Contradiction Studies: Mapping the Field. Inaugural Conference on Concepts of Contradiction in the Humanities

Daniel Schmidt-Brücken's picture
Call for Papers
February 9, 2017 to February 11, 2017
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, African History / Studies, American History / Studies, Ancient History, Anthropology

Contradiction Studies: Mapping the Field
Inaugural Conference on Concepts of Contradiction
in the Humanities
University of Bremen, 9–11 February, 2017


Call for Papers


This international and interdisciplinary conference seeks to outline the new field of Contradiction Studies” in the Humanities, focusing on the interactions between seemingly contradictory socio-cultural phenomena and practices. This will allow an understanding of distinct, yet related categories such as antagonism, paradox, antinomy, and their uses within and beyond disciplinary boundaries. Participants will explore material instances and aspects of contradiction, as well as its theories and practice(s). The interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives of this conference will centre on three key areas in the conference sessions:

a) Fields of Contradiction, i.e. contradictory topics, semantic aspects, and social or cultural phenomena linked to contradictions.

b) Structures of Contradiction, i.e. (semiotic) forms of marking and negotiating contradictions.

c) Practices of Contradiction, i.e. contradictory agency and institutional strategies.

Discussion will fathom the potential of Contradiction Studies as a central paradigm in the Humanities, and to this end we invite scholars from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including art history, cultural and social anthropology, educational science and curriculum studies, geography, gender studies, history, linguistics, literary studies, performance studies, philosophy, political science, postcolonial studies, religious studies, and sociology.

We are happy to announce that the following distinguished scholars are invited to address the conference as keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga (EHESS, Paris, France – invited, to be confirmed)

Prof. Dr. Jane Burbank (New York University, USA – invited, to be confirmed)

Dr. Stefan Müller (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany – confirmed)

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmenk (University of Waterloo, Canada – confirmed)


Research questions may include, but are not limited to:

­–     In what ways are contradictions genuine elements and objects of knowledge production in the Humanities and beyond?

–     Why and to what extent can practices and institutions of knowledge sustain contradictions?

–     How are contradictions negotiated in institutions, and what is the role of the Humanities in these practices?

–     How do contradictory aspects of power influence the paradigmatic developments in the Humanities?

­–     What are significant contradictions in power relations among social, historical, and/or cultural agents?

Accepted paper proposals will be arranged with respect to the above-mentioned aspects in three sessions: Fields of Contradiction, Structures of Contradiction, and Practices of Contradiction.

We invite presentations of no longer than 20 minutes. Please submit your abstracts and proposals (max. 1,500 characters including spaces) at, or send an e-mail, along with your contact information, to The submission deadline is June 30, 2016.

There will be a poster session for young researchers, and for presentation of work in progress. Poster proposals (max. 1 page) should be submitted as PDF files, no later than October 31, 2016.

Conference registration at will be open from July 1, 2016, until December 15, 2016. The website will also carry information concerning the conference venue, accommodation, travel, and conference dinner.

Attendance fees are set daily, at 40 EUR per conference day.  A reduced fee for students, independent scholars, and the underemployed is set at 20 EUR per conference day.

Contact Info: 

University of Bremen

Collaborative Research Initiative „Worlds of Contradiction“

Dr. Daniel Schmidt-Brücken (Chief Academic Coordinator)

Room: GW2, B3150

Phone: 0049 421 218 68499



University of Bremen*


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