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01.11.2020 10:42 Alter: 25 days

Narrating Violence

Call for Papers

Theme: Narrating Violence
Subtitle: Making Race, Making Difference
Type: Winter Symposium
Institution: Study Circle 'Narrative and Violence', Nordic Summer
  University of Turku
  George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide,
Human Rights, and Conflict Prevention, American University of Paris
Location: Turku (Finland) / Paris (France) / Online
Date: 15.–17.3.2021 / 29.–31.3.2021
Deadline: 1.12.2020

In collaboration with The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the
Study of Genocide, Human Rights, and Conflict Prevention at the
American University of Paris, we invite scholars, students,
practitioners, and activists from all fields to take part in the
Winter Symposium of the Nordic Summer University Study Circle
Narrative and Violence.

15–17 March 2021 in Turku
29–31 March 2021 in Paris

This symposium will explore questions on the production, practice,
and instrumentalization of violent narratives about racial, ethnic,
religious, gender, sexual, and political minorities and groups. While
multiple theoretical perspectives will be included in both locations,
the symposium will have a broader international focus at the American
University of Paris and will facilitate discussions primarily
pertaining to the Nordic and Baltic sphere at the University of Turku.

We are interested in bringing together international scholars from
multiple disciplines in order to investigate the role of narratives
as a resource for motivating, justifying, and rationalizing
structural violence, discrimination, and even mass violence or
genocide. How and why are such narratives produced and disseminated?
Are there common themes or patterns across cultures and cases? How do
they derive their power? Why do persons and social groups subscribe
to them? Are certain groups or persons more predisposed to
appropriating these narratives? Are there ways to dissemble them? In
order to explore these questions, we welcome papers that examine the
language of stigmatisation, pollution, and discrimination from broad
historical and geographical perspectives. We encourage papers that
address the influence of fictional and non-fictional representations,
oral histories and legal proceedings as well as the work of activist
movements that attempt to counter violent narratives and reflect on
how to shape possible, multicultural, inclusive futures.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- The social processes whereby violent depictions of race and
 otherness are constructed and sustained.
- The relationship between figurative or symbolic violence and
 physical violence.
- The recycling and reuse of violent narratives across different
 historical events, cultures, and social contexts.
- The role of fictional and non-fictional accounts and other genres
 in the construction of violent narratives.
- The distribution, circulation, and appropriation of conspiracy
- Strategies for dissembling violent narratives.
- The memory and persistence of violent narratives over time.
- Issues of language, identity, and culture in narrating both new and
 old minoritization.
- The role of different media (film, text, music, social media) in
 the construction of violent narratives.
- The role of comics as a medium in the construction of violent
 narratives. (This topic will be in collaboration with Study Circle
 9, Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics’ seminar
 ‘Racialised Violence and Comics in the Nordic Region and Beyond’).

The symposium is planned as a hybrid event (with both online and
face-to-face participation, depending on the sanitary situation).
Please send proposals for papers, workshops, roundtables, and
performances (max. 300 words) with a title and a short biographical
statement (100 words) by 1st December 2020, indicating your
preferred mode of participation: and

If you wish to attend without presenting, please get in touch with us
and send us a short biographical note. PhD and MA students are
eligible for up to five ECTS points for participation and
presentation of a paper. The preliminary programme will be announced
in January 2021.

For more information about the Nordic Summer University (NSU) and the
Study Circles, or to sign up for the newsletter, go to:


To participate in the symposium, you need to become a member of the
Nordic Summer University. The annual membership fee facilitates the
existence of NSU, which is a volunteer-based organisation. As a
member you can sign up for all events organised by NSU, take part in
the democratic decision-making process on which NSU is based, and
become part of the extensive network of NSU. There are two rates: a
standard fee of €25 and a discounted membership of €10 for students,
self-financed/freelance/independent scholars and artists.

The Nordic Summer University builds on the values of equality,
inclusion, and sustainability by combining two traditions: the
continental ideals of learning and cultivation of the self, and the
Nordic heritage of folkbildning and self-organization, with its
investments in open-access education and collaboration through
participation and active citizenship.


Marta-Laura Cenedese
Nordic Summer University