Situations Annual Conference 2020: Between Asia and Europe: Whither Comparative Cultural Studies?
Abstr. due: 01.05.2020
Dates: 21.05.20 — 22.05.20
Organizing comittee e-mail: email@example.com
Organizers: University of Ljubljana
Asia and Europe have long been recognized as the source for the majority of the religions and philosophies, the ideologies and worldviews, the aesthetic styles and fashions, that served to shape classical antiquity and prepared the way for the coming of the modern age. At times, this relationship has been seen as the site of mutual benefit. At the turn of the twentieth century, for example, comparative historians drew attention to the manner in which the lure of new industrial or scientific potential helped to elevate Asia, just as Europe opened itself up to new philosophies of architecture, art and dress. At other times, the two continents have been seen as rivals, two potentially hostile sites of power and influence. In this respect, the War in the Pacific became shorthand for a military, ideological and philosophical enmity.
As the second decade of the twenty-first century dawns, the shifting currents of global power suggest that either of these relationships may well gain come to dominate our medium-term future. It is now widely perceived that many of the dominant economic and political formations in the industrialized world—summed up in the dual regime of neoliberal globalization and liberal democracy—find themselves in an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy, and new relationships and configurations of power seem poised to emerge.
Given this context, what kind of insights might we gain about our current predicament by revisiting the origins of modernity? Alternately, how might an investigation of some of the roads not taken or the values dismissed as backwards and impractical reveal?
In the age of globalization, what points of contact between European and Asian texts have proven to be the most fruitful and significant? Alternatively, what are the ways in which Asians and Europeans have continued to misunderstand and misrepresent each other—how have Orientalism and Occidentalism changed in the present era?
What are the areas of affinity and convergence in the cultures of the Old World that have been overlooked in a global culture which is still very much dominated by the values and outlooks of the New World, i.e. the United States?
Finally, what aspects of European or Asian culture might serve as the basis for new ways of living and thinking in a future in which the economy, the environment, and the composition of national populations may well differ dramatically from the present?
We encourage submissions that take a comparative approach to the study of texts from Asia and Europe.
Possible topics include:
- Art cinema then and now
- Political philosophy East and West
- Patterns of migration flow in and between Europe and Asia
- Asian values and European traditions
- Mysticism and spirituality in a global age
- The reception of Western philosophy and literature in Asia
- Religious violence and terrorism
- Ethnic strife in Europe and Asia
- The legacies of communism at the end of neoliberalism
- Climate disruption across the continents
- Trade routes: from the Silk Road to the Belt and Road project
- The literatures and cultures of Eurasia
- The legacies of the Second World War: the Axis Powers and Asia
- Land and sea: the changing geopolitical landscape
- Ruins and monuments: the persistence of antiquity
- PanAsianism and the project of European unity
- Nationalism and populism in Europe and Asia
- The future of cultural and national identities
- Espionage and culture
- Tourist writing