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Call for Papers: The Humanities in the Community

The Humanities in the Community: 2017 Convening of the Western Humanities Alliance

Conference: Thursday – Friday, November 2-3, 2017
CFP Deadline: Monday, August 28, 2017

What is the significance and power of community in the 21st century? How has community been conceptualized and created by different cultures throughout history? How are relationships between specific communities and the broader social milieu constructed and maintained? In today’s global society, what provides the impetus for a life of civic engagement, built upon democratic values, goals, and aspirations? Is the “network” the latest form of community, now disconnected from the preconditions of shared physical or social space? These and other questions will be explored in the 2017 convening of the Western Humanities Alliance. WHA Call for Papers

This two-day conference will feature a keynote by Suzanne Lacy and Pablo Helguera.  Suzanne Lacy, born in 1945 in Wasco, CA and based in Los Angeles, has played a key role in Social Practice since the 1970s, addressing political matters such as the women’s and civil rights movements through performance-based art that engaged the public and advocated for change or questioned societal norms. Pablo Helguera, born in 1971 in Mexico City and based in New York City, represents the next generation of socially-engaged artists. He has been influenced by Lacy and shares her community-based interests. Through his performances, installations, exhibitions, and writings he addresses history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, and memory.

We invite papers that explore ways in which the humanities contribute to the creation and development of communities.  Topics may include, but are not limited to: the humanities and its publics; community-engaged teaching and research; the humanities and social justice; local/global community concerns; precarious communities; cultivating citizenship through the humanities. We also welcome presentations about specific collaborative humanities projects undertaken with community partners.

To participate, please send a 250-word abstract and a brief CV for consideration to by Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  If you have questions about the conference, please contact IHC Director Susan Derwin.

Submissions are being accepted from campuses belonging to the Western Humanities Alliance: Arizona State University – Institute for Humanities Research, Simon Fraser University – Institute for the Humanities, Stanford – Humanities Center, UC Berkeley – Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Davis – Davis Humanities Institute, UC Irvine – Humanities Center, UC Los Angeles – UCLA Humanities, UC Merced – Center for Research in the Humanities and the Arts, UC Riverside – Center for Ideas and Society, UC San Diego – Division of Arts and Humanities, UC San Francisco – Center for Humanities and Health Sciences, UC Santa Barbara – Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Cruz – Division of Humanities, University of Alberta – Kule Institute for Advanced Study, University of Arizona – College of Humanities, University of Calgary – The Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of California Humanities Research Institute, University of Colorado at Boulder – Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Oregon Humanities Center, University of Utah – Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center, and University of Washington – Simpson Center for the Humanities.

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