CFP: Difference Conference 2016

May 24-25, 2016, University of Glasgow

Call for papers

The College of Arts and Humanities, University of Glasgow, invites proposals for papers on the theme of ‘Difference’ for its fifth international, interdisciplinary conference. The conference will be held on the 24th-25th May 2016.

Difference is both a fundamental part of our everyday lives and a construct, relying on complex, contradictory and culturally-loaded notions. The essential idea underpinning ‘difference’ is that an entity is ‘not like us’. Implicit to the definition of ‘difference’ is deviation from our perceived concept of what is ‘normal’. Difference may be conceptualised positively or negatively – as a fascinating phenomenon that can be assimilated, or a fearful threat to existing ways of life. Navigating these differences in the world around us helps us to construct our ideas and feelings towards the world and the people in it.

Difference can, therefore, be both a barrier and a bridge to human interaction. The purpose of this conference is to discuss the complex nature of difference and how it manifests itself within the Arts.

Proposals, including papers from individual scholars and interdisciplinary collaborations that seek to address the overarching theme of ‘difference’ are welcomed. Suggested sub-topics can include, but are not limited, to the following –

  • Historical conceptualisations of difference: shifting definitions and the construction of difference and hegemony
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race, religion, ethnicity and nationality
  • Differences across time, space and civilisations
  • The creation of the ‘other’
  • Celebration and persecution of difference
  • Health and disease in literature, particularly mental health
  • Methodological differences within or across disciplines in the Arts
  • Linguistic difference, particularly the concepts of minority languages and linguistic hegemony
  • Literary and artistic difference

Postgraduates are invited to submit abstracts of 200-300 words via email to by the 15th January.

The conference will also feature the first screening in the UK of ‘The Mask We Live In’, a film exploring American ideas of hegemonic masculinity and its effect on young men, from the producers of Miss Representation.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Posted: January 04, 2016