Oecumene Dialogue August 2012

Dear Oecumene friends and colleagues,

We are very pleased to send you the August edition of Oecumene Dialogues, our monthly newsletter.

Summary of items covered in this issue:

  1. Blog on 'Olympic citizenship'
  2. Blog on 'Apples and pears, or, 'Why don't you move to Cuba?'
  3. Event 'Engin Isin in Utrecht: Citizens without Frontiers'
  4. Event '1st International Conference: Thinking Queer from and in Latin America'
  5. News 'Citizens Without Frontiers featured in OpenMinds magazine'
  6. Related events and announcements

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1. Blog on 'Olympic citizenship'

By Laura van Waas

If you have a Google Alert set up with the key word ‘citizenship’ or ‘statelessness’ (i.e. absence of citizenship), you will have received a slightly unusual story in your inbox this summer. Between updates on the troubling plight of populations like the Bidoon in Kuwait and the Rohingya in Myanmar, a piece of news of a very different kind was grabbing attention on the internet: 'Stateless African to compete under Olympic flag'.


2. Blog on 'Apples and pears, or, 'Why don't you move to Cuba?'

By Brendan Donegan

This blogpost is a response to Alessandra Marino's article 'Occupy Movement in India'. I appreciate Alessandra’s call to bring indigenous perspectives to bear on the signifier ‘Occupy’ that has been chosen (by who?) to represent and suggest equivalence between the various occupations of city squares around the world. Here I would like to supplement Alessandra’s analysis with a few additional thoughts on comparison and tracing connections between the Occupy Movement and India.


3. Event 'Engin Isin in Utrecht: Citizens without Frontiers'

The Centre for the Humanities Utrecht will open the academic year with a week-long event on Citizenship. For more information, see the Oecumene website. The event is free and open to the public. It is however necessary that you register by contacting the Centre for the Humanities at cfh@uu.nl


4. Event '1st International Conference: Thinking Queer from and in Latin America'

Leticia Sabsay gives a keynote lecture at the 1st International Conference: Thinking Queer from and in Latin America to be held on 25-27 October 2012 at the Facultad Lationamericana de Ciencias Sociales -FLACSO- Ecuador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito.


5. News 'Citizens Without Frontiers featured in OpenMinds magazine'

Engin Isin was interviewed on 'Citizens Without Frontiers' (Continuum, forthcoming September 2012) and his inaugural lecture at The Open University for the alumni magazine OpenMinds.


6. Related events and announcements

Media and the Riots report

The report builds on the insights of the Media and the Riots conference held in November where young people, members of riot-affected communities, members of the public had the opportunity to come face to face with working journalists, media professionals and academics.  Drawing on the discussion that took place the report both critiques media coverage and processes and makes positive recommendations. Roy Greenslade has written the foreword to the report and discusses it in the Guardian.


Full text of the report available via: http://www.oecumene.eu/files/oecumene/MEDIA%20REPORT%20BOOK.pdf

Revolutions: Call for Articles and Open Space pieces for Feminist Review Special Issue, No. 106, February 2014

Revolutions as a deliberately open special issue title references revolution as a phenomenon, social movement or form of transformation both contemporarily and historically. The editors are particularly interested in highlighting the difference it makes to the theory or practice of revolution to consider gender, or to gender to consider 'revolution'. We want to ask not so much 'what about the women?' (although this remains an important question), but 'what kind of revolution can or cannot attend to gender relations?' The title also references changes that might be made in the world that might not usually be thought of as revolutionary, and our plural form--revolutions--stresses both different forms (including counterrevolution) and the effects of and contests within revolutionary practices. Where does activism end and revolution begin? How might that distinction itself be gendered?

In this special issue, we hope to explore the gendered nature of revolutions of a variety of kinds, some but not all of which might also be called feminist, and to situate the question of revolutions in historical and cultural context, making it a question rather than a presumption: revolutions? Revolutions as a term has a further openness that may not reference recent or past social movements, even where contested. It may refer to the transformation or return (in altered form) of ideas, to the phrase that 'what goes around comes around'. In this sense our pluralisation resists an easy periodisation of revolution as well as the assumption that we already know what a revolution is when we see one, what makes a revolution gendered or feminist, or who its proper subject is. Revolution is always a relationship, always one with actors who exchange fantasies and desires as well as strategies and practices.

For further information and themes covered under this framework please contact the Special Issue Editors: Carrie Hamilton (c.hamilton@roehampton.ac.uk), Clare Hemmings (c.hemmings@lse.ac.uk) and Rutvica Andrijasevic (r.andrijasevic@le.ac.uk).

Deadline for first drafts of papers marked clearly 'REVOLUTIONS' submitted online and following Feminist Review guidelines by: Friday, 14 December 2012.

Call for papers for The Intercultural City: Exploring an Elusive Idea

29-30 November 2012
Ca’ Tron, Venice

The setting for the flow of capital, goods and people, cities not only of the North of the global South as well – are at the center-stage of globalization. They are also centers of the cultural diversity that has already become a substantial feature of urban space and that will inevitably continue to evolve as increasing numbers of migrants look for a way around the widening economic, social and political disparities among countries  worldwide. As the outcome of such an expanding exchange and encounter of peoples, cities will face the growing presence of different cultural traditions.  The manner in which they position themselves in front of such diversity will define their standpoint on how to manage the complexity of urban society. 

The results achieved by multiculturalism have proved largely unsatisfactory, no less so at the urban level, while assimilation policies have only enhanced social fragmentation. As a consequence, in recent years interculturalism has been increasingly applauded alongside the idea of the intercultural city as a path toward building a space where differences are acknowledged as equally legitimate, and citizens share a common sense of belonging while respecting cultural diversity.

In an increasingly complex urban society, however, creation of the intercultural city is extremely difficult, more-so than ever where new localisms emerge within the domestic community in response to the dividing drive of globalization, while migrants maintain strong ties with their places of origin, thus fostering only a limited sense of belonging within their places of destination.

This conference intends to assess, from different scientific backgrounds and diverse geographical contexts, the theoretical and policy potential that the notion of the ‘intercultural city’ offers within the context of the contemporary globalized city.

For further details of the call for papers and the event please visit http://www.unescochair-iuav.it/?page_id=1296

Call for papers for The Postcolonial Museum: the Pressures of Memory and the Bodies of History.

7-8 February 2013
Napoli, Italy - University of Naples "l'Orientale"

This International Conference, which is held in the framework of the European Museums in an Age of Migrations (MeLA)  EuropeanCommission FP7-funded project, invites contributions in the following areas: 1) Migrating Museums; 2) Participative museums and social technology; 3) Subjectivity and artists in the age of precariousness and immaterial labour; 4) Museums, digital archives and new media arts; 5) Alternative archiving practices. it aims at a  different comprehension of museums and archiving practices that respond to postcolonial and cultural studies in order rethink museums as mobile and “heterotopicspaces”, rather than stable places of institutional memory.


Call for papers for The Citizen in the 21st Century Conference

4-6 Feb 2013

In its most basic conceptualisation, citizenship is thought of as the rights and responsibilities that an individual has, and is owed to, a national government. The political concept of ‘citizenship’, however, is one that has been contested from its very beginning: from above, it has been a mechanism of control and surveillance; while from below, it is has been used as a tool for resistance and claims for rights and representation.

In the 21st century, citizenship continues to be a site of contestation as contemporary governments attempt to find a balance between the rights and responsibilities of the populations they are representing. This has been complicated by the changing nature of citizenship: it can no longer be thought of as a linear and vertical relationship between an individual and a civic agency, but one of horizontal relationship that is a function of not only the way one relates to civic institutions, but the relationships of those around them.

This, in part, is a result of a changing governance system as corporations, private service providers, non government organizations, religious bodies, informal networks (such as the environmental movement) and supra national bodies increasingly compete with national governments for influence over the lives of individuals. This is further combined and complicated with changing migration patterns – both within and across borders, as well as dual citizenship, new technologies that impact all aspects of our lives, changing markers of adulthood, success and loyalty, as well as the rise of temporary and precarious workforces. We also need to consider a changing media landscape, the rise of a neoliberal capitalism that holds no national loyalty and the failure of a number of contemporary states to serve the interests of their citizens.

As a consequence we have seen the emergence of what has been described as ‘the heterogeneous citizen’ (Arvanitakis 2009): that is, any possibility of describing a citizenry in a homogenous fashion, if it ever was possible, has now been wiped away. Further, citizenship now must not only be understood from a political perspective, but there are also cultural, social, environmental and economic dimensions.

The aim of this conference is to understand the emergence of the complex, diverse and heterogenous citizen within the contemporary world. This is a citizen who is increasingly asked to carry the risks as an individual as solidarity institutions and the welfare state have receded from the public sphere and frequently lost credibility. A generation of theorists have attempted to understand this flues environment, from TH Marshall’s discussion of citizenship and class, to Ulrich Beck’s risk society, and Engin Isin’s neurotic citizen, each is wrestling with the many changes which have only briefly been touched on here. As such, our starting point is that citizenship studies must take an interdisciplinary perspective, both crossing and combining the political, sociological, cultural, economic and community development academic disciplines to better gauge the developments of the contemporary citizen.

Further details of the call for papers is available via http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/probing-the-boundaries/persons/the-cit...

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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