8th Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again

6th Forum of Critical Studies Lucca November 2017

The 8th Euroacademia

Global Forum of Critical Studies

Asking Big Questions Again




24 – 25 January 2020

Cultural Centre – Don Orione Artigianelli
Venice, Italy


DEADLINE: 5 December 2019


Conference Description:


Some say that the 21st Century or modernity altogether made humans more concerned with doing rather than being. As the classical Greek civilization valued most the reflexive thinking as a form of freedom from natural necessities, contemporary times profoundly involve individuals and the imaginary accompanying social practices in a restless logic of consumption, competition and engagement that profoundly – or some would say, radically – suspends or indefinitely postpones the autonomous capacity of human beings to question and reflect upon the social order and the meaning of social practices. The fast advancement of a peculiar logic of post-industrial societies, the gradual dissolution of alternative models to the capitalist logic and a multitude of other alerting factors pushed ahead a global spread culture of one-dimensional productions of meaning that advances a closure rather than a constant reflexive re-evaluation of cultural and social practices.




Many alternatives at hand are often condemned to marginality or lost in the quasi-plural practices where everything goes as long as it’s part of an intellectual market or sloganistic trend. The ‘fatal strategies’ of post-industrial societies to keep individuals captive, busy and seduced by contingent social arrangements and economic practices minimized the questioning detachment required to evaluate and give meaning through reflexive criticism and unlimited interrogation. Various labels were given to our unfolding times from apocalyptic ones to some more comforting yet, not by chance, lacking some vital optimism. Despite a wide-spread discontent and suspicion towards daily realities of our current societies, most of big questions are often left outside by the self-involved active pursuit of an imagined well-being that is no longer transgressed by harsh critical evaluation of its meaning. The academic arena itself also advances, supports, integrates and promotes limited particular methodologies that generate an effect of mainstreaming and often keeps researchers or practitioners out of the battle-ground for the big questions.


The ongoing economic crisis made reality even harsher and pushed ahead the need for more thinking as many habitual categories lost their meaning or relevance. New ways of thinking could transgress some inappropriate conceptions or misconceptions that preserve their centrality due to the mechanics of habit. Some other approaches that gained recognition and liquid validity just by the virtue of being new could be questioned as well in a wider and plural arena of intellectual interaction. This is a time when a call to thinking is well-placed. This is a call to arms for critical studies that promotes alternative, questioning and multidimensional thinking. It is based on the belief that thinking more is asking more and the answers come from creative constructive reasoning if left unbiased.


The 8th Euroacademia Global Forum of Critical Studies aims to bring into an open floor the reflexive and questioning interaction among academics, intellectuals, practitioners, performers, artists and activists profoundly concerned with evaluative understandings of the world we’re all living in. The focus of the forum is to initiate an arena where no question is misplaced and irrelevant as long as we acknowledge that evaluation, critical thinking and contestation are accessible trajectories to better understanding our past, present and alternative scenarios for the future. The Forum is also an open stage for sharing existing or ready formed intellectual visions and expose them to dialogue and scrutiny in a critically reflective environment. The 8th edition of the forum aims to become a creative meeting point for all the critical studies perspectives coming from intellectuals, academics, performing artists, change makers and idea shapers.


Conference Panels

When it’s about critical thinking and critical studies there is intrinsically an unending open list of topics to be included. The 8th Forum of Critical Studies proposes 5 sections (that are by no means exclusive):

  • Theory/Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Economy
  • Arts and Performance

Papers on the following topics (and not only) are welcomed:

  • Diagnostics of Our Times: Where Is the 21st Century Heading?
  • Our Societies Are As Good As It Gets: How to Escape the Closure of Meaning?
  • Consumerist Societies and the Captivity of Thinking
  • The Being/Doing Nexus
  • Assessing Models of Capitalism
  • Markets, Capital and Inequalities
  • The Remains of Individual Autonomy
  • How Plural Our Societies Truly Are?
  • Debating Ideal vs. Real Multiculturalism
  • Social Narcissism and Consumerism
  • The Role of Critical Thinking: Proposing Alternative Methodologies
  • Are There Any Alternatives to Capitalism Left?
  • Social Causes and the Pursuit of Social Beliefs
  • Protest and Social Change
  • Re-Thinking Revolutions
  • Hegemony and the Remaining Possibilities for Social Criticism
  • Loneliness and Isolation in the Era of Mass Communication
  • Living Low Cost: Values, Meaning and Market Exchange
  • Ideology and Other Dominant Narratives
  • Critical Economics
  • Critical International Relations
  • Post-Modernism and the Critique of Modernity
  • Marx and the 21st Century
  • Debating the End of Communism
  • Non-Oppositional Societies
  • Consolation, Complicity and Passivity Today
  • Who Still Waits For A Revolution?
  • C. Castoriadis and the Project of Autonomy
  • French Thinking and Alternatives for Thought
  • Eastern Europe and the Enrollment to the School of Capitalism
  • China and the Logic of Growth
  • Crises of Culture
  • Left and Right: Political Spectrums and Pluralism Re-Discussed
  • Art as an Exchange Value
  • Originality and Complacency
  • Literatures and Authors
  • Heroes and Heroines in Literature
  • Fiction and the Fictionalization of the Contemporary World
  • Film and the Persisting Hunger for Heroic Imagination
  • The Illusory Charity and Imagined forms of Contemporary Humanism
  • Post-Metaphisical Humanism
  • The Growing Social Irrelevance of Philosophy
  • Replacement of the Logic of Becoming by the Logic of Earning
  • How Do We Look Back at Tradition?
  • Just Wars or Unjust Thinking?
  • The Myth of Cosmopolitanism
  • Facing the Self
  • Communication, Media and Simulacrum
  • Science, Pragmatics and Vocation: Who Pays What We Can’t Sell?
  • Is There Still a Postmodern or Any Other Kind of Condition?
  • Post-Marxist Way of Looking at Facts
  • The School of Suspicion and Evaluative Thinking
  • Feminist Readings of Our Contemporary World
  • Post-Colonialism and the Refurbished Other(s)
  • Theory and Power
  • Queer Theory and Living After the Sexual Revolution
  • Subaltern Theory
  • Art and Critical Thinking
  • Performing Critical Attitudes through Performing Arts
  • Critical Art Performances


Propose a Panel or Section


Deadline for Panel Proposals: 15th of November 2019

Each Panel may contain a maximum of 5 speakers and a Chair that will act also as discussant in the proceedings. The panel proposals are discussed regularly by the Selection Committee and an answer to a submission is given in maximum 5 working days after receiving the panel proposal. Accepted panels are published on the conference website and call for papers are promoted.

Panel Proposal


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Philosophy, Autonomy and Culture


Panel Description


Europe was not evolutionary shaped as a unitary entity but emerged from a tumultuous history as a ‘self-organizing vertigo’ (Edgar Morin). Some cultural unity within Europe is claimed by the daily mentalities and discursive practices even if it’s just under the form of a unita debole, to put it in Gianni Vattimo’s terms. The ‘European dream’ (Jeremy Rifkin) forms at the crossroad between the ideal and real multiculturalism. Europe became a category of thought – even if an essentially contested one – through dispute, difference, inclusive and exclusive practices. The idea of a Europe often involves a persistent and camouflaged historicism intrinsic in the European version of quasi – universalistic modernity (Gerard Delanty). The works of Cornelius Castoriadis on reflective questioning of socially instituted representations are useful in reminding us of what Europe stands for as a project among others. If there is a minimal specificity of Europe that could be defended, Castoriadis has argued throughout his work, it is precisely the lack of an unquestionable point from which a European distinctiveness could be reified. By historical contingency, for Castoriadis, it was in Europe that a genuine interest in the others as others emerged in the frame of the project of social and individual autonomy originated in ancient Greece and reasserted by the European modernity. The project of autonomy as essential for the European self-configuration implies an unlimited possibility of questioning our own institution and of acting in regard to it. The European specificity comes from its traditions originated in Ancient Greece encouraging the constant and never-ending reflective re-evaluation.
This panel aims to revisit precisely this patrimony of critical thinking. It is the belief implicit in this panel that the contemporary understandings of Europe should be placed more firmly within this tradition of aspiration for autonomy as putting into question the institutions of the society and their emanated representations and shake the walls of their cognitive closure. This is because, autonomy as unlimited questioning is a premise and not an outcome of European culture. The patrimonial European identity can be conceived as an experienced identification with a generous culture from which many individuals extract and share feelings of belonging. It is the role of critical thinking and philosophy to place the Europeanness in touch with its generous, magmatic cultural elements and question historically circumstantial projects of political appropriations of identitarian claims.
The panel welcomes papers on any theoretical effort for understanding Europe and Europeanness, be it contemporary or a call to re-reading the past.
Some suggested topics for the panel are:

  • Thinking Europe – Arguments for a Fragile Unity of the European Culture
  • Ancient Greece and the Theoretical Foundation of the European Project
  • Elements of European Histories of Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Culture: Specifics of the European Thought
  • Renaissance and humanism influence on modern identity
  • Autonomy, Critical Evaluation and Culture
  • European Philosophical Traditions
  • Fragments of European Political Thought
  • Euro-centrist Thinking and Claims of Universalism
  • European Thinking and the ‘Other’
  • Is there a European Philosophy Pedigree?
  • Castoriadis: Europe and Autonomy
  • Derrida: Europe as a ‘Pre-Adult’ Space of Liberty
  • Foucault and Eurocentric Thinking
  • Enlightenment, Modernity and Grand Narratives
  • Europe and the Responsibility of Thinking
  • The Future of European Thinking

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

Theory and Praxis: Bridging the Gap in Critical Theory


Panel Description


To paraphrase Adorno, critical theory remains alive only because the moment of its translation into practice has been missed. Critical theorists have been publicly accused of resignation in front of practice, while they resumed themselves with changing their interpretations over the world, but abstained from any practice in the world of their lucubrated theorizations. The place of provenance for this quarrel is none other than the long philosophical debate over the relation between theory and practice. Things got even more complicated as critical theory answered to these accusations with the pertinent observation that thinking is a form of praxis which in its turn is nothing but thought in action.
Critical theory dealt extensively with the relation between theory and practice. However, in the context of contemporary plethora of social and political movements that have sprung in the last years as a result of the economic crisis and the capitalist contradictions made visible in such times, critical theory is once again called forth to try to pin down on the map of theory these practices of contestation and emancipation.
In this context of a perpetual and universal state of exception calling for praxis, the question of theory haunts practice like its repressed or acknowledged double. The historical necessary dialectic between theory and practice, together with its various forms of apparent manifestation challenge the entire specter of social science without the promise of any final reckoning.
New critical interrogation appear as soon as one takes a closer look at the theory that backs up all these socio-political struggles, only to find there an eclectic collection of theses and hypotheses that taken together or separate cannot offer any objective and universal frame of understanding. On the other hand, from the theoretical side of the mirror, the situation is as complex, in the sense of an unabridged gap between theory and reality in the double sense of advancement and delay. If theory and practice were once in the modern world inseparable as two complementary modes of the same subjectivation process through objectivation, today they appear divorced as two separate modes constituting the Subject and its socio-political mode of objectivation.
The panel invites contributions addressing the relation between critical theory and practice within our contemporary context. The panel welcomes theoretical provocations that can range from a modern classical approach up to contemporary theoretical debates. Some of the topics include (but are not limited to):

  • If we accept that practice without theory is blind and theory without practice is sterile, how can one surpass the ontological gap of objectivation between the two?
  • What type of theory can and actually does stand behind the recent outbreaks of social and political movements?
  • How can the contemporary social and critical theory surpass the unavoidable delay between theory and practice?
  • Can practice ground itself?
  • If the critical theoretical advancements within the field of social sciences are ahead of the socio-political praxis, than so much worse for the latter?

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

Marxism Reloaded or Philosophy in Times of Poverty


Panel Description


In his essay, Marxism and Philosophy, Karl Korsch sets himself the difficult goal of dealing with the intricate relation between philosophy, practice and Marxism (to name just the most general categories of the very insightful piece of text). The ultimate cunning key of this theoretical equation is given through recourse to a Marxist sentence, namely: “Philosophy cannot be abolished without being realized”. The best and the worst parts of contemporary Marxist philosophy are but a footnote to this apparently clear sentence. The task remains alive even today, although the question begged a different form. It fell on Adorno to reinstate this problem: “Philosophy which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed”. When it comes to the philosophical rapport between philosophy/theory and Marxism, a reduplication of the primary and complicit dialectical relation between philosophy and social reality (of practice and thought) things are not settled, although from a Marxist (and communist) point of view philosophy appears caught in the last moment prior to its realization. By the same stroke, history itself remains suspended and trapped in the last moment of its development. Like the cat in the box, it is both over and not at the same time. Not even Benjamin’s theory of the secularized messianic time (the time of the coming revolution) doesn’t seem to be able to explain the situation. Although it is true that it makes it more bearable (sic!).
So, again with Lenin, but in a different context, we must ask ourselves again “What is to be done?”. In the world of academia, the question takes the form of the interrogation generated by the premises, the goals and the objects of the critical exercise of thinking (critique of ideology, critique of political economy, critique of capitalism, critique of the commodity fetishism, etc…). Should the lines of Marxist philosophy regroup in the theoretical avant-garde or should it return to its orthodox stances? Badiou rises the stakes by bluntly posing philosophers all over in front of their task and (immanent) teleology: “Without the horizon of communism, without this idea, nothing taken from the historical and political becoming should be of some interest to the philosopher”. In this line of thought, a suitable ending to our theoretical provocation can only invite a return to Korsch and his brilliant observation, which reminds us that a philosophy which aims at surpassing itself and the universal injustice that made it possible in the first place, must not resume itself with the mere critique of the existing state of things (be they material or immaterial), but must also take the form of a content that puts forward a revolutionary theory (in practice) of a society. The idea of communism is the real philosophical form/expression of a real revolutionary content. Does it, and if yes how, speak to us today?
The panel invites many questions and opens on a large spectrum of Marxist problematic. We launch here a few possible lines of attack:

  • What are the contemporary tasks of (Marxist) philosophy?
  • Have we really gone beyond the Frankfurt theses of critical theory?
  • What can we make of the meaning of history in (post)revolutionary times?
  • Who/What is the philosophic Subject of history?
  • How about the idea of Communism? How can it still be ours? How can we think it into practice? How can we practice it through (critical) thinking?
  • Can philosophy still be a theory of revolution of our contemporary society? Or, forgetting the task of social revolution, philosophy has condemned itself to historical and social irrelevance?

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

The Eurozone Crisis. Transformative Impact on the European Project and Model(s) of Capitalism


Panel Description


Europe in these days appears to move from one ‘crisis’ to the next. The deep and apparently perennial crisis of the Eurozone has been on the headlines for a couple of years now, and shows signs of a further exacerbation. The crisis raises several issues of interest for students of political science, political economy and international relations. What appears clear is that the problems of the Eurozone are signals of a weakening (if not an outright failure) of European integration as it was envisaged starting from the early 1990s. The political and cultural dimensions of the crisis of the Eurozone should thus not be overlooked, as well as its wider significance for the whole European project. The consequences of a falling apart of the Eurozone are unpredictable and may usher in a period of heightened political turbulence. In the wake of the Eurozone crisis, some commentators and scholars openly take into consideration the possibility that the European Union itself may be in danger. Moreover, the deeply transformative effects on the European model(s) of capitalism generated by the crisis are under everyone’s eyes.
The panel grapples with these issues adopting a wide outlook, welcoming contributions from students of economics or political economy, as well as political science and international relations.

Some suggested topics for the panel are:

  • How can the crisis of the European project be understood with reference to the various theories of European integration?
  • What agency is involved in the transformation of the European model(s) of capitalism?
  • What does the crisis of the Eurozone mean for the European Union’s role in global political and economic affairs?
  • The discourse and narrative of the Eurozone crisis: crisis for whom and for what purposes? Media and the crisis.
  • Austerity measures and their impact on the Eurozone crisis
  • Greece and the scenario of exiting the Eurozone
  • The Eurozone crisis and the crisis of European solidarity
  • European Central Bank and the Eurozone crisis

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

Art as Cultural Diplomacy: (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe


Panel Organizer: Cassandra Sciortino, University of California, Santa Barbara


Panel Description


The panel Art as cultural diplomacy seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This focus however does not limit the thematic universe of papers to be included in the panel to Europe. Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of Europe, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. The panel seeks to combine a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art -its various practices, history, and theory – are an important area of inquiry in the expanding field of cultural diplomacy. Papers addressing the role of art in consolidating soft power of states are welcome together with contributions addressing the role of art as cultural diplomacy in the context of significant historical political events.

Some examples of topics include:

  • How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?
  • How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.), cultivate transnational identities that undermine political dichotomies and narratives of alterity making in international relations?
  • The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion.
  • How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity.”
  • The politics of mapping the world: mental and cartographic
  • Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of political identity
  • The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda
  • The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries?
  • Diplomacy in the history of art in Europe
  • Artists as diplomats
  • Art history as diplomacy–exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art
  • The international activity of cultural institutes
  • Art as cultural resistance in non-democratic regimes
  • Art as instrument of international promotion
  • Art as instrument of social change and democratization
  • Art, social movements and protest
  • The critical function of art in cultural diplomacy

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by until 5th of December 2019 [email protected]

Art History and Representations of Identity


Panel Description


Identities are socially attributed imaginary significations. They are part of the dynamic projects of individual and social autonomy (C. Castoriadis). Nothing shapes, represents or reflects better the imaginary constructions of particular societies than arts. The artistic perception and practice are often identity making processes while the object of art can be a direct or indirect embodiment of experienced identities. At the outcome line of the process of artistic creation, the perception of the objects of art as oeuvre is an identification with cultural claims for specific aesthetic standards.
Art has a tremendous impact in indicating or shaping various dimensions of multilayered identities. Trough time art represented or influenced human visions of life and death, natural or supra-natural, meanings of life and daily practices, beliefs and their expression, history and change, places and differences. Art is simultaneously a process of building contextual cultural identifications and an instrument for cross-cultural dialogue. Arts supported the symbolic legitimating of various political orders and had an essential role in the creation of national identities. Arts shaped cultural aspirations and credos as an effective element of cultural innovation, change and openness to new. Through imaginary representations, art inserted divisions and differences among cultures and self-perceptions of people yet also opened the path of curiosity for the other and the emergence of trans-cultural dialogue. As artistic visions touched upon the most intimate identitarian representations of individuals and societies, they exercise a fundamental role in the developments and dynamics of identity making processes. Arts deeply touched on social and self-representation through sculpture and portraiture, on civic identities through defining social spaces in architecture or quotidian perceptions through design, on social or political allegiances through symbols, iconic objects and cultural diplomacy, on acting identities through theater, literature or performance arts, on the formation of transnational and global symbols. They exercised an essential impact on the formation of social memories or in addressing inclusion and exclusion nexuses for the marginalized or oppressed. Art is as well one of the important modes for asserting identities.
This panel addresses explicitly and invites the theoretical or applied studies that relate artistic manifestations with identity making processes. As the universe of reflection and research on the topics involved are virtually unlimited and impossible to anticipate in full diversity, we welcome contributions that add value or challenges to the discussion of the topic.
Some suggested topics for the panel are:

  • Art and identity: a bidirectional influence
  • Arts and the formation of social imaginary
  • Art as search for self-expression and identity
  • History, memory, art and identity: from literature to visual and performing arts
  • Renaissance and humanism influence on modern identity
  • Art and the creation of national identities
  • Modern art and novelty as a value
  • Portraiture and identity: from painting to sculpture and photography
  • Performing identities: identity and performance in literature, theatre and the performing arts
  • The body in art
  • Gender and art
  • Women artists and identity
  • Photography and identity making: from single images to serial portraits
  • Identity and migration or displacement in art
  • Alberto Giacometti and Constantin Brancusi: the human and the absolute
  • Picasso and Modigliani: images of a deeper self
  • Cindy Sherman: the nature of representation and construction of identity
  • Architecture and urban vision: from civic identities to globalization
  • Contemporary design and the visions of life and the self
  • Displaying allegiance: from ideological art to political symbols
  • Fashion and social staging of personal identity
  • Cinematography and identitarian representations
  • Art and cross-cultural dialogue
  • Art and post-colonialism
  • Art and search for recognition: expressing cultural heritage
  • Art, infinite reproduction and the global village
  • Museums, galleries and exhibitions: displaying identities
  • Representations of the marginalized and excluded in art
  • Art and consumption
  • Art and biographies

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by until 5th of December 2019 [email protected]

Performing Identity: The Relationship between Identity and Performance in Literature, Theater and the Performing Arts


Panel Organizer: Dr. Panayiota Chrysochou
The University of Cyprus

Panel Description


Identity is often seen as being a controversial topic. Whether it is fictive or real, (de)politicized and/or aesthetic, gendered or engendered, identity is often seen as being a powerful political tool and an essentially social construct. It also allows individuals to define themselves. In a sense, we perform our own identities everyday – or, perhaps, we perform a wide range of different identities at any one time. We implicitly live in a society which constructs various definitive identifications, and which often sees the rigid maintenance of hierarchical systems and exclusive ideological constructions of gender, identity and sexuality, or what Judith Butler defines in her work Bodies that Matter as an ‘exclusionary matrix.’ This has often resulted in the displacement of any discursive systems which resist these exclusionary systems. This panel seeks to give voice to discursive systems which have so often been displaced by exclusionary systems of identification. The main exclusionary focus in culture and the arts has often been on the white, heterosexual and supremacist male (or female). To rectify this oversight, this panel seeks to address any works of art and culture which are directly and explicitly related to the performance of identity from a different standpoint – that is, one which is not exclusively heteronormative and heterosexual.

We welcome any papers which focus on the following topics:

  • Identity as a performative and political tool and/or as a site of political resistance and change
  • The work of gay/lesbian or drag performance artists who do not form part of the white, male/female and heterosexual/heteronormative matrix
  • Identity as a fluid and shifting construct in the theatre, the performing arts and literature generally
  • Cultural and literary works or works of art which resist fixed identifications and engender performative meanings/ways of ‘reading’
  • The abject as a site of identification
  • Gender and identity formation
  • Sexuality as a performative and identificatory construct or mode of identification

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

(En)Gendering Identity: Gender in Culture, Education and Society


Panel Organizer: Dr. Panayiota Chrysochou
The University of Cyprus

Panel Description


In Judith Butler’s highly influential and groundbreaking book ‘Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity’ (1990), Butler pokes fun at the notion that there is an ‘original’ gender to which we can ascribe, and playfully asserts that all gender is in fact scripted, rehearsed, and performed. To what extent can we challenge the notion that there is no fixed and gendered identity? Is it true to say that there is no such thing as real or true gender and/or that it is merely a constructed entity upon which implicit and invisible assumptions are heteronormatively entrenched in a patriarchal society? Can we really move beyond or outside gender and gendered constructions of identity? What are the stakes of eliding gender altogether? Is identity a fixed concept? Such questions become even more imperative nowadays given the growing politico-cultural tendency to assume that gender is an existing given which either can be singled out as a unique form of oppression or a systematized and neat classification in education, culture, and society at large.
This panel seeks to explore and address these issues in a number of ways. Broadly speaking, we welcome abstracts which engage with gender issues as documented in case studies, stories, on stage and in the literature, and particularly welcome papers which unsettle the fixed and divisive binary of ‘subject/object’, ‘man/woman’ and fixed notions of gender and identity politics.
We welcome any papers which focus on the following topics:

  • Notions of gender and identity politics in literature and the performing arts
  • The work of gay/lesbian or drag performance artists who do not form part of the white, male/female and heterosexual/heteronormative matrix
  • Gender dysphoria, gender reassignment and drag
  • Gender issues in higher education, culture, religion and society
  • Ways of destabilising notions of a fixed and gendered body and identity politics and/or potentially moving beyond or outside gender definitions
  • Gender and identity formation
  • Sexuality as a performative and identificatory construct or mode of identification
  • Gender and trauma
  • Gender and Political Representation
  • Gendered Histories and Narratives
  • Gender, Protest and Social Movements
  • Gender, Power, Beauty and Expresivity

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

Identities and the Cities: Urban Transformations, Transition and Change in Urban Image Construction


Panel Description


Urban image construction is a reflection, expression and constitutive factor of local identity formation and dynamics. Cities simultaneously localize identities and connect them with wider global signs of utility, function and symbolic order. Elasticity of the label identity accommodates everything that surrounds us as presence or absence, persistence or change. As a theatrical scenery, cities change after each act, sometimes with discrete adaptations, sometimes with radical interventions. If the scenery is composed of streets, parks, roads, museums, monuments, shopping malls and buildings connected through the intricate network of the perpetual and cumulative actions of its inhabitants, every adaptation and intervention affects its multi-dimensional identities. Changes in urban visual identities unfold as a form of public art feeding from the immense potential of social imaginary significations accommodated by a time’s perception of stability, structure and continuity. Urban change is itself a production of meaning, interpretation and identity making practices.
As the chaotic canvases of cities are being stretched over a framework of identity, its further exploration seems more than appropriate. Amidst the incredibly rapid urban growth crowding more than half of the world population in towns and cities, the questions are only going to keep multiplying. How are city identities made and re-made, used and abused, imagined and narrated, politicised and communicated, expressed and projected, imposed and marketed? And above all, how do they thrive within the dynamic interpolation of the nexus of local-global, centre-periphery, urban – suburban, old and new. As out-dated as these dichotomies may sound, in many places their daily life is far from over. As old cities became new capitals and new capitals struggle for more capital, the challenges of maintaining public-driven collective identities in the face of cultural fragmentation and diversification, coupled with consumer-attractiveness is turning them into urban palimpsests. Urban environments reflect the human needs and values. In an increasingly globalized world, the human beings are becoming more citizens of the world than citizens of the cities. The increasing mobility of the new pilgrims of globalization creates more of the same in the logic of universalized urban functionality. Within this logic, the cities are now in the position to re-evaluate their impact on the world and shape their future in a manner that assumes a wider responsibility that evades a localized mentality. Urban local identities are becoming increasingly thin and rely strongly on negotiating a local specificity with universalized functionality and global responsibility. An increasing need for uniqueness and distinctiveness foster site-specificity aimed at placing a particular urban identity within a global economic hierarchy. Public art became essential for affirming distinctive local urban identities in a universe of serialization and commodification.
As the research on cultural identities of the city is becoming more abundant, this panel aims at adopting a wide-lens inter-disciplinary approach, while focusing on various transitional processes affecting identities in the urban context in its global-regional-national-local interplay.
Some example of topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Collective Memory, Identity and Urban Image Construction
  • Appropriation, Instrumentalisation and Functualisation of Public Spaces
  • Contemporary Nomadism and the City as a Common Denominator for Collective Identities
  • Architecture as ‘Politics with Bricks and Mortar’
  • History, Heritage and Urban Change
  • Urban Regeneration Projects, Landmark Buildings and ‘Starchitects’
  • Non-Places and (Non)Identity
  • Immigrants and the Cultural Identity of Cities
  • City Marketing and City Branding
  • Cities and Public Goods
  • European Capitals of Culture and European Identity
  • Cities and Sites of Memorialisation
  • Identity Creation and the Cultural Offer of the City
  • Urban Cultural Heritage as Identity-Anchor
  • Minor Places: Dominant Culture and Site-Specific Urban Identities
  • Creative Changes of the Cities
  • Art and Industry in Urban Development
  • Urban Aesthetics
  • Urban Installations
  • Critical Architecture
  • Urbanism and Social Intervention: Inclusion of the Marginalized
  • Centre/Periphery Nexuses in Contemporary Urban Development
  • Cities and the Quality of Life
  • Urban Landscapes and Sustainable Cities
  • Contemporary Cities and Environmental Responsibility
  • Ugliness, Kitsch and Value in Shaping Contemporary Urban Spaces
  • Urban Sites of Identification
  • Temporary Urban Interventions
  • Architecture as Public Art

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

The Sequential Art: Comics as a Cultural Nexus

Panel Description

“Comics are just words and images. You can do anything with words and images.”
Harvey Pekar
The phenomenon known as comics, bandes dessinées, graphic story or fumetti was first defined as sequential art by Will Eisner in his work Comics and Sequential Art (1985). Further inquiries were led by Scott Mc Cloud (Understanding Comics) or Benoît Peeters (Lire la bande dessinée) in trying to establish a theoretical framework for this mean of expression. After a long period of being perceived as a childish form of entertainment, nowadays the sequential art is a well-known and respected form of art and it has even became the field of academic research.
This panel aims to feature the transdisciplinarity of its subjects and its methods, to bring together different ways of approaches, and to highlight its numerous possibilities of cultural dialogue. The panel welcomes contributions regarding the following topics, but any other paper or subject related to sequential art are most appreciated:


  • Mainstream, independent and underground comics traditions
  • How comics have been a way of expression to social and historical subjects
  • Theoretical and critical approaches of comics
  • Otherness in comics: depiction of exotic places and alterity
  • The Superhero prototype: a way of understanding the American way of life?
  • The Space In Between. On Time and Space in comics. Phenomenological interpretations
  • The connection between comics and architecture: François Schuiten – Les cités obscures
  • Comics versus Movies
  • Comics and Collections
  • Comics and social imaginary
  • Identity creation and the sequential art

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by until 5th of December 2019 to [email protected]

Participant’s Profile


The conference is addressed to academics, intellectuals, researchers, artists,performing artists,professionals / practitioners and activists profoundly concerned with evaluative understandings of the world we’re living in. The conference aims to stimulate critical reflection and therefore intellectual exercises in critical thinking beyond professional and disciplinary boundaries are given preference and strongly welcomed. As the nature of the conference is intended to be multidisciplinary in nature and critically dialogical in practice, different academic backgrounds and levels are equally welcomed.


Post-graduate students, doctoral candidates and young researchers are welcomed to submit an abstract. Representatives of INGOs, NGOs, Think Tanks and activists willing to present their work, research, experiences or reflections are welcomed as well to submit the abstract of their contribution. Euroacademia does not promote the ‘byzantine’ association of people with their institutions. As well the distinction between senior and junior researchers is not applied as a cleavage.


Session proposals and abstracts will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and the participants are selected based on the proven quality of the abstract and the capacity to contribute to stimulating intellectual dialogue. A critical studies stand-point is required in the selection. The submitted paper for the conference proceedings is expected to be in accordance with the lines provided in the submitted abstract.

Registration and Fee


Registrations Fee is 245 Euro


The Participation Fee Includes:


  • the registration fee
  • official invitation for the event
  • participant’s package with all the materials for the conference
  • full access to all sessions of the event
  • eligibility for publishing of the presentation in the conference volume
  • a copy of the electronic volume
  • access to Euroacademia discussion group and newsletters
  • daily coffee brakes with snacks and refreshing drinks during the conference
  • lunch on 24th of January 2019 at the Restaurant San Trovaso
  • lunch on 25th of January 2019 at the Restaurant San Trovaso
  • certificate of attendance
  • access to optional social program


Please be aware that the final confirmation of attendance will be considered upon the payment of the participation fee.


The participation fee can be paid through bank transfer or on request by credit card or PayPal. A confirmation of receipt will be sent to selected participants by e-mail together with the electronic invoice.
Unfortunately, Euroacademia has no available funds for covering transport and accommodation to/in Venice. Participants are responsible for securing funding from their institutes of affiliation to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. Official invitation letters can be sent by Euroacademia to the financing institution to confirm the selection and participation in the conference upon request.

Social Activities and Publication

A specific spot in the conference program will be dedicated to social networking and therefore all the participants interested in setting or developing further cooperation agendas and prospects with other participants will have time to present and/or promote their project and express calls for cooperation.

Photos and videos will be taken during the conference and the organizers will consider through the participation of selected presenters or members of the audience that the agreement for being photographed or filmed during the event was granted through registration to the event. Please notify the organizers in written form prior to the the event if you are a confirmed participant and would prefer otherwise.

A specific setting (Social Corner) for promotional materials connected with the topic of the conference will be reserved for the use of the participants. Books authored or edited by the participants can be exhibited and promoted during the whole period of the conference and can also be presented within the conference package based on prior arrangements.


An optional dinner and as social event will be organized for the three evenings of the conference in a typical Venice restaurant as optional program for the willing participants. The social dinner will be held based on participant’s prior confirmation and it will require costs to be covered by the participants individually on-site at the restaurant.


Selected papers will be published in an electronic volume with ISBN after the confirmation of the authors and a double peer-review process based on an agreed publication schedule. All the papers selected for publication should be original and must have not been priory published elsewhere. All participants to the conference will receive a copy of the volume.

Important Dates & Deadlines
15th of November 2019 Deadline for Submitting Panel Proposals
5th of December 2019 Deadline for Submitting Paper Proposals
6th of December 2019

Final notification of acceptance
12 December 2019 Deadline for sending the Registration Form
16th of December 2019 Deadline for the Payment of the Participation Fee
14th of January 2020 Sending the draft paper to be uploaded on the website of the conference (optional)
15th of January 2020 Publication of the conference program and uploading the draft papers on the website
24th of Januay 2020 The conference commences at 9.00 AM

Venue and Directions


The conference will take place in the XVth century Cultural Centre Don Orione Artigianelli, centrally located in the heart of Venice, located in an enchanting part of the city, just between “Gallerie dell’ Accademia” and the quayside Zattere, next to Gesuati Church and the Church Santa Maria della Visitazione, a 10-minutes walk from St Mark’s Square.


Cultural Centre Don Orione Artigianelli

Dorsoduro 909/a – 30123 Venezia – Italia
tel. 0039 041 5224077
fax 0039 041 5286214
[email protected]


Cultural Centre Don Orione Artigianelli was established in 1423 as a Jesuits’ monastery, lay brothers who dedicate themselves to look after the sick. At the end of the fifteenth century they also began the construction of the church of St. Mary of the Visitation. In 1669, the convent and church were purchased by the Dominican Fathers, who erected the new church of Santa Maria del Rosario and began the extension of the monastery under the direction of the architect Giorgio Massari. In 1810 Napoleon issued a decree for the dissolution of the religious order and confiscated the goods. From 1815 to 1850 the building was managed by the Municipality of Venice as an orphanage which, from 1851 to 1866, was entrusted to the Somaschi Fathers from San Girolamo but their congregation retired in 1866. The orphanage was purchased in 1867 by the Congregation of Charity, a lay organization with an educational purpose which decided to sell the property in 1923. On the 4th of August 1923 Don Orione purchased the entire property, thus continuing its work of helping orphans and children with hard family conditions. For decades, the boarding school with its professional schools and laboratories of mechanics, carpentry and typography was concerned with the education of hundreds of young people whose skills, once they graduated, were very appreciated in the world of business, hence the name “Artigianelli Institute”. In the early Eighties’, the mission of the centre changed from child care to support to young University students, in order to face different tendencies and several requests to provide accommodations to students who, every day came from various, even far, places to attend the numerous University departments of the city.



See map & directions




Conference participants are responsible for arranging the accommodation and travel to Venice.


Propose a Performing Lecture


Call for Performing Lectures


Deadline for Proposals: 5th of December 2019

The conference will include a limited number of performing lectures expected to advance the critical potential inherent to performative action and artistic expression. Alternative methodologies of addressing critical questionings of contemporary social significations and performative ways of addressing contemporary questions are expected to be part of the proposal. All topics included in the conference can be freely addressed or complemented through performative artistic acts. Please take into account that complex performances that imply complex arrangements, elaborated technical requirements or funding cannot be accommodated by the limited size of the event.
A confirmation e-mail should be sent to your e-mail address automatically when you press the Submit button. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 minutes after sending the application form, please send it also by regular e-mail to [email protected] specifying in the Subject line the name of the conference.

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The 8th Euroacademia Global Forum of Critical Studies

Asking Big Questions Again


Deadline for Paper Proposals: 5th of December 2019

The application process is dynamic and in order to facilitate the best circumstances for the selected participants to organize their travel and participation formalities and bookings, the Selection Committee meetings are held on a regular basis and a response to a submitted proposal will be provided in maximum 5 working days after the received application for proposals. We reply to all applications, and therefore if you do not receive a notification in maximum 5 working days regarding your proposal please contact us via e-mail.
A confirmation e-mail should be sent to your e-mail address automatically when you press the Submit button. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 minutes after sending the application form, please send it also by regular e-mail to [email protected] specifying in the Subject line the name of the conference.

Application Form


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