CFP – Global Cultures of Contestation

This looks excellent. I’m tempted to submit a proposal but I did this recently for the social movements symposium in Denmark and I probably couldn’t afford to travel to both:

Subject: CFP – Global Cultures of Contestation University of Amsterdam, October 15 & 16, 2015

From the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa in
early 2011, via the Spanish indignados, the Occupy movement and the
Gezi Park protests, to the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong and the New
University/Rethink UvA in Amsterdam, over the past years different
parts of the world have seen major forms of popular contestation.

Keynote Speakers:

Paul Gilroy (King’s College London)
Zeynep Tufekci (TBC) (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Thomas Poell & Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 June 2015

This conference – organised by the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation
Studies – examines this global wave of protest, characterised by the
occupation of squares, streets and buildings=E2=80=94a diversity of tactics prominently involving online communication and emerging new political imaginaries. Particularly striking is that these protests have not been initiated or directed by traditional social movement
organisations, but appear to be spontaneous political movements ‘from
below.’ Yet, while these instances of popular contestation have been
celebrated for their mobilisations, their creativity and their
innovative use of social media, their long-term efficacy has been
called into question. So far, this debate has primarily focused on the
political and social consequences of the protests. For this
conference, we would like to invite scholars from around the globe to
expand the debate by critically reflecting on the cultural dimensions
of contemporary forms of popular contestation.

We are especially interested in research that examines emerging global
cultures of contestation from one of the following perspectives
(following the four research programs at the ACGS; see here):

– Reflecting on questions of ‘mobility’: how the protests challenge
and transform cultural boundaries, as well as established
understandings of security, belonging and home? And what form of
mobility is implied in the global spread of these protests?

– How are issues of ‘sustainability’ addressed? In what ways are the
precarity of labor, ecological degradation and the preservation of
objects of cultural and historical value put on the agenda? And to
what extent are the protests themselves sustainable as effective forms
of contestation?

– What are the ‘aesthetics’ of contemporary protest movements? In this
context, we welcome explorations of the global circulation and
proliferation of new imaginaries (including their linguistic, visual
and acoustic manifestations), as well as of how these new imaginaries
challenge and/or reproduce dominant cultural regimes.

– What are the ‘connective’ platforms that facilitate and structure
today’s protest communication and mobilisation? How do these platfo=
rms not only enable contestation, but also shape its focus and dynamics?

Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and short bio (max. 100
words) by 1 June 2015 to (E: In your abstract,
indicate for which of the four streams – mobility, sustainability,
aesthetics or connectivity – you would like to be considered.

Notice  of acceptance will be given by 1 July 2015.

For any inquiries, please contact Amani Maihoub (E:

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