Fourth Global Conference on Happiness
Call for Presentations
Dates: 18-20 June 2018
Location: Mount Mellary Monastery, Co. Waterford, Ireland
Conference Fee: From €380 (Includes accommodation, all meals and return transport from Dublin and Waterford to the monastery)
‘Happiness is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world’, according to Aristotle. We all want to be happy. The right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ are held to be inalienable rights in the American Declaration of Independence, Bhutan first measured ‘Gross National Happiness’, and the United Nations regularly commissions independent World Happiness Reports. But what exactly is happiness? Different answers come from psychological, philosophical, cultural, artistic, sociological, political, economic, scientific and theological perspectives.
Is happiness merely a subjective feeling of wellbeing that can be brought about by pleasurable experiences, or is there rather more to it than that? Is it to be found in drugs (prescription and illegal), alcohol, gambling, in sex, or in spiritual methods such as meditation? What light can biomedical research shed on the concept of happiness? Does it correspond to living the Good Life, as the ancient philosophers believed; or is true happiness only possible in the afterlife, as some religious traditions maintain? How is deferred gratification more problematic in our hectic postmodern age? What sorts of things can make us happy in our everyday life? Do possessions and status guarantee happiness? Ought we to aim for happiness directly, or will it come about naturally as a side effect of doing meaningful activities? What roles, if any, do entertainment, travel, sport, the arts, education, material success, hobbies, crafts and family have? In what ways are happiness and health – both physical and mental – related? How do literary and mass media depictions of happiness inform our view about what it is and how best to achieve it? What significance has the idea of happiness to business, politics and the law? How can happiness best be promoted, and unhappiness minimized? Are we entitled to demand uninterrupted happiness? What is our responsibility towards those who are not happy? How can we personally add to the amount of happiness in the world? The Happiness interdisciplinary research and publishing stream seeks answers to these questions and more.
Because happiness (and the lack of it) is centrally important to the human condition, it is of great interest to many disciplines and practices. The topic also provides a fertile ground for the intersection of theory and praxis. We want to provide access opportunities so that widest range of people with something to say about happiness can join in this conversation.
These might include: psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, medical professionals, addiction workers, pharmacologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, theologians, educationalists, parents, teachers, clergy, NGOs, social/welfare services, charities, politicians, political scientists, civil servants, cultural theorists, entertainers, performers, creative artists, writers, sportspersons, hospitality industry professionals, PR and advertising professionals, retailers, economists, journalists, market researchers, business people, restaurateurs, and anyone else who has a contribution to make in understanding happiness.
As we explore the manifold aspects of the concept of happiness, we encourage participants to think outside the limits of their own discipline, and to explore the implications for practice of the theories and perspectives that they espouse. In better understanding happiness, we can become both personally happier, and have a role in raising the happiness levels of the communities of which we are a part. As the Dalai Lama said, ‘If you want others to be happy, practise compassion, if you want to be happy, practise compassion’.
We welcome traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals, as well as other forms of presentation platforms (art, poetry, posters, video submissions, and so on), given the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, and recognising that different groups express themselves in various formats and mediums.
We would like participants – both from within and from outside academica – to explore the concept of happiness in ways that include, but are not limited to:
Sources of Happiness
§ happiness and creativity
§ happiness and music
§ happiness and the arts
§ happiness and work
§ happiness and health
§ happiness and exercise
§ happiness and sport
§ happiness and craft skills
§ happiness and philanthropy/volunteering
§ happiness and culture
§ happiness and entertainment (real and virtual)
§ happiness and travel
§ happiness and relationships
§ happiness and sex
§ happiness and self-efficacy
§ happiness and self esteem
§ happiness and self-actualization
§ wealth, achievement and happiness
§ happiness amongst retirees, downsizers, slackademics
§ happiness and contentment
§ happy families
§ happiness in communities
§ happiness and spirituality
§ hapiness and the sublime
§ happiness and terror
§ finding happiness in misery
Depictions of Happiness
§ happiness in popular culture
§ happiness in traditional media: tv, film, theatre, print
§ happiness in social media and the Internet
§ happiness in literature and the arts
Definitions of Happiness
§ what is happiness?
§ theories of happiness: philosophical, theological, anthropological, sociological, psychological, political, economic, physiological
§ definitions of ‘The Good Life’
§ happiness and objective flourishing
§ happiness and subjective wellbeing
§ happiness, hedonism and thrill-seeking
§ happiness and peak experiences: ‘flow’; euphoria; epiphanies
Wider Implications of Happiness
§ historical and cultural forces that shape attitudes toward happiness
§ law, public policy and happiness
§ happy organizations
§ structural inequalities that limit happiness
§ happiness and aging
§ happy childhoods
§ happy students
§ happy customers
Happiness and Sadness
§ promoting happiness
§ personal and political contributions towards happiness
§ happiness and education
§ the self-help industry
§ waiting for happiness
§ barriers to happiness
§ happiness and suffering
§ joy and sadness
§ happiness and addiction
§ ‘happy pills’
§ therapeutic interventions to increase happines
What to Send
300 word abstracts should be submitted by February 14 2018. All submissions are minimally double blind peer reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be sent by April 14 2018. Abstracts should be emailed simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract f) up to 10 key words
E-mails should be entitled: HAPPINESS 4 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times New Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to resend it.
Seán Moran: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Ryan: email@example.com
This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various innovative and exciting discussions.
All papers accepted for the conference must be in English, and last no more than twenty minutes to present.
We believe that it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the conference. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.
Please note: we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, but we will provide free return transport from Dublin to the conference venue.
Our conference will be in a historic monastery, set in the beautiful Irish countryside. It will be an opportunity to escape from the world for a short while, and enjoy some friendly and stimulating discussions in a serene environment. www.mountmellarayabbey.org
Dr Sean Moran
Waterford Institute of Technology