Conflict in European Time and Space

8th edition, 27-28 October 2022

“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, Romania

Institute of Interdisciplinary Research – Department of Social Sciences and Humanities

Defined as a clash between entities arising out of a difference in thought processes, attitudes, understanding, interests, requirements and even perceptions, conflict has as results heated arguments, physical abuses and definitely loss of peace and harmony. Etimologically, the Latin verb fligo, fligere, flixi, fictum (“strike”, “clash”, “collide”) and the noun flictus, -us (“strike”, “clash”, “collision”) generated a series of compounds whose semantic values reflect/nuance the basic meanings mentioned above, up to valences related to the moral or psychic area (affligo = “beat”, ”divert”). Widely used, especially in military language, were compounds with the preverb/preposition con-, co-/cum (the concrete meaning of the preverb/preposition expresses the idea of reunion): confligo, confligere, conflixi, conflictum (“strike”, “clash”, “fight”, “oppose”, “confront”, etc.), conflictus (“conflict”, “dispute”, “confrontation”), confligium (“collision”, “clash”), conflictatio (“conflict”, “dispute”; in medical term: “convulsion”), conflictatrix (“persecutor”). In the case of these last derivates, the idea of confrontation is dominant and it was transmitted through linguistic derivation both in Romance languages, but also in Germanic languages. Expressions such as: armed conflict, diplomatic conflict, labor conflict, intergenerational conflict, conflict of interest, conflict of ideas, etc., – all these involve actors situated either in irreducible and irreconcilable positions, or in a turning/critical point of their cooperation.

Starting from etymology, and with an eye to the war in Ukraine, our conference aims at exploring conflict in various historical, political, and social contexts, with a clear focus on the European time and space. We are interested especially in how conflict is translated in cultural frames and in the role played by the social sciences and humanities in raising, maintaining, and in preventing conflicts as well.

Culture is inextricable from conflict. For any complex system, internal and external conflicts make the system dynamic, requiring constant adjustment to changing conditions, continuously stirring further and better resolutions. However, there is a point where conflict turns from healthy to destructive (Welch, 2017). When differences surface in state politics, institutions, or communities, culture is always present, shaping perceptions, attitudes, behaviours, and outcomes. According to Jonathan Turner (2001), cultural conflict is a type of conflict that occurs when different social and cultural perceptions and values clash, “placing people at odds with one another”.

The conference aims to stimulate discussion and foster new connections between scholars and practitioners interested in the broader dynamics of conflict, dialogue, diplomacy, propaganda, as well as in the cultural representations and cultural responses to conflicts, and trauma and memory studies. How we deal with the continuous challenges determined by political, social, and cultural conflicts? How does conflict re-shape the entire landscape of the social sciences and humanities? Is an interdisciplinary perspective helpful in identifying, solving and preventing social and cultural conflicts? How do scholars from different fields work together to develop novel conceptual and methodological frameworks to provide extraordinary solution to problems affecting today’s world? As technology and digital become increasingly prevalent, will digital humanities become “a site of struggle” for the future of the academia?

We invite you to send an abstract of around 200 words to the following, until the 30th of September 2022. Individual papers as well as full panels are welcome. Please specify if you wish to participate on-line or in person. There is no participation fee for this PHSS edition.

The conference languages are Romanian and English.


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