Lisbon, June 27 – July 2, 2022

Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2022 March 22, 2022

Masks connote an ontology linked to identity and the possibility of being. But they are also shaped by human to human interaction, i.e. they are socially driven and shaped by politics. Masks enact a foundational performance. They draw attention to the masquerade structuring identity. 

Masquerades have always been a relevant cultural element, assuming diverse meanings and functions along the history of humanity. Common to season and religious festivals, ceremonies and rituals of initiation or death, carnival festivals and balls, masquerades have always inspired the production of meaning in human societies. From theater to dance, literature and the visual arts, the masquerade and its representation connote at once exposure and (dis)simulation. They are arguably cultural mechanisms that structure the becoming of a subject. 

Under current conditions, we live at a time of masks, tapping simultaneously into obfuscation, secrecy and protection. Masks suggest a reflection on cultural experience as a masquerade. The XII Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture proposes to discuss, on the one hand, processes of masking and unmasking, the collective models of the masquerade as a cultural, literary and artistic genre, as well as a translational mode. On the other, the masquerade, following the inspiration of Joan de Riviere, reflects as well on the process of performative engendering. The Summer School shall equally discuss the masquerade as a strategy of gender performativity and gender as a performance, mirrored in new identities. Drawing from Judith Butler’s seminal theory of performativity (1988, 1990, 2011), and “playing” with the transformative character of masquerades, participants are invited to reflect on why and how bodies and language matter when subversive body formations are under threat, and on the very nature of the relation between subversion and the normal. Simultaneously, we invite intersectional work articulating cultural forms of the masquerade with modes of identity formation, including race, gender, age and class.

The XII Summer School for the Study of Culture invites proposals that address, though may not be strictly limited to, the topics below:

  • The masquerade as a cultural form 
  • Masks and power
  • Engendering/masking/performing
  • Masks as protection, conformity and resistance
  • Femininity and masculinity as masquerades
  • Queering
  • Passing
  • The theatricality of the masquerade
  • Masks in literature, cinema and art
  • From drag to vogue
  • The postcolonial and the decolonial masquerade
  • Identity and the mask
  • Masquerades as translational acts
  • Pandemic masks

We encourage proposals coming from the fields of culture studies, film and the visual arts, literary and translation studies, history, anthropology, media and psychology.

If the evolution of the pandemic allows it, 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 no later than February 28 March 22, 2022 and include paper title, abstract in English (max. 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 March 30 April 22, 2022.

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 no later than May 30, 2022.

The papers will then be circulated amongst the members of each research group.  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 for networked exchange of ideas, and organizers wish to have as much time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Therefore, in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.

Registration fees

Participants with paper – 290€ for the entire week (includes lectures, master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)

Participants without paper – 60€ per session/day | 190€ for the entire week

Fee waivers

For The Lisbon Consortium students and CECC researchers, there is no registration fee.

For students from universities affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies, members of the Excellence Network in Cultural Studies and members of the Critical Humanities Network the registration fee is 60€.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers (more TBA)

  • Liliane Weissberg (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Liedeke Plate (Radboud University Nijmegen)
  • Isabel Capeloa Gil (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

Organizing Committee

  • Isabel Capeloa Gil
  • Peter Hanenberg
  • Alexandra Lopes
  • Adriana Martins
  • Diana Gonçalves
  • Paulo de Campos Pinto
  • Rita Faria