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Rethinking Resistance: Call for Papers

15 February 2022

The College’s Academic Projects Fund is supporting Hannah Scheithauer, a doctoral student at the College, in co-organising a graduate conference on the theme ‘Rethinking Resistance’. The conference, which is partnered with the Oxford White Rose Project and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), is inviting graduate students from across disciplines and institutions to submit papers for presentation at the conference in June.

What is resistance? Who are its agents, what are their missions, and what are their tools? How do they portray themselves, and what place do they occupy in present-day ‘communities of memory’ (Assmann; Erll)? As disputed prophecies heralding a utopian ‘end of history’ (Fukuyama) have contended with twenty-first-century realities – characterised by violent returns to authoritarian rule, and by new means of propagandistic indoctrination and technological surveillance – finding answers to these questions is an increasingly urgent task.   

Resistance, when defined as working against political and cultural practices that are perceived as hegemonic (Gramsci), is an inherently interdisciplinary phenomenon. Situated in the interstices of power, it cuts across established institutions and prevailing intellectual categories. Methods of enquiry which are themselves interdisciplinary, therefore, promise to yield a more comprehensive understanding of resistance practices. This conference seeks to bring together a wide range of scholars and practitioners to explore fundamental aspects of resistance.

Areas of enquiry may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Literary and artistic representations of resistance  
  • Media of resistance, publication histories, censorship      
  • Ethics and politics of resistance as a phenomenon which works against pre-existing systems, which is based in an act of negation, or rooted in non-participation/refusal  
  • Platforms and spaces of resistance, organisation, channels of communication  
  • Economies and ecologies of resistance, resistance and climate justice  
  • Resistance and violence/non-violence  
  • Resistance and/or complicity, institutionalisation, power  
  • Narratives of resistance and the formation of ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson), resistance movements as (national) founding myths, resistance against dominant memories

We invite proposals from postgraduate students for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English. Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short biography (max. 100 words) to by 18 March 2022. Speakers will be notified by 31 March 2022. Based on current government guidelines, we are planning to hold the conference as a hybrid event, online and in-person at the University of Oxford (UK). Please indicate whether you would prefer to attend online or in person.   

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