Tag Archives: Conference

Design Latitudes

Design Latitudes.

Design Studies (Department of Art & Design) at the University of Alberta (Canada) calls for proposals to an exhibition mapping the innovations, influences and future directions of design studies in the north. Many of the specifications reflect a southern perspective, such as ‘Investigate the role and responsibility of designers with respect to northern ecologies’. The key difference seems the history of colonisation, which is much more extensive in the south and is associated with greater self-doubt.

Southern Modernisms (Porto, 19-21 Feb 15)

Southern Modernisms (Porto, 19-21 Feb 15).

Deadline: Oct 19, 2014

The hegemonic definition of Modernism has been subjected to an intense critical revision process that began several decades ago. This process has contributed to the significant broadening of the modernist canon by challenging its primal essentialist assumptions and formalist interpretations in the fields of both the visual arts and architecture.

This conference aims to further expand this revision, as it seeks to discuss the notion of “Southern Modernisms” by considering the hypothesis that regional appropriations, both in Southern Europe and the Southern hemisphere, entailed important critical stances that have remained unseen or poorly explored by art and architectural historians. In association with the Southern Modernisms research project, we want to consider the entrenchment of southern modernisms in popular culture (folk art and vernacular architecture) as anticipating some of the premises of what would later become known as critical regionalism.

It is therefore our purpose to explore a research path that runs parallel to key claims on modernism’s intertwinement with bourgeois society and mass culture, by questioning the idea that an aesthetically significant regionalism – one that resists to the colonization of international styles and is supported by critical awareness – occurred only in the field of architecture, and can only be represented as a post-modernist turn.

Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos 2014

III Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos 25, 26 y 27 de junio de 2014 en la UAEH, Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo, México

El Tercer Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos, tiene la finalidad de reunir especialistas internacionales en relación con el estudio de la imagen como instrumento fundamental para la construcción tanto de memorias colectivas como del acontecer histórico latinoamericano. En esta ocasión, el Encuentro centrará su atención en las metodologías del estudio de las imágenes y la cultura visual.

La propuesta de la Red va mucho más allá de la Historia Oficial, que ha utilizado la imagen y el registro visual para justificar políticas de exclusión o interpretaciones sesgadas e interesadas del transcurrir histórico. También va más allá de los métodos empleados por historiadores de carácter tradicional, que han considerado la imagen como un subproducto histórico, un objeto auxiliar que acompaña a la palabra o, en el mejor de los casos, la ilustra.

La Red sostiene que la imagen (y, en general, la cultura visual) desarrolla estructuras propias que conforman discursos que deben ser leídos en otras claves: rigurosas, actuales y tomando posición.

La imagen provoca procesos de intertextualidad que la historia y las ciencias sociales no han sabido o no han querido explorar, ni asumir. Hoy en día, es imposible acceder al estudio del pasado y del presente de una manera eficaz y verosímil si no tenemos en cuenta la imagen, instrumento que sobrepasa la noción limitada de documento que maneja el discurso escrito.

La imagen plantea sus propias condiciones (y contradicciones), y responde a preguntas que no están presentes en la ortodoxia de la tradición histórica. Además, en momentos en que la construcción y recuperación de las memorias sociales e individuales se ha convertido en un reto para la academia, las imágenes son un instrumento ineludible, una herramienta de comprensión quizás más cercana al individuo social y a los procesos de globalización en los que estamos inmersos.

El Tercer Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos tendrá lugar en el marco del III Coloquio Internacional Imagen y Culturas que organizan el Cuerpo Académico de Estudios Históricos y Antropológicos y el Grupo de Investigación en Estudios Sociales y Culturales del Área Académica de Historia y Antropología de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo.

Con el objetivo de estrechar relaciones académicas entre investigadores de América Latina, la Red de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos se suma a la convocatoria del III Coloquio Imagen y Culturas para, juntos, construir un espacio de intercambio académico interdisciplinario en torno al estudio de la imagen.

El Tercer Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos se desarrollará en varias sesiones organizadas en mesas de acuerdo a las coincidencias temáticas y/o metodológicas de las ponencias seleccionadas.

Las propuestas deberán incluir los siguientes elementos: título, breve biografía académica del autor (máx. 500 palabras), datos de contacto (postal y electrónicos), resumen de la ponencia (máx. 600 palabras), y cinco palabras clave. Deberán ser enviadas antes del 28 de febrero a: [email protected]

Las ponencias tratarán de los diversos temas que son propios de los Estudios Culturales y la Cultura Visual, con una cronología que va desde la Colonia hasta nuestros días, siempre dentro del marco geopolítico de América Latina. Se podrán abarcar todos los medios de expresión que conciernen a la imagen. El tiempo máximo de exposición será de veinte minutos.

Epistemologies of the South: South-South, South-North and North-South global learning

From the multilingual Boaventura de Sousa Santos comes news of an important upcoming event in southern thinking:

Call for papers

Epistemologies of the South: South-South, South-North and North-South global learning
Coimbra – 10, 11, 12 July 2014

A sense of exhaustion looms over Europe. It would appear that the old world is no longer capable of rethinking its past and future.

This colloquium challenges participants to consider that an understanding of the world is much broader than a Western understanding and that therefore the possibilities for social emancipation may be different from those legitimised by the Western canon. This is the essential challenge: we do not need alternatives, but an alternative way of thinking about alternatives.

Can the anti-imperialist South teach anything to the global North? Can the global North teach anything that is not defined by centuries of colonialism and neo-colonialism, imperialism and ethno-racial supremacy? Can both learn in such a way that one day there will be no South or North?

The answers to these questions will enable proposals for theory and action to be constructed which effectively confront the logic of global exploitation, oppression and exclusion

The colloquium is structured around the following four main themes,involving the participation of scholars and activists in the global North and South:

  • Democratising democracy
  • Transformative constitutionalism, interculturality and the reform of the state
  • Other economies
  • Human rights and other grammars of human dignity

Full version of the call for papers here

To submit a proposal, please follow this link

Also in Portuguese:

and Spanish:

Warning: Questions Ahead! Southern dialogues at the beginning of 2013

Southern dialogues are developing strongly at this moment in time, though only to highlight the significant challenges ahead.

The colloquium Diálogo Trans-Pacífico y Sur-Sur: Perspectivas Alternativas a la Cultura y Pensamiento Eurocéntrico y Noroccidental took place on 8-9 January, as part of the grand scale Congreso Interdisciplinario at University of Santiago, Chile. Latin America has been the home of particularly active southern thinking, inspired often by its indigenous cultures. The ‘south’ as a rallying call has been significant given the tangible counter-influence of the United States, to the immediate north.

The Santiago colloquium witnessed a change away from this previously combative north-south argument. The principal perspectives were from Chile, México and Argentina. Much discussion was given to the emerging relations with Asia, specifically China. Alongside this was the growing influence of Brazil across Latin America, reflected in the large number present for the parent congress. In the past, these south-south relations would have been flavoured by a solidarity against USA as the common hegemon. But now there is increasing recognition of a diversity of interests across the south, and the need to reflect this in a conversation which is not reduced to catching up with the North.

One tangible contribution of the colloquium was the title. The word ‘noroccidental’ literally means ‘north-western’. This refers more generally to Western culture in the North, rather than the top left corner of the globe. Such a term accepts that there is a Western culture in the South as well, particularly in countries like South Africa, Australia and Chile. But it differentiates itself from other northern countries, such as Russia and China.

Other emerging terms are ‘Euro-American’ and ‘trans-Atlantic’. The problem with these is that it uses the generic term to represent only one half—North America. ‘Euro-American’ does not include Latin America, nor does ‘trans-Atlantic’ feature exchanges with Africa. The challenge is to find an English equivalent of ‘noroccidental’. Would ‘north-Occidental’ do?

The plenary concluded with a call for a more global understanding of South, reflecting such developments as population flows through the North and the relational identity of North and South.

The challenge is to extend this dialogue beyond Latin America to engage with forums elsewhere in the South. There is much activity in South Africa at the moment around the book by Jean & John L. Comaroff, Theory from the South: Or, how Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa, including the recent critical responses in Johannesburg Salon. In Australia, there is continuing reference to Raewyn Connell’s Southern Theory, as well as Indigenous Studies broadly taking on global themes.

The relative lack of connection between these dialogues is, of course, reflective of the condition of the South itself, as a series of spokes connected with each other only via a central hub in the North. Language is an added challenge. The convenor of the Congreso Interdisciplinario Eduardo Devés has developed his own perspective on the Southern condition through ‘periphery theory’, outlined in his publication Pensamiento Periférico, which is freely available in Spanish. The potential reduction of South to the condition of periphery is an important challenge to the broader historical narratives that it carries. To what extent the issues normally identified with South be characterised by the condition of distance from the centre? Such a perspective puts the historical conditions such as settler-colonialism into question.

Though the distances between the southern countries themselves should be identical to those separating northern countries, the ‘hub & spokes’ model works in a very practical way to mitigate against south-south travel. Many academics from outside Chile had to cancel their involvement in the colloquium due to higher than expected air fares. This is obviously compounded by smaller travel budgets for academic staff in southern universities.

The view looking out of University of Santiago, flanked by Allende and Guevara

The view looking out of University of Santiago, flanked by Allende and Guevara

Nevertheless, the University of Santiago is taking a lead in fostering south-south dialogue. In late October 2013, they will initiate an annual forum/workshop to ‘go full circle’ on the Pacific, looking at how a trans-Pacific exchange might be configured to include Latin America. The Asia Pacific is usually conceived as a domain exclusive to Australasia, East Asia and North America. But as with the APEC forum, the south-east arc of Latin America should be an integral part of that. ‘Full circle’ provides a focus on the Pacific as a space for multilateral relations. What would be the intellectual underpinning of this?

The time seems ripe for a major conference on these various strands of southern thinking. Given its position, hosting an international conference would seem one tangible contribution that Australia could make to this emerging paradigm. Alternatively, if it were to be held in a northern university, this paradox of having to go North to talk about South would provide sufficient material for a conference in itself.

One question that tangibly brings the condition of southern thinking home concerns the north-south asymmetry of the academic world. In particular, if someone had the prospect of an academic position in Europe or North America, would there be any value in remaining in a less well-endowed southern university?

Meanwhile, while waiting for such an event to emerge, four Australian academics have generous offered a summary of their work accompanied by a generative question:

As the Zapatistas would say, inspired by Mayan mythology, ‘walking we ask questions’. Thankfully, the path stretches out ahead.

International Conference on “University Leadership for Integrating Knowledge Diversity for Sustainability”

Sub-themes: Regenerating Social Science with (1) Locally Relevant (Indigenous) Knowledge Systems and (2) Sustainability Principles
October 5-7, 2012
Venue: AlBukhary International University, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia (www.aiu.edu.my)
Conference organisers: AiU and Multiversity
Suppported by Ministry for Higher Education, Malaysia/AKEPT – Higher Education Leadership Training Academy

The International Conference on “University Leadership for Integrating Knowledge Diversity for Sustainability” scheduled for October 2012 is taking place at a most turbulent time in the lives of universities and higher education.

Several universities have been seriously considering disassociating themselves progressively from decades-long dependence on imported Western academic frameworks and to replace these with more productive interactions with diverse knowledge traditions including local or indigenous knowledge available within local, regional and national arenas. In contrast with Western knowledge frameworks, local knowledge systems carry inbuilt sustainability features.

At the global level, despite numerous declarations and initiatives to formulate and implement more just, resilient, environmentally sustainable policies, change has come slowly, in fact too slowly, for the planet.

Post Rio+20, higher education (HE) was to play a more critical leadership role in the changing intellectual landscape especially in the effort to redefine the paradigm of knowledge and learning at least at the institutional level and bring this in line with sustainability directives.

However, the HE system is not finding it easy to transform itself to meet the requirements of the new construct required with a clear change in purpose. The challenges expected include the extensive reorganisation and transformation of knowledge to enable universities to allow for a more integrated approach to address urgent and serious global issues and overall strengthening of the capacity of social science to generate socially useful, culturally harmonious and relevant knowledge and information.  Hence the proposed October Conference.

The new approach which the October Conference seeks to host proposes to cut across conventional knowledge disciplines and is encompassed within a holistic framework which includes careful study, revalidation and use of thousands of non-western technologies, values and wisdom that have been generated in diverse, local, national and regional contexts.  

The conference follows closely on the themes of the international conference on “Decolonising Our Universities” held by Universiti Sains Malaysia in June 2011. However, where the earlier conference dwelt largely on a comprehensive critique of the existing – admittedly Eurocentric – university system and the need to change, the AiU October Conference proposes to transcend those boundaries and provide leadership in the challenging sphere of revalidating culture-based knowledges, in addition to proposing alternative knowledge structures that further sustainability and sustainable livelihoods, thereby strengthening social science.

The AiU International conference is thus designed to tackle two fundamental sub-themes:

  • Higher education for sustainability which will look at the new construct with a clear change in purpose to transform existing knowledge structures in social science to allow for a more integrated approach to sustainability problems facing the planet.
  • Examination, revalidation and use of indigenous knowledge, wisdom and values within the university (higher education) system leading to serious consideration and integration of these knowledge systems at the national, regional and global levels.
  • The conference is inviting international and local experts and practitioners to discuss the sub themes with a view to:
  • Appraise the existing knowledge system within the framework of sustainable development directives of the international community and to generate an informed critique, as it is widely accepted that conventional frameworks of higher education and development are unsustainable and that the existing structure of knowledge generation in social science does not lead to sustainable practice.
  • Examine current gaps in the support of sustainable education and discuss alternative knowledge constructs, especially indigenous knowledge, to fill these gaps.
  • Achieve a credible target of integrating indigenous knowledge, wisdom and values with conventional social science in order to implement the internationally endorsed directives relating to sustainability.

The conference will be of two full days’ duration on both the proposed themes and will host approximately 100 people both from the international arena and from Malaysia. It will commence on 5th October (Friday afternoon) and conclude on 7th evening. There will be an official opening ceremony and two key note addresses for each of the sub-themes.