Conviviality and Illiberalism symposium 14-15 September

by Tobias Denskus on September 12, 2017

in Uncategorized

A two-day symposium at Malmö University 14-15 September 2017

Venue: Storm, Gäddan, Citadellsvägen 7

Resurging nationalism, identity politics and xenophobia are local responses, worldwide, to a planet increasingly characterised by the flexible mobility of people, ideas, images and things.

In the EU and Europe as well as in the United States since long taken-for-granted truths about the sustainability of democracy and its core values have in recent years been fundamentally challenged, through the electoral wins of populist politics appealing to unexpectedly large portions of the electorate. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has for example proudly envisioned the future of Hungary as an illiberal state.

The ongoing contest between democracy and authoritarianism unfolds on all levels of political and social contestation, from the global arena to very hands-on local and everyday activities.

A key to address the challenge of illiberalism in its many forms – religious fundamentalism, right-wing populism, radical identity politics – is finding forms for “cross-cutting communication”. Conviviality, as proposed by Paul Gilroy (2004) provides a vocabulary to speak without referring to fixed categories of ethnicity etc., from where convivial understandings of the space we share, locally and globally, may emerge.

The two-day symposium is a joint arrangement by the research networks Demokraft and Conviviality at the Crossroads at Malmö University.

Keynote speakers

Alex Dukalskis, Assistant Professor, University College Dublin

Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Professor, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen

Magdalena Nowicka, Professor, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin

Raymond Taras, Professor, Tulane University, New Orleans


Kerry Bystrom, Professor, Bard College, Berlin

Rebecka Lettevall, Dean, Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University


Thursday 14 September

13.00-13.15 Welcome. Introduction to the symposium by network coordinators Oscar Hemer and Bo Petersson
13.15-14.15 Raymond Taras: The Virtue of Hospitality and the Horror of Wasted Lives: Fated to Illiberalism?
14.30-15.30 Magdalena Nowicka: Troubled with-ness: on promises of conviviality research
15.30-16.00  Coffee
Book launch: In the Aftermath of Gezi : From social movement to social change? Eds. Oscar Hemer & Hans-Åke Persson.
Panel discussion with authors Oscar Hemer (chair), Spyros Sofos and Thomas Tufte.
Discussants: Umut Özkirimli and Pinar Dinc, Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Lund University
17.00-  Reception

Friday 15 September

12.00-13.00  Lunch at Niagara restaurant
13.15-14.15 Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez: Creolizing Europe: On transversal conviviality
14.30-15.30 Alex Dukalskis: What Autocracies Say, What they Hide, and Why it Matters
15.30-16.00 Coffee
16.00-16.45 Conviviality and Illiberalism. Concluding panel discussion with all keynote speakers. Discussants: Kerry Bystrom and Rebecka Lettevall

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