CfP for the Panel: European Identity: From Culture to Politics, Florence, 22-23 June 2017

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Call for Papers for the Panel

European Identity: From Culture to Politics

 

The panel is part of the 6th Euroacademia International Conference ‘Identities and Identifications: Politicized Uses of Collective Identities’

22 – 23 June 2017, Florence, Italy

Deadline: 10th of May 2017

 

Panel Description:

 

 

The specificity of European culture and civilization was and still is the subject of tremendous reflections and writings. The sources of European uniqueness are multiple and the history of European culture exercised a universal impact that is hard to assess in its immense diversity. The cultural heritage and patrimony of the ‘old continent’ is inestimable through most diverse creative instances from literature, philosophy and arts to science and technology. It’s a patrimony that through belonging, any European can, and often will, claim without hesitation in a self-definition. A generous creative magmatic nucleus offers Europeans, wherever they live and regardless of any institutional frame, a reliable chance to dialogically identify with a rich and creative common inheritance. European culture is an open patrimony that accommodates well a fluid and dynamic identity. Some degree of cultural unity in Europe is claimed by the daily mentalities and discursive practices even if it’s just under the form of a ‘self-organizing vertigo’ (Edgar Morin, 1987). This unity is a loose, multileveled and multilayered one, in constant negotiation with national and regional cultures, history and traumatic memories, practices of ‘othering’ and feelings of belonging. Europeanness in all its plenitude is an inclusive and embracing idea.

Europe stands for a project among others. If there is a minimal specificity of Europe that could be defended, it is precisely the lack of an unquestionable point from which a European distinctiveness could be reified. The critical stand-point and dialogical questioning are part of the European ‘spirit’. The problems with the European identity occur when its disputed cultural unity is reified in political projects that place the European commonality as a basis for legitimizing political arrangements with precise institutional pragmatic goals and limited scope. The advance and transfiguration of the project of an ‘ever closer union’ brought about and intensified the searches and disputes on and around the idea of an emergent EUropean identity, particularly in moments of crisis. However the search for the substance, determinants, manifestations or specific features of such an identity opened the way for the image of an ‘identitarian Babel’. So far the EUropean identity is either a disciplinary debate within the frame of European studies in search of legitimacy for the EU institutions or an elite narrative that is compelled to confront its fictive design when facing the ‘failed Europeanization of the masses’ (Giandomenico Majone, 2009). Due to the confusion between identities and identifications, that is particularly emphatic within the EU studies, some scholars demanded that the concept of identity shall be abandoned. Inside the EU, identitarian issues turned out to be efficient tools for politicization of a ‘constraining dissensus’ (Hooghe and Marks 2009) while universalizing terms included in the making of the EUropean identity usually tend or intend to obscure the localized origins of any identitarian project.

Students of EUropean identity are most often voluntary or involuntary supporters of a ready-made idea of the EU. Yet acknowledging the beneficial and progressive nature of the EU in a wide variety of domains of political, social or economic realms in Europe and outside does not require transforming limited and occasional identifications in a stronger identitarian package whose unintended consequences can easily exclude or function against the very values is thought to instill. The paradox of the EUropean identity is that clarifying it more means leaving out so much that such exclusion becomes an act of contradiction in itself as it opposes any minimal content of such an identity. Politicized identitarian narratives inside the EU are in a phase of pre-contestation, meaning by that they rather set the conditions of possibility for a potential future EUropean identitarian articulation when the parameters of what EU stands for in Europeans citizens’ identifications will be clearer. In the meantime, in Europe, national identities are re-gaining emphasis, weakening the post-national cosmopolitan ideals of the EU, while nationalism and Eurosceptic right wing parties gain substantial political terrain. This panel aims to address the on-going challenges surrounding the European identity and the processes of Europeanization. The panel welcomes both contributions that address the cultural and intellectual history of the European identity and political studies that discuss the identity making processes involved by the EU. Case-studies and papers focusing on the national/European identity nexus are welcomed.

Some indicative topics to be non-exclusively considered are:

  • Features of Europeanness: What is Europe?
  • European Culture and Civilization: History Readings on European Patrimony
  • European Variable Geographies of Identification
  • European Identity and Belonging
  • Memory and Identity in Europe
  • Migration and Identity
  • Europe and the Post-National Cosmopolitan Ideal
  • European Values and Norms
  • Europe and the ‘Other’
  • The Power of Naming and Alterity Making in Europe
  • Identity and Conflict
  • Multiculturalism and Identities in Europe
  • Tolerance and Recognition in Europe
  • National versus European Identity
  • Regional Identities in Europe
  • European Identity and Globalization
  • EU and Politics of Identity
  • Europeanization and European Normative Influence
  • Nationalism and Europeanization
  • Euroscepticism and Identities
  • Hierarchies of Europeanisation: Core/Periphery Nexuses
  • European Symbols and Imaginary Representations
  • EU Enlargement and Identities
  • European Identity in International Relations
  • External Perceptions of Europe

 

If interested in participating, please read the complete event details on the conference website and apply on-line. Alternatively you can send a maximum 300 words abstract together with the details of your affiliation until 10th of May 2017 by e-mail at application@euroacademia.org

 

For full details of the conference and on-line application please see:

http://euroacademia.eu/conference/6th-conference-identities-and-identifications/