Wednesday 30 June ‒ Friday 2 July 2021
Keynote speakers: Prof. Quinn Slobodian (Wellesley College, Massachusetts)
Dr. Vanessa E. Thompson (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder)
IGES Birmingham’s DAAD-funded international research project (2019-21) explores Germany’s responses to unprecedented, ongoing disruptions and redefinitions in global politics, culture and society. The Covid-19 crisis has compounded longer standing challenges posed to a liberal globalisation consensus by more assertive national policies (Putin’s Russia, Britain’s Brexit) and a new brand of nationalist leaders (Xi Jinping in China, Trump in the US, Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil). These ongoing disruptions and challenges to the global order have exposed and exacerbated social and racial inequalities, environmental injustices and related patterns of migration on global and national levels, which liberal ideas and approaches seem unable to address in a sustainable way. The project asks: how is Germany navigating this new “World in Revolt” (The New Statesman) which is characterized by the rise of populism and radical right-wing politics on the one hand, and civic discontent in action (Extinction Rebellion, ‘Me too’, BLM) on the other.
Building on discussions at previous workshops with project partners from DAAD Centres for German and European Studies in Beijing, Tokyo, Wroclaw, Brandeis (USA) and St Petersburg, we now invite proposals for contributions to our international project conference at the University of Birmingham that address any combination of the project’s three key approaches to Germany’s roles and responses in the current global (dis)order:
1) Positionality: the project explores German responses to ongoing global disruptions from a variety of geographical and cultural positions – probing diverse German self-perceptions as well as multiple views of Germany ‘from the outside’.
2) Identities: the project is interested in intersectional identities and communities of practice relating to, for example, citizenship, migration, feminism, queer and gender politics, anti-racism and decoloniality, socio-economic inequalities and anti-elitism and asks how these practices shape German debates, social movements and the arts in the current climate.
3) Historical contexts and processes: the project invites explorations of legacies and memories of the past in contemporary responses to ongoing global disruptions in order to understand shifts over time in Germany’s (perceived) global role.
We particularly encourage submissions from scholars from under-represented groups, postgraduate students and early career researchers. In line with the project’s interdisciplinary orientation, we are keen to attract submissions from scholars working in and across a broad range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) German Studies, Political Science/Theory, Sociology, Memory Studies, Anthropology, History, Gender Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Education, Art History, Literary Studies, and Public Health.
IGES Birmingham will provide paper-givers with accommodation free of charge during the conference.
Full or part bursaries for travel costs will also be available to postgraduate students and early career researchers presenting papers at the conference.
In view of ongoing uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference may be held entirely online. If the conference does go ahead on campus, virtual participation will also be possible.