CFP “European Cultures: Utopias and Dystopias”

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Call for Papers


The European Culture Research Network (ECRN) of

the Council for European Studies

invites submissions for papers for

the 29th International Conference of Europeanists at the

University of Iceland | Reykjavik, Iceland June 27-29, 2023


The European Culture Research Network invites submissions for a mini-symposium on the topic of “European Cultures: Utopias and Dystopias”

This symposium aims to address the relation of culture to utopian and dystopian imaginaries of Europe, past, present, and future. How is culture deployed to generate and promote utopian or dystopian projects and imaginaries? What is the role of cultural institutions? And what insights does the study of culture offer into these narratives? Culture is the vector through which we address and organize our world and (re)imagine idealized pasts, better futures, or bleak destinies. We approach culture in its broadest sense here: from cultural practices, institutional cultural projects, the mechanisms of production, and collective identities, to objects and texts in their reception. 

We are particularly interested in papers discussing the following topics within or in relation to the framework of the conference themes of “utopias and dystopias”:

  • Decolonization and Decolonizing Culture 
  • Migration and diversity 
  • Cultural approaches to borders and boundaries
  • Culture and conflict (in Ukraine and beyond)
  • Cultural imaginaries in a changing world order
  • Imagining alternative futures: cultural activism, aesthetic, and poetic practices
  • Socialist(Postsocialist) Utopias/Dystopias and cultural politics

Please send proposals for the mini-symposium by October 1 to Michael Gott (, Arina Rotaru (, and Claske Vos (


You will submit proposals directly to the Council for European Studies by Oct 14 (for those included in a network symposium, instructions for indicating your participation in a panel will be sent by us in advance of the deadline)



Open Call for panels, roundtables, and mini-symposia:

The CES welcomes paper and session submissions on all aspects of European Culture


We encourage you to inform us of any panel or paper proposals that are related to culture and of direct interest to the research network but that fall outside of the specific themes selected for the symposium. This will allow the network to promote related panels.


Sessions involve a moderator and discussants, and can take four forms:

  • Paper panels consist of 4-5 papers organized around a common theme with comments provided by a discussant.
  • Book panels (also known as "Author Meets Critics") bring together 4-6 scholars to debate a recent publication in the field and are moderated by a chair.
  • Roundtables assemble 4-6 scholars to discuss a common theme, idea, or topic with moderation provided by a chair.
  • Mini-Symposia are thematic clusters of 3-5 sessions of any of the above types grouped together.



Notes on CES conference format

The ECRN welcomes contributions on local, regional, national, transnational topics. Please do consider your topic in its specificity as having a relation to Europe as term, history, discourse, place, etc.


CES is an interdisciplinary conference.  People used to humanist conferences please note that our network strives to participate in the CES format. This means longer papers shared in advance and 10-12 minute presentations at the conference. This does require more advance planning but results in a livelier and more interactive panel and symposium-wide discussion and promotes engagement with others beyond our immediate fields and disciplines. 


Some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Think of the goal as something closer to a seminar conversation that all can participate in. Think of the conference as fostering edited volumes, special issues, and working group formation.
  • Plan to share longer papers, chapters in draft mode 2 weeks before the conference.
  • Commit to reading the papers on your panel and to papers across panels.
  • Commit to communicating to an interdisciplinary audience


EUROPEAN CULTURE is a new Research Network at the Council for European Studies.

For membership information, see