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National - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

New agendas in social movement studies

category national | miscellaneous | event notice author Monday June 27, 2011 13:45author by Laurence Cox - NUI Maynooth Report this post to the editors

Conference announcement and call for papers

Preliminary announcement and call for papers of this day conference for people (academics, students, movement participants) researching social movements in Ireland.

Centre for Politics, Power and Society, Dept of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
Research cluster on “critical political thought, activism and alternative futures”

Keynote speaker: Cristina Flesher Fominaya, University of Aberdeen
“New directions for social movement studies?”

Cristina Flesher Fominaya has done ethnographic research on anti-globalisation networks in western Europe, Spanish Green parties and the British anti-roads movement. She has a particular interest in autonomous social movements as well as the impact of new technologies on movement organisations and the politics of memory surrounding terrorist attacks such as 3/11 in Madrid and 9/11 in New York. She has been researching and participating in European social movements since the early 1990s. Her work has been published in Contemporary Social Science, Sociological Inquiry, Sociology Compass, International Review of Social History, South European Society and Politics, Mediterráneo Económico, International Feminist Journal of Politics and several edited collections.

Dr Flesher Fominaya is a founding editor of Interface, one of only four dedicated social movements research journals, and a referee for two of the other three. Holder of numerous international scholarships and prizes, she holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and worked in Madrid before taking up her current post in Scotland. She is co-chair of the Council for European Studies’ European Social Movements Research Network and a peer reviewer for the IRCHSS post-doctoral fellowship and the CARA mobility fellowship scheme.

Why new agendas in social movement studies?
Writing on social movements in Ireland has often done one of two things – either it has treated social movements as a marginal “add-on” to supposedly more central questions about Irish society or it has “applied” theories and concepts which have been borrowed uncritically, usually from the US or Britain, to Ireland. Unsurprisingly, such research has been largely ignored - in international contexts and the rest of Irish academia, by movement practitioners and in Irish political debate.

Between these extremes, however, there is also work which sees collective agency and social structure as fundamentally symbiotic, work that relates social movement studies to wider social theory, reflects critically on the specifics of social movements in Ireland and also comparatively, and engages with wider currents of thought within social movement research internationally as well as that coming from movements themselves.

This conference aims to encourage work of this kind, which is not simply “routine science”, restating common assumptions, but trying to make real contributions to wider debates about social movements, to the thinking of movement practitioners, and to public understanding of the nature of Irish society. We are interested both in discussions of how we might research social movements - what methods and theories are most useful - and of what we should be researching, in the Irish context and beyond.

Themes
We invite papers addressing one or more of the areas below, but we are also open to other research agendas which you feel deserve more attention. The conference is open to participants from any academic discipline as well as to researchers working within social movements.

1) Politics, theory and method
What are the purposes of social movement research? How do theories and methods interact? What relationships (should) exist between researchers and movements? What kinds of knowledge do social movements produce? What theories are generated and used by movement activists? Does movement research have anything useful to say to movements?

2) What are “social movements” anyway?
How can we understand “movement” not just as a type of semi-formal organising, but in ways that allow “social movements” to include micro-level resistance at one end or indeed revolution at the other? How do we relate understandings of social movements in the 19th or early 20th century as trying to create or transform states and institutions to contemporary assumptions about movements as accepting given structures? How can we say something useful about where the boundaries of one movement end and another begin? How do societies change through collective action, and how can we know?

3) Critical cultural analysis
How do past struggles and inherited traditions shape social movements today? How can we integrate discourse, language and culture into the analysis of social movements? How are movements and their discourses gendered, classed and racialised? What is the importance of emotion and affect; trauma, stress and sustainability in shaping movement dynamics and outcomes? And how can social movement research transform cultural and literary studies which often ask these questions without asking after the practicalities of organising, strategy and struggle?

4) Understanding social movements in Ireland
Do Irish movements really operate in a context like the US and UK, or should we be looking to movements in Mediterranean societies or Latin America for comparisons and concepts? What kind of “movement society” is Ireland in international comparison - peripheral, post-colonial, conservative? How does the role of (nationalist, Catholic, farmers’, labour) movements in creating the state enable and constrain contemporary movements? What does the Irish case tell us about movements more broadly and how can it help us understand movements elsewhere?

5) Social movements in the 2010s
How has the crisis shaped social movements – themes, actors, relationships between movements, with parties and the state? Will models of social partnership and mainstreaming survive austerity and coercion? What ‘new’ forms of mobilisation are evident - new technologies, new tactics, and new kinds of relationships between movement actors? How are global movements changing (e.g. transnational anti-capitalism; the Arab Spring; diasporic social movements)? Why has the movement response to the crisis in Ireland been so muted?

Abstracts and papers

We invite abstracts (up to 250 words) on any of the themes above or addressing other themes in social movement studies which you feel deserve greater research. Abstracts should include a title, your email address and institutional affiliation if any (independent scholars and movement practitioners are welcome to submit). Please send abstracts to Theresa O’Keefe at theresa.okeefe@nuim.ie by October 1st 2011.

Papers (up to 10,000 words including bibliography) should be submitted by November 14th 2011. Papers which are submitted by the deadline will be included in a CD-ROM for all conference participants, as an immediate “state of the art” collection of who is doing what in Irish social movement studies. (This does not, of course, prevent you using reworked versions of the paper as the basis for articles, book chapters etc.)

Papers which are submitted in time will also be considered for inclusion in an edited volume with an academic publisher.

Conference information

Detailed information will be made available in due course, but this will be a one-day (Saturday) conference at NUI Maynooth. The event is being organised on behalf of the Critical Political Thought, Activism and Alternative Futures research cluster at NUI Maynooth with an organising committee of Dr Theresa O’Keefe and Dr Laurence Cox (Dept. of Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth) and Dr Cristina Flesher Fominaya (Dept. of Sociology, University of Aberdeen).

author by Laurence Cox - NUI Maynoothpublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This conference brings together 21 researchers from Ireland, Britain, Italy, Belgium and the US working on movements ranging from alternative food movements to the World Social Forum, from Shell to Sea to SlutWalks and from Irish Ship to Gaza to children’s rights advocacy. It showcases some of the best work in the field by new, established and independent scholars alike. The conference seeks to encourage real research which does not simply restate common assumptions but tries to make real contributions to wider debates about social movements, the thinking of movement practitioners, and public understanding of the nature of society and democracy.

The keynote speaker, Dr Cristina Flesher Fominaya (University of Aberdeen), has been researching and participating in European social movements since the early 1990s. She has carried out research on anti-globalisation networks, Spanish Green parties and the British anti-roads movement, and is also known for her work on the politics of memory around terrorist attacks such as 3/11 in Madrid and 9/11 in New York. A founding editor of the social movement journal Interface http://interfacejournal.net/, she is co-chair of the Council for European Studies’ European Social Movements Research Network.

Practicalities

The conference is free and open to the public with no advance booking required. Tea and coffee will be provided but participants should bring their own lunch or buy it in Maynooth. We cannot organise accommodation directly but there are various possible hostels, hotels and B&Bs both in Maynooth and in Dublin. Registration is at the conference from 9.30 on in the Auxilia Building, North Campus (see the map at http://www.nuim.ie/location/maps/NUIM-Map-booklet-v3.pdf  - Auxilia is building #47 in the lower right corner). For queries please contact Dr Theresa O’Keefe at theresa.okeefe@nuim.ie

 

Overall timings

9.30 - 10        Welcome and registration

10 - 11            Plenary session. Cristina Flesher Fominaya, “New directions in social movement studies?”

11 - 11.30       Coffee / tea

11.30 - 1         First sessions

1 - 2.15           Lunch

2.15 – 3.45    Second sessions

3.45 - 4.00    Coffee / tea

4.00 – 5.30   Third sessions

5.30 - 6.15     Closing discussion



Related Link: http://ceesa-ma.blogspot.com
author by Laurence Cox - NUI Maynoothpublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 22:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Plenary talk, 10 - 11 am

Cristina Flesher Fominaya (Sociology, Aberdeen) - New directions in social movement studies?

Session 1, 11.30 am - 1 pm

(A) Remaking social movements

Silvia Lami (Philosophy, Pisa and U. Chicago) - Re-thinking social movements. Limits of 60s and 70s movements, new perspectives of struggle

Leslie Parraguez Sanchez (Loyola University, Chicago) - Between spatial identities and the Right-to-the-City: a socio-spatial perspective on the reconfiguration of social movements

Theresa O’Keefe (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - Flaunting our way to freedom? SlutWalks, gendered protest and feminist futures

 

(B) Exploring new movements

Andre Kenneally (UCC) - Children’s right advocacy as a new social movement

Yafa Shanneik (Study of Religions, UCC) - Irish women converting to Islam: a new post-secular movement?

 

(C) Research / methodology

Jean Bridgeman (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - Spaces for new knowledge: working class community education for social change

Anna Szolucha (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - The tyranny of sociology: a case for an interdisciplinary social movement research

 

Session 2, 2.15 - 3.45 pm

(D) Agency and power

Geoffrey Pleyers (FNRS-Université Catholique de Louvain & CADIS-EHESS Paris)- The global justice movement and beyond: two paths for social agency

Laurence Davis (Independent scholar) - The Irish Ship to Gaza and the revolutions of our time

Amanda Slevin (Sociology, UCD) - Pipelines, politics and power: Shell to Sea and the Irish state

 

(E) The politics of new media

Margaret Gillan (Community Media Network) - Building working-class media (provisional title)

Asia Rutkowska (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - Activists on the web: analysing the content of social centre webpages

Paul Candon (Sociology, TCD) - The emerging digital public sphere in Ireland: how old habits die hard

 

Session 3, 4 - 5.30 pm

(F) Mapping Irish social movements

Laurence Cox (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - Gramsci in Mayo: a Marxist perspective on social movements in Ireland

Peter Lacey (Anthropology, NUI Maynooth) - EU-critical movements and Irish social activism

 

(G) Advocacy and institutionalisation

Orla O’Donovan (Applied Social Studies, UCC) - Irish patients’ movements on the move to Europe

Pauline Cullen (Sociology, NUI Maynooth) - Mobilization on women’s interests at the EU: femocrats and feminist political practice

 

(H) Troubles within movements

Andrea Rigon (Sociology, TCD and Institute of Development Studies, Nairobi) - The tyranny of structurelessness: unequal power relations in the governance of the World Social Forum process

David Landy (Sociology, TCD) - Researching splits

Aisling Murtagh (Food business and development, UCC) - The power dynamics of alternative food initiatives in Ireland

 

Related Link: http://ceesa-ma.blogspot.com
 
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