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28.08.2019 12:38 Alter: 177 days


Call for Papers

Theme: Friendship
Type: Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Institution: Progressive Connexions
Location: Prague (Czech Republic)
Date: 7.–8.3.2020
Deadline: 4.10.2019

Few relationships are as significant as our friendships. The Buddha
was once asked by his cousin, Ananda, “Is friendship part of the
path?” The Buddha’s response, “No Ananda, friendship is the whole
path,” suggesting the momentous power and meaning attributed to
friendships. Certainly, close friendships can be as just as important
to us as familial bonds. Conversely, the absence of friends can cause
feelings of loneliness and isolation. Although the general
psychological and biological benefits of friendship have been well
documented, the actual experience of friendship is a deeply personal
one. Not only do we each have our own views on what friendship means,
we each have our own approach to choosing our friends.

Because of this element of subjectivity, friendship is a complex
concept that deserves more extensive exploration of personal
experiences and the ways in which it shapes, and is shaped by, social
norms. The interplay between the way friendship is understood in a
particular society and the way it is experienced by individuals
raises a variety of questions: how do friendships form; what is the
basis for the ‘attraction’ that underpins them; what purposes do they
serve; why has friendship come to be regarded as a universal ‘good’;
how do meanings of friendship change over time; what does it mean to
be a “good friend”; what tangible things can be done to promote
friendship as a social value; how might the conduct among friends be
harnessed for the communal good more broadly; and more.

This inaugural inclusive conference aims to explore these and other
facets of friendshipthrough an inter-disciplinary dialogue that
transcends the boundaries of the intellectual, the emotional and the
personal with a view to forming a selective and innovative
publication to engender further research and collaboration.

Proposals are invited for: presentations, papers, panels, workshops,
readings, performances, screenings and installations on any aspect of
friendship, including the following themes:

- Philosophical justifications and critiques of friendship
- Friendship in sacred texts and spiritual traditions
- Historical perspectives on friendship
- Physiological and neurological perspectives on friendship
- Impact of poor mental or physical health on friendship, and
 relevant coping strategies
- Counselling and self-help approaches to friendship issues
- Intimacy and friendship
- Dynamics of specific types of friendships: humans and animals,
 “bromance”, “best friends”, fraternal bonds, etc.
- Factors that cause friendships to form, breakdown, change, rekindle
- Impact of gender, sexuality, sex, class, religion, nationality,
 culture, and race on friendship
- Friendship and the process of growing up, maturing and ageing
- Non-human friendships: Friendships between animals, institutions,
 nations, etc.
- Rivalries between friends; ‘frenemies’; friendship and ideological
- Teaching friendship in the school curriculum
- Technology and Friendship: impact of inventions and technology on
 how friendships form and develop, friendship and artificial
 intelligence/robots, social media
- Famous friendships and how they inform understandings of friendship
- Dark sides of friendship: cliques, nepotism, exploitation,
 conspiracies, etc.
- Legal recognition of friendship
- Models of friendship in film, television, songs, theatre,
 video-games, literature, etc.
- The role of churches, NGOs, social policy and charities in
 promoting the values of friendship in the public sphere

What to Send

The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and
collaborative networking event is to bring people together and
encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of
formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances,
poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Please feel
free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message
across, in whatever form.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of
contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 4th
October 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in
advance with the Organising Chairs.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous
(blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the
Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures
usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have
been minimally triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 18th October

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of
your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th January 2020.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats
with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b)
affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email
address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper
presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of
proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Friendship Submission

Where to Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair
and the Project Administrator:

Professor Janette McDonald:

Len Capuli (Project Administrator):

What’s so Special About A Progressive Connexions Event?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are
dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference
formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints.
We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of
experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops,
engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know
each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives,
all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of
our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together
professionals from all over the world and from various fields of
activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the
exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable
in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities
around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those
belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing
we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting
social change by encouraging our participants to take collective
action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and
expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research
projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such
actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform
for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project
Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are
not only about discussing how things work in the respective field,
but also about how people work in that field – what are the
struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their
line of work, what are the areas where better communication among
specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help
bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific
areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive
Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time
friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and
relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and
culture of the event.


Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and
professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should
attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to
make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal
for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and
we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel
or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and

Please send all questions and enquiries to:

For further details and information please visit the conference web page: