Solidarity, Memory and Identity

In the age of rapid socio-political changes, with deepening ethic and religious conflicts on one hand, and, on the other hand, a diminishing feeling of identification with the community, there seems to exist a strong necessity for a reflection on the idea of solidarity. It would be difficult to think of a more inspiring place for such a reflection than the city of Gdańsk. It was here that in the 1980 “Solidarity” was born: a social movement which, in less than a decade, brought about the fall of the communist regime in Poland and played an important part in the historic changes in Middle-Eastern Europe. Yet we do not want to make Polish “Solidarity” the dominating theme of the conference or privilege it in any way. On the contrary, we intend to present as fully as possible the broad spectrum of solidarity-related themes. Thus, we heartily invite academics from all sides of the world, representing various research fields: anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history, psychology, cultural studies, literary studies, film studies, theater studies, memory studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies. Both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers are most welcome. We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without presenting their papers. We are sure that we will have important reflections and fruitful discussions about Solidarity, Memory and Identity.


The following list of suggested conference topics is open:


I. Contemporary World

- America and Europe in the face of the “Arab Winter of Nations” 2011

- solidarity after September 11th

- the rage and the pride: the world in the face of terrorism

- the difficult coexistence: Islam, Judaism, Christianity

- post-communism: being European in Middle-Eastern Europe

- solidarity and violence

- solidarity and multiculturalism

- solidarity and globalization

- solidarity and political correctness

- solidarity and nationalism

- solidarity and racism


II. Memory and Oblivion

- the Holocaust: righteous among the nations

- genocide: the solidarity of the perpetrators, the solidarity of the victims

- post-war coexistences: between memory and vindictiveness

- memory and trauma: solidarity of the expelled

- postmemory: solidarity of late grandchildren / solidarity with the forebears / solidarity with the dead

- the terror of memory

- solidarity and amnesia


III. Forms of Identity

- cosmopolites and patriots

- local communities

- solidarity as a generational experience

- solidarity of women / solidarity of men

- solidarity between genders

- identity of the minorities (ethnic, religious, sexual)

- professional solidarity

- solidarity and individualism

- solidarity and identity crises


IV. About Ideas

- homo solidaritus

- solidarity and postmodernity

- solidarity with the Other

- solidarity and tolerance

- solidarity and resentment

- solidarity and loneliness

- solidarity and betrayal

- solidarity and irony


V. About Literature and Art

- novels/ films/ performances that shook the world

- literature, art, film, theatre as memory “media”

- solidarity as a literary motif

- solidarity and representation

- solidarity and fiction

- in the realm of spectacle: the solidarity of spectators and participants

- socially engaged art: artists in defense of human rights


VI. Everyday Life

- solidarity and free market

- solidarity and media

- support groups

- strikes, rallies, demonstrations

- equality parades

- silent marches

- solidarity and mourning

- solidarity in the animal world

- solidarity and environmentalism

- solidarity and lobbying

- solidarity of sports fans

- solidarity of the mediocre


Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, until 30th April 2012 to:

Prof. Wojciech Owczarski, University of Gdańsk, Poland:


Profa Maria Virginia Filomena Cremasco, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil:


The confirmation of acceptance will be sent by 15th May 2012.

The conference language is English.

A selection of presented papers will be published in a post-conference volume.

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