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Cultural Conflicts, Social Movements and New Rights: A European Challenge

Call for papers

Organized by:
Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation
20-22 October 2006
Cortona, Italy

The Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, one of Europe’s foremost centers for scholarly research on modern political, economic and social thought and history, in cooperation with several Italian universities, invites doctoral candidates and young PhD recipients or researchers to submit proposals for participation in the Cortona Colloquium 2006 – Cultural Conflicts, Social Movements and New Rights: A European Challenge, to be held from 20-22 October 2006 in Cortona, Italy. The Colloquium will feature Professor Alain Touraine (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) as its keynote speaker.

Theme of the colloquium

In today’s societies a new political arena has taken shape. It involves new conflicts and actors, including new social movements. Characterized by both local and global analyses and shared commitments and languages, these movements have organized meetings at the national, international and global levels and generated analyses that have been discussed, if not agreed to, worldwide. In the last decade or so these movements have altered as much as the scenarios within which they first originated. Change has taken place fast, and tools and forms of communication have evolved even more rapidly.

If we want to reexamine the universalism of modernity today, then we must also reconsider the theme of cultural relativism, particularly with respect to questions of gender and religious and cultural diversity. The issues of multiculturalism and rights, which first originated in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, are no longer abstract questions in Europe. These themes are now emerging with increasing frequency in European public debate, including that of Italy, with respect to issues such as the phenomenon of immigration, the limits to the integration of second and third immigrant generations, and the repercussions within Europe of armed conflicts elsewhere.

The Cortona Colloquium 2006 will be focused around, but not limited to, the following research themes:

Transnational Movements and Conflicts – the international dimension of contemporary social movements and of the conflicts and issues upon which they are based;
Social Movements, Media and Communications – innovations in terms of the tools and methods of communication that contemporary social movements are adopting in order to organize and spread information about themselves and their activities;
Women’s Movements, Between Equality and Difference – the ongoing tension between women’s demand for equal rights and for the recognition of gender differences, and the ways in which this tension manifests itself within contemporary women’s movements compared with similar movements in the past;
Global Conflict “In Our Backyard”, Between Revolt and Movement – the emergence across societies of situations of conflict generated by social exclusion, by institutional failure to acknowledge civil and/or human rights or by struggles for recognition;
Social Movements and Democracy – problems of social representation, relationships with political institutions, and the efficacy of the local and global actions of social movements.

Call for proposals

We invite doctoral candidates and young PhD recipients or researchers from a variety of disciplines – sociology, history, gender studies, cultural studies and other fields – to submit proposals for participation at the Colloquium and help contribute to a fruitful, cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas from diverse perspectives. Both fundamental advances in the study of contemporary social movements and critiques of existing approaches are welcomed.

Proposals submitted will be reviewed by a Scientific Committee composed of the following members:

Bianca Beccalli (Univ. of Milan), Roberto Biorcio (Univ. of Milan-Bicocca), Bruno Cartosio (Univ. of Bergamo), Donatella Della Porta (European University Institute), Mario Diani (Univ. of Trento), Francesca Forno (Univ. of Bergamo), Giorgio Grossi (Univ. of Milan-Bicocca), Mario Pianta (Univ. of Urbino) and Tommaso Vitale (Univ. of Milan-Bicocca).

General information

The Colloquium will take place from 20-22 October 2006 at the Centro Convegni S. Agostino in Cortona, a lovely medieval city in Tuscany. The address of the Centro is Via Guelfa 40.

A small number (10-15) of PhD candidates or researchers will be invited to attend the Colloquium. Those selected to participate will have the opportunity to discuss their research projects (or a specific part of their research) within workshop sessions to be chaired by prominent scholars in the social sciences. The working languages for the workshop sessions will be English and Italian. Simultaneous translation will be available during the sessions as well as during the keynote lecture, which will be delivered in French.

The organizers of the Colloquium will arrange accommodations in Cortona (for a 3-night stay) for the students and researchers invited to attend, and cover the related costs. They will also provide a lump-sum contribution that should be sufficient to cover a low-cost roundtrip ticket within Europe. A very limited number of grants will be available for students or researchers from developing countries.

Submission of proposals

Interested candidates should submit a proposal for participation at the Colloquium no later than 30 May 2006 (N.B. earlier applications are also welcome). Proposals should include:

1. an application form (attached)
2. an abstract of no more than 500 words for the research paper to be discussed, as well as a title and 3-5 keywords

Proposals should be sent by email to the attention of Bruno Cartosio at [email protected].

The Scientific Committee will select the students invited to attend and notice of acceptance of proposals will be sent by email by 10 July 2006.

Application form

Please click here to download the application form in Word format.



Fondazione GianGiacomo Feltrinelli

La Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli è uno dei maggiori centri europei di documentazione e di ricerca nell'ambito delle discipline storiche e delle scienze politiche, economiche e sociali. Fondata nel 1949 da Giangiacomo Feltrinelli come Biblioteca Giangiacomo Feltrinelli,...

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