9th SELICUP Conference: The global and the local in postmillennial Europe
Abstr. due: 10.04.2020
Dates: 22.10.20 — 24.10.20
Organizing comittee e-mail: email@example.com
Organizers: Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice
Scholarly debates increasingly revolve around the influence of global economic processes on cultural production. As Jeffrey Nealon (2012) argues, contemporary concerns with the ‘structuring mutations in the relations among cultural production and economic production’ have gained prominence as a reaction to intensified neoliberalism and globalization. Nealon has noted how capitalism has lately increased its control over social and cultural mechanisms—an increase he relates to the ‘intensification of the existing biopolitical sources’. The relationships between globalization, cultural production and identity construction are further complicated by the myriad processes that have fundamentally reconfigured the economic, political, social and cultural spheres. Representing both the ‘tendency towards homogeneity, synchronization, integration, unity and universalism’ and the ‘propensity for localization, heterogeneity, differentiation, diversity and particularism’ (Bornman, 2003), globalization seems to give rise to structural tension in postmillennial societies.
This tension is particularly apparent in the interactions between globalization and identity discourses. Since the former has affected all traditional processes of identity construction, there are many in postmillennial societies that are experiencing identity struggles, in a complex process that may include self-construction (Bauman, 2001; Bornman, 2003), the creolization of identities (Bourriaud, 2009), the rise of hyperindividualism (Lipovetsky, 2005) and pseudoautism (Kirby, 2009), the collapse of the sense of community (Bauman, 2001) and the rise of surrogate communities—interest groups, professional groups, virtual groups (Bornman, 2003); the appearance of new identities—not only a cosmopolitan identity marked by a sense of disembeddedness but also a global identity that implies ‘global self-reflection’ and ‘identification with the total of humankind’ (Bornman, 2003).
On the other hand, the pressure of globalization has also revitalized ethnic, regional, and communal identities and encouraged the emergence of ‘glocalization’ (Robertson, 1995), which includes the ‘innovative hybrid practices that local cultures have invented to assert their identity’ (Tartaglia and Rossi, 2015). This has also provoked an increase in regionalism rooted in local identity; i.e. an identity which ‘harbours emotional and symbolic meanings that people ascribe to a sense of self and the attachment to place’ (Tartaglia and Rossi, 2015). The complex tension emanating from opposing forces like globalization and glocalization, global and local identities, the creolization of culture and the preservation of ethnic and regional cultural specifics lies at the centre of current phenomena affecting languages and cultures around the world—becoming especially visible in the sphere of literature and the media.
Since mass production, consumption and communication have all produced a world in which it is increasingly difficult to identify a cultural centre, the previously dominant postmodernist and postcolonial theories no longer have the capacity to effectively address the changing character of the globalized world, as several scholars have noted (O’Brien and Szeman, 2001; Lipovetsky, 2005; Bourriaud, 2009; Kirby, 2009; Vermeulen and van den Akker, 2010; Nealon, 2012). An effective examination of the influence of globalization on literary, cultural and media production and its effects on contemporary identity struggles calls for the employment of novel research strategies.
In light of the above, this conference will foster the analysis of contemporary cultural productions. It will do so by providing an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the intersections between theoretical approaches to globalization, identity and those recent formulations attempting to define a new cultural paradigm.
The conference will prioritize (but will not be necessarily limited to) the following thematic strands:
- The influence of globalization and the evidence of identity struggles across languages and cultures
- Local vs global spaces in contemporary literature and media
- The role of the so-called ‘transnational novel of globalization’ in contemporary literature
- A new cultural paradigm? Theoretical approaches and case studies
- Gender challenges in postmillennial societies
- Sustainability and ecocriticism: new perspectives from the humanities and social sciences
- The emergence of new fields of sociocultural inquiry: city and urban studies, cultural mapping, food studies, neuro-literary studies…