Call for Papers:

Wirth Alumni Network, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Rijeka, Croatia) and the Croatian-Canadian Academic Society (HKAD), with the support of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central-European Studies (University of Alberta, Canada),
announce a Call for Papers for the international multidisciplinary conference

Crisis, Junctures, and Breaking Points:
Understanding, Contextualizing, and Overcoming Crisis as Discourse

  • The 2024 Wirth Alumni Network conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, in Rijeka, Croatia, on 13 June, 2024.
  • Key-note speaker: Kevin Orr (Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley, USA; University of St Andrews Business School, Scotland, UK)
  • Talk title: Uncanny Organization and the Immanence of Crisis: the public sector, neoliberalism, and Covid-19

The past decade has seen a seemingly unparalleled number of crises, which seem to have become a constant in our globalized discourse, ubiquitous in its many forms, whether economic, political, social, etc. In our era of unprecedented flow of information, accelerated and complicated by ever-changing tech advancements, crisis as a paradigm has become seemingly omnipresent in today’s media. Despite the (over)use of the concept, there has been little cross-disciplinary academic research on crisis that takes into account the complexity of our present moment of constant change and the way it connects to history, especially in the context of seeking alternative terminology, readings and aspects that could aid in its understanding.

Some initial questions that emerge when we think about crisis are:

How can media-created information bubbles contribute to the perception of crises? How can we overcome biases and identify truth beyond globally perpetuated narratives? What can we learn about contextualizing crises across and beyond binary approaches of local/global or contemporary/historical? Is an outstanding occurrence of crisis in today’s discourse a product of a shifting world or a change in perspective? How and why do transnational and globally perceived crises take precedence over our daily lives? Is ‘crisis’ a loaded term and what alternative terminology, as well as approaches can we use to discuss the various disruptions, ruptures and events that can cause flux in our present?

Guided by these initial questions in mind, we would like to invite contributions that discuss and problematize the many forms, meanings, and implications of the concept of crisis, as well as address its alternatives, explore their usage, and significance across various disciplines. To honor the Canadian and Central-European academic connections that have brought our network together and intersecting in the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta, Canada, we would especially welcome contributions that deal with but are not limited to the lessons, voices or ideas on crises stemming from these two distinct yet interconnected regions. We invite contributions that would elaborate on any of the following (but not limited to) topics, aspects from a historical and/or contemporary perspective:

  • crises discourse in Europe vs North America
  • crises as phenomena and responses in Central Europe and/or Canada
  • crisis in terminology, aspects and approaches
  • crises and their patterns: specific vs transcendental
  • crisis as eruptions, disruptions in perpetuity vs single events
  • long term process vs singular event (e.g., Braudel)
  • crisis of globalization and fault lines of modernity (e.g., Ian Bremmer, Dani Rodrik, William Robinson, James K. Galbraith, Manuel Castells)
  • crisis of scholarship/higher education/disciplines
  • crisis of faith in science
  • crises of the past; (mis)reading history from contemporary perspective
  • crisis discourse as distraction; universalist model for proposed solutions (Agamben and permanent state of exception, state of emergency)
  • disaster capitalism and spectacle (e.g., Naomi Klein)
  • crisis and media; (mis)information with global consequences
  • global environmental crises and Anthropocene-oriented discourse of climate change
  • crisis in liminal zones (borderlands, coastal areas, port cities etc.)
  • energy crisis
  • infrastructural crisis, cost-of-living crisis and other everyday impacts
  • crisis of liberal democracy and political orders
  • crisis of justice; crisis of human rights
  • healthcare crisis: pandemics, opioid crisis, mental health crisis – beyond crisis as paradigm
  • migrant crisis and other crisis of mobility of people, goods, ideas and capital
  • financial crisis
  • identity crisis
  • AI crisis
  • sense of end-of-times, accelerating time and impending doom
  • crisis and communitas
  • overcoming crisis; resilience
  • beyond crisis as paradigm; alternatives to crisis

Titles and abstracts (no longer than 250 words) of 15-minute presentations, accompanied by one-paragraph CV, should be sent to the conference organizers February 29, 2024, to the following e-mail: info@wirthalumni.ca. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the beginning of March, 2024.

Selected papers will be published in a peer-reviewed publication. The details about the publication process will be given in due course.

We look forward to seeing you in Rijeka at the WAN conference!

For the Organizing Committee,

Emese Ilyefalvi (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)

Eva Jarošová (Charles University, Czechia)

Jana Marešová (Charles University, Czechia)

Petra Sapun Kurtin (University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Daniel Semper (University of St Andrews, UK)

Beyond the 49th Parallel: Many Faces of the Canadian North / Au-delà du 49ème parallèle : multiples visages du Nord canadien, Évaine Le Calvé-Ivičević and Vanja Polić (ur.). Central European Association of Canadian Studies. Brno: Masaryk University Press, 2018.

Knjiga je zbirka znanstvenih članaka o različitim aspektima Sjevera iz perspektive kanadskih studija. Budući da se Kanada u cijelosti često smatra Sjeverom, ova knjiga multidisciplinarno propituje koncept „Sjevera“ u prošlosti i sadašnjosti, uključujući područja poput prvih zapisa o Kanadi do politike upravljanja zemljom, društvenih pitanja, književnosti i ostalih umjetničkih žanrova. Svako od proučavanih područja analizira drukčiju vrstu nordiciteta budući da, osim zemljopisnog pojma, „Sjever“ podrazumijeva širok spektar značenja i simboličkih vrijednosti. Članci u knjizi podijeljeni su u pet cjelina i nude kaleidoskopski pregled tema kako u velikom istraživačkom projektu sjevernih studija tako i u jednako velikom prostoru kojeg Sjever obuhvaća.

Beyond the 49th Parallel (pdf)

Canada in Zagreb

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