2nd Global Conference:Intellectuals – Knowledge, Power, Ideas (Call for Papers)

November 26, 2008

2nd Global Conference
Intellectuals – Knowledge, Power, Ideas

Friday 8th May – Sunday 10th May 2009
Budapest, Hungary

Call for Papers
Following last year’s very successful inaugural
conference, the Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power,
Ideas Project will hold its second annual
conference in Budapest
in May 2009. The conference
is a keystone of the ‘Intellectuals’
Inter-disciplinary.Net project that seeks to
explore the role, character, nature and place of
intellectuals and intellectual work in
contemporary society. Whilst the ‘intellectual’
emerges as a particular category with the
development of modernity, the ‘knowledgeable’ and
knowledge producers have been an important
historical agent and social actor since the early
Greek philosophers, and knowledge production,
whether religious, scientific or philosophical,
has been important in shaping social, political,
economic and cultural change. Intellectuals and
the knowledge they produce have been subject to
competing representations: from an ‘elect’
producing knowledge for its own sake to different
forms of philosopher king, servant of the state or
dissenting movement intellectuals connecting
politically with change in the social world. In
contemporary ‘knowledge’ societies, much of the
focus on the intellectual as a ‘public’ figure,
residing within the media intelligentsia or
institutions of higher learning, but competing
theories of intellectuals and their work identify
elitist, meritocratic and radical alternatives
about who intellectuals are, what they do, how
they are connected to and divided from other
social institutions, and why we understand them
the way we do. The Project seeks to build, by
annual conferences and network activity,
both an evidenced and critical understanding of
the intellectual and intellectual work in the past
and a critical understanding of intellectuals and
intellectual work in the present, and its
prospects for the future. In doing so, it
recognises that the interdisciplinary basis of
such an analysis will take in the fields of
cultural studies, education studies (with a
particular focus on higher education), history,
literature, philosophy, politics, sociology,
social theory and open avenues to wider and more
diverse disciplinary connections, and the project
welcomes interdisciplinary explorations. Some
indicative themes are suggested below to indicate
the types of issues that might be addressed in
conference papers and workshops. The first of the
themes is one we particularly wish to emphasise at this

A. The Intellectual, War and Conflict
How do we understand the rights, responsibilities
and duties of intellectuals in times of conflict
and war? To who or what do intellectuals owe
duties and responsibilities in war and conflict?
What constitutes loyalty and disloyalty when
intellectuals speak to truth? Should intellectuals
be detached or committed in their approach to
conflict and war? What constitutes complicity
intellectual work about war and conflict and how
should we judge both? How do we distinguish
intellectual honesty from strategic opportunism in
intellectuals’ interventions in war and conflict?
What is the scope and limits to free speech and
intellectual commentary during war and conflict?

B. The Making of the Modern Intellectual and
Intellectual Work.
How do we understand the role and impact of
intellectuals and intellectual work in the past in
shaping intellectuals and intellectual
work in the present? What historical
categorisations, roles, models and places in
conceiving the intellectual influence how
intellectuals see themselves and their work today?
How have the roles, natures and places
of intellectuals changed through history? What do
historical understandings of the intellectual tell
us about the intellectual today?

C. Intellectuals and  the 21st Century Academy.
What roles, functions and positions do
intellectuals take within learning institutions
and what has the impact of change in learning
institutions made on intellectuals? What overlap
and interplay is there between the academy and the
intellectual? What moral, cultural, political and
educational principles underpin the academy and
the learning institution today? How has the
association between academy and intellectual been
impacted on by recent change in society, economy
and politics in the 21st century?

D. Intellectuals and the Knowledge Society
How has the intellectual changed in their role,
character and place in the knowledge society? How
have the internet and ICT’s changed the way
intellectuals work and intellectual work is
produced, distributed and exchanged? How has the
knowledge society changed our understanding of
the intellectual in society? Have we moved from
the primacy of the mode of production to the
primacy of the mode of information?

E. Public Intellectuals and the Intellectual in
Public and Political Life.
What is a public intellectual and how is a public
intellectual distinguished from other
intellectuals and knowledge producers? What roles
and places do public intellectuals have in past
and contemporary societies? Are intellectuals and
is intellectual work always political? What
political and public roles do intellectuals play?

F. Intellectuals and Cultural Life.
How have intellectuals impacted on cultural life,
in shaping everyday experience, providing
frameworks for understanding and producing
cultural enrichment? In what ways have
intellectuals played a role in shaping the
cultural milieu? What is the relationship between
the intellectual and the artist or producer of
cultural knowledge and products? What is the
relationship between intellectuals and the aesthetic?

G. Intellectuals and the Development of Bodies of
How do intellectuals produce and create knowledge?
How should we understand the processes of
knowledge production and creation as social
and political and well as research processes? How
should we understand notions of discovery,
exploration and speaking truth in the context of
critical perspectives on knowledge creation? How
have particular bodies of knowledge developed
historically and come to play determining roles
in social, cultural, political and economic change?

These themes are intended as illustrative and
proposals on related areas are welcomed. Panel
proposals, workshops and joint presentations are
also welcome. The conference aims to bring
together people from different areas, disciplines,
professions and interests to share ideas and
explore questions in a way that is innovative and

Papers will also be considered on any related
theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by
Friday 9th January 2009. If an abstract is
accepted for the conference, a full draft paper
should be submitted by Friday 10th April 2009. The
draft paper should be of no more than 8 or 9
pages long and ready for a 20 minute (maximum)
presentation during the conference.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to both
Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word,
WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:

author(s), affiliation, email address, title of
abstract, body of abstract.

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper
proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply
from us in a week you should assume we did
not receive your proposal; it might be lost in
cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an
alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs
Paul Reynolds
Social and Psychological Sciences,
Edge Hill University
United Kingdom    
E-mail: reynoldp@edgehill.ac.uk

Rob Fisher
Network Founder & network Leader
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
E-mail: ikp2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Critical Issues
programme of research projects. It aims to bring
together people from different areas and
interests to share ideas and explore various
discussions which are innovative and exciting. All
papers accepted for and presented at this
conference will be eligible for publication in an
ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for
publication in a themed hard copy volume.

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:


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