CFP: Critical European Culture Studies

Randall Halle's picture

Critical European Culture Studies

Panel Proposal for Council for European Studies Conference

Chicago 28-30 March 2018

Through its commitment to accomplish cultural, in addition to economic and political, union, the EU has distinguished itself from nations or blocks in pursuit of multi-lateral trade agreements. Recent events like the “crisis” of Brexit now in process, the influx of refugees and migrants, or the rise of anti-EU ultra-nationalist movements are discussed as much as a matter of culture as they are politics or economics. And as we see with the 500th anniversary of the European Reformation, the transformation of national relations in the present in turn calls forth a re-thinking of common European histories. The rethinking of European culture draws forward new understandings of the Age of Empire and of colonies, the history of global migration, the dynamic of bourgeois revolutions, the Industrial Age, the Age of Enlightenment, etc.

Yet in the study of Europe, culture and specifically cultural union has been the least explored of the three goals of the EU. Both inside and outside EU borders, European unionization intertwined with the forces of globalization has changed both the idea of European culture and the material relations that form the fabric of Europe‘s culture(s). Its transnational, national, regional, and local relations and identifications have variously intensified, flourished, destabilized, and in some instances become quiescent.

Informed by this dynamic European cultural map, this panel (series) will explore European culture studies critically. “Critical” does not mean criticism in the sense of a negative rejection, but rather invites participants to investigate various disciplinary approaches to European Culture: anthropological, historical, humanistic, linguistic, policy analytic, etc?

How do we approach “the arts and letters” of Europe in their multilingual polyphony and their multispatial relations? How do institutions, festivals, cultural capitals, fairs and conferences approach multiple forms of group cohesion and artistic production? How do we investigate culture as a market and product of a European creative and culture industry? How is culture explored as vehicle to union; how do particular groups produce themselves and find cohesion around certain mores? And how do our approaches contend with a European cultural dis/union? What are the relationships of European, local, regional, and national cultures? How do people participate in and produce European culture outside the Schengen borders, in Eastern Europe or the world formerly colonized by Europe? How does the investigation of European culture transmit a way of knowing the world?

Organized by Randall Halle and John Lyon, University of Pittsburgh

Please send inquiries or proposals to or

Please submit proposals by Sept 23.

You are welcome to share abstracts in advance. A complete proposal contains a paper abstract (no more than 250 words) and author information, including name, title, institutional affiliation, rank, and e-mail address