New Research Project: Conviviality at the Crossroads

by Tobias Denskus on March 14, 2017 · 0 comments

in Comdev Projects,ComDev staff

The faculties of Culture and Society (KS) and Education and Society (LS) have a launched a joint research project entitled, Conviviality at the Crossroads, as part of the university’s strategic transition to full research university in 2018.

Professor Oscar Hemer will lead the project which will bring together academic researchers, artists and other practitioners with shared interests not only in societal challenge but also in transgressing genre boundaries and exploring new methodological approaches.

This new project can be seen as a continuation of the Transit Europe project that was carried out 2015-2016 which put the ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe in a global perspective. The imminent societal challenge this network aims to address is “the combined roots and responses to these crises: the manifestations of identity politics and xenophobia in a world increasingly characterised by the flexible mobility of people, ideas, images and things.”

The network which includes Professor Maja Povrzanovic Frykman and PhD students Ioanna Tsoni and Erliza Lopez Pedersen (pictured below) aims to investigate and understand the visions in circulation as well as the communicative processes through which these new imaginaries are articulated, and the way some of them attempt to echo and reflect into politics (formal and informal). It brings together researchers and practitioners to explore both top-down and bottom-up visions – which may challenge what has been so far understood as the “core central values of Europe”.

To the extent that the so called ‘European values’ treasure participation and inclusiveness, and need to contest an increasing polarization liable to lead to massive social exclusions, a major challenge is to find ways to engage in “cross-cutting communication” where people with very different backgrounds are able to engage in meaningful public dialogue, from where  “convivial” understandings of the space we share as Europe, or Europes in the plural, may emerge.

The principal aim with the multidisciplinary network is three-fold:

  • to explore conceptual tools to analyse and understand the challenges being faced
  • to experiment with innovative methodological approaches that straddle art and the academia – Cultural Studies, Urban Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, Philosophy, Media- and Communication Studies, Pedagogy, Creative Writing, in combination with artistic interventions in public space
  • to propose strategic interventions

Among the ideas and concepts that will be investigated are conviviality, cosmopolitanism and creolization.

Activities will consist of a series of seminars/workshops from May 2017 to January 2018 in Malmö and Berlin. The concluding event will be a conference, aiming at producing a publication, and outlining one or more research proposals. The aim is to coordinate the seminars and workshops with PhD seminars and/or with activities in other academic networks.

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