Speakers should prepare for a 20-minute presentation followed by questions. Please send a 250-word abstract, as well as a brief biographical note (100 words) toix.translation.revolution@gmail.com by 15 February 2015.

Proposals should list the paper title, name, institutional affiliation, and contact details. Notification of abstract acceptance or rejection will take place by 30 April 2015.


Early bird (by May 30th):

Participants – 75€

Students (ID required) — 50€

After May 30th but no later than July 31st:

Participants – 100€

Students (ID required) – 80€

The registration fee includes coffee breaks on the two days of the conference and conference documentation.

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Call for Articles

The Aesthetics and Politics of Irony (Book Publication)


Editors: Elsa Alves (University of Copenhagen / CECC)

       Ana Dinger (CECC, Catholic University of Portugal)

Following on from the 4th Graduate Conference in Culture Studies, Irony: framing (post)modernity, held in January 2014 at the Catholic University of Portugal, we would like to prompt a reflection on the problem of irony in modern and contemporary culture.

After the tragedy of 9/11 in the West and the crisis of socialism in the East, the overriding ironic tone that had pervaded the 80s and 90s has begun to withdraw from the aesthetic and socio-political scenes. The last decades have witnessed an increasing celebration of affects and emotions, a return of authenticity and the real, and the birth of a “new sincerity”. This backlash against ironic alienation or “cynical reason” hopes to replace playfulness, shallowness and negativity for an ethos of commitment, sensitivity and integrity. Nevertheless, these attempts could easily turn out to be rhetorical or ironic.

The present book seeks to address, on one hand, the impulse of and the resistance to irony in today’s artistic, cultural and political discourses and practices. On the other hand, given that ironic attitudes and expressions in late modernity are anticipated in German idealism, constituting as such a Romantic possibility, we welcome reflections on modern irony at large.

Some of the key questions we wish to tackle are: how does irony become political? Can it build a community? How does it affirm the subject (e.g. in post-structuralism)? How does it provide a model of opposition to the status quo or, instead, how does it neutralize critique? How does it become an aesthetic principle and what are the strategies that this entails or, instead, how does it perform deaestheticisation? What kind of relation can the ironic and the tragic have? Are there historical moments that can be nominated ironic (e.g. post-modernity)? What are the post-ironic alternatives?

In this volume, Michele Cometa (University of Palermo) will address the theory of irony in Schlegel and Paul de Man, and its potential for culture analysis, Jorge Fazenda Lourenço (Catholic University of Portugal) will analyse irony’s political overtones in Jorge de Sena’s poetry and Philip Auslander (Georgia Institute of Technology) will discuss irony in the performative arts.

We invite contributions to be sent to the editors, Elsa Alves & Ana Dinger (irony2014@gmail.com), until the 1st of March 2015.

Submissions guideline:

Authors are encouraged to write an article specifically for the volume. However, it is also possible to draw on already published work, adapting this to address the volume theme.

Articles need to be written in English and language editing is the responsibility of the authors.

The texts will be submitted to blind peer-review and selected according to their relevance regarding the goals set out for the volume, originality of scope and theoretical framing.

Articles will need to be max. 20 pages in length, Times New Roman 12, including bibliography.

Please attach a short bio-bibliographical text (c. 150 words).

Deadline for submissions is 1st of March 2015. The organizers will return their decision by the end of April 2015.

For further information: http://irony2014conference.wordpress.com/

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