The Center for Mediterranean Studies of the University Bochum, announces a call for the conference “Future of the Mediterranean – Mediterranean Futures,” to be held 30 September to 2 October 2013 in Bochum, Germany.
IThe future is terra incognita which can provide the surface onto which we project our dreams and yearnings or our nightmares. Today the Mediterranean region is commonly associated with conflict and crisis: the Middle East conflict has continued to smoulder for decades, the economic crisis has shaken countries on the northern and southern shores to their foundations, while responses to pressing environmental issues and dwindling resources have yet to be found. Despite all this, the upheaval in the countries of the Arab world shows that the dream of a better life can still move people to turn against existing power structures and stakeholders or even lead to rebellion. Thus the vision of a better future has become a resource which is driving societal, political and social changes in spite of all resistance.
Political, social, economic or cultural transformations provide a forum for a variety of notionsof what constitutes “progress” or “modern”. The future becomes a contested and controversial resource and may be construed according to religious beliefs, social class or prevailing perception of history, may be romanticised or may be discarded completely as a concept: Thus depictions of the future are always statements on a society’s “reality”.
We at the Center for Mediterranean Studies are now seeking contributors from all disciplines, who would be prepared to present their work or research results at the conference in one of the categories listed below. Thus we are looking for contributions which deal with historical and current visions of the future, from the oracle of Delphi to modern rating agencies. Furthermore we wish to examine the stakeholders and the structures which define, influence or manipulate visions of the future and the changes in and dynamics of local visions of the future, which contrast with those visions of nations, superpowers and dynasties.
If you are interested in contributing please send your details by e-mail to Meike.Meerpohl@ruhr-uni-bochum.de by 15 December 2012. Please enclose a synopsis in English (approximately 300 words) for a lecture of 20 minutes duration and a short CV.