Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz is happy to host this year's conference of the International Society for Cultural History from September, 16th to September, 19th. The general theme will discuss “Cultures of Participation and Belonging”, but more general contributions to theories or methods of cultural history are – as usual – also welcome.
At the latest since 2015, the self-image of the European states as open societies - open for all - is under massive pressure. Not only the so called "refugee crises", but also the discussion about core values of the European culture have shown that the culture of participation and belonging – once regarded as backbone of the "new" Europe after 1990 – are questioned and under attack from different actors.
Therefore, the terms of 'participation' and ‘belonging’ vs. ‘exclusion’ have formed public and political debates as hardly any other terms had in the last years. While ‘participation’ is primarily a viral topic in educational politics and institutions, the term 'belonging' is central to the discussion of practices of enclosure and expulsion foremost in domestically and security-political contexts. The perceived current significance and the highly emotional discourse have disguised the fact that inclusion and belonging are phenomena of human societies, which overlap time, space and different media. These phenomena are also an important issue for the understanding and interpretation of one’s world.
Furthermore, cultures of participation and belonging are a crucial factor for the stability of given societies. However, today we experience some of the possible consequences for the social and political system if these cultures are under pressure. Therefore, the ISCH will analyse the historical development, the forms and consequences of such cultures at our next conference in 2020. The objective of the conference is to shine a spotlight on the question regarding the forms and narratives of phenomena of belonging and its opposite in specific historical constellations and/or contemporary literature, art etc.
Registration for participants or anyone interested will be possible via this website from March 2020.
Jörg Rogge (Uni Mainz)