Dialogue-driven Change in the Public Sphere

bari univ

Department of Educational Sciences, Psychology, Communication
University of Bari “Aldo Moro”
3-5 October, 2013

Call for Papers

After its successful launch in Brasov, Romania, in June 2012, ESTIDIA (European Society for Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Dialogue) is convening its second conference, whose goal is to create a discussion forum bringing together researchers and doctoral students who are investigating change-related dialogue mechanisms and strategies from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

The University of Bari, Italy, has the pleasure to host ESTIDIA 2013, in the hope that this conference will give rise to creative synergies and facilitate new networks, crossing both geographical and disciplinary borders.

Conference Theme

Change, be it subtle or dramatic, is constantly an integral part of social life, bringing about significant alteration of social structure, behavior patterns and cultural values. Social change refers to variations over time in the ecological ordering of populations and communities, in patterns of roles and social interactions, in the structure and functioning of institutions, and in the cultures of societies. In recent times, two fallacies about social change have been intensively debated. According to the first fallacy, social change is simply a linear movement in time from a traditional past towards a modern future, while old values and institutions are regarded as impediments to changes and obstacles to modernization. The second fallacy is based on the assumption that there is an irreconcilable conflict between old and new traditions and structures, which leads to old traditions and structures being simply displaced by new ones. However, both fallacies have been proved wrong and consequently discarded by a large body of studies which provide alternative interpretations that challenge the assumptions of the traditional-modern polarisation. In the dynamic and multi-dimensional reality that we experience daily, tradition and modernity are in fact mutually reinforcing, rather than being mutually exclusive systems. It is these two aspects, dialogue-driven continuity in discontinuity, and discontinuity in continuity, that are the topic focus for the conference presentations and discussions.

The various theories of social change range from those that explain specific factors that cause small-scale changes to abstract and broader theories which attempt to understand underlying trends in the evolution and transformation of human societies. The focus of the conference is on the traditions, principles, purposes and practices of dialogic interaction in the public sphere that are part of, and conducive to, societal change. While many societies are currently experiencing dramatic shifts in their political, economic and social structures, there are at least two dominant trends: the increasing democratization of political life, and the rise of complex bureaucratic institutions. The key factors of social change underlying these trends are globalization, technological developments, systemic upheavals, migration and the ensuing multiculturalism and multilingualism. But perhaps the most potentially powerful factors of social change are the people animated by a profound need to communicate and, through public dialogue, to craft a dynamic vision for a more just set of social arrangements in the pursuit of major goals in the service of the common good. The implementation of visionary ideas calls for critically discussing ideas and conceptualizations which take into account the continuously changing nature of societies and communities, and which aim at explicating the interdependence between individuals’ interaction practices and the discursive construction of identities, on the one hand, and their access to full participation in society, on the other.

Key issues of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:
Promoting citizen-centred multicultural and social practices in Europe and beyond
– Enhancing the dialogue of tradition and innovation at the interface of the public and private spheres
– Initiating and responding to societal changes through cross-European networking activities
– Exploring patterns of social and personal change at micro- and macro-level
– Scrutinizing dialogic problem-solving strategies in cross-cultural perspectives
– Identifying divergence and convergence patterns in public narrative and dialogue
– Discourse of social change – Boundary-crossing between practice and theory

We welcome contributions from diverse fields of enquiry, including discourse studies, conversation analysis, discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, rhetoric, narrative analysis, political discourse analysis, social semiotics, multimodal discourse analysis, applied linguistics, gesture studies, as well as approaches to dialogue and verbal interaction pertaining to sociology, political science, pedagogy, comparative education, philosophy, anthropology, media studies, journalism and cultural studies. Proposals for individual papers or special sessions may include research questions like the following:
– How should we grapple with the notion that arguing for and against is an opportunity for positive change?
– How can interpersonal and institutional interactions facilitate and encourage bottom- up or top-down social change (in processes of political transition, power transfer and empowerment, business outsourcing, etc.)?
– How are the concrete, daily instantiations of social change articulated in public debate (e.g. media interviews, press conferences, political debates)?
– How can concepts such as identity, migration, community, and citizenship illuminate key aspects of ongoing social, political and cultural change?
– How are the various aspects of social change discussed in the media, in educational institutions, and/or in the political sphere?
– How is understanding social change going to enrich the researchers’ correlation between theory and practice?
– How are messages for and against social change conveyed in public speaking and debating?
– How is the contribution of pedagogy and psychology to be integrated in the debate on social change?

In addition to paper presentation, two thematic workshops are being organized within the framework of the ESTIDIA 2013 conference:
– Workshop on “Gender Empowerment through Social Innovation Strategies” (GENESIS) – based on a project proposal by a European research consortium consisting of participants from eight EU countries

– Workshop on “Re-negotiating Identities in the European Public Sphere” – based on an ongoing research project at SNSPA (National School for Political and Administrative Studies) in Bucharest, Romania

Keynote speakers
Abstract Submission

We invite submissions of abstracts for paper presentations (20 minutes for presentation, to be followed by 10 minutes for questions) to be scheduled in parallel sessions. The abstract should indicate the leading research question, theoretical approach, research methods, data sources, results or expected results, and relevance of the research. Abstracts will be peer- reviewed by the conference scientific committee.
Please include in the abstract: the title of the paper, the name(s) of presenter(s), institutional affiliation and email address (max 500 words, in English).
Email submission to: alberto.fornasari@uniba.it
Conference Website: www.fasf.uniba.it ; www.uniba.it

Important Dates

New deadline for abstract submission: June 23, 2013
Notification of acceptance: July 7, 2013
New deadline for draft papers: August 11, 2013

Registration Fee

The early bird conference fee is 100 EUR, late registration fee (no later than 5th August 2013) is 120 EUR. The registration fee includes, in addition to the CD-ROM publication of conference proceedings, a conference bag, welcome cocktail, refreshments/coffee breaks and guided visits of Bari.

Scientific Committee

Nicoleta Corbu – National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania
Giuliana Garzone – Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, State University of Milan, Italy
Adrian Lesenciuc – “Henri Coanda” Air Force Academy, Brasov, Romania
Lachlan Mackenzie – Honorary member of the University of Amsterdam; Instituto de Linguística Teórica e Computacional, Lisbon, Portugal
John McKeown – Mefis International School, Istanbul, Turkey
Esther Pascual Olivé – Department of Communication Studies, Groningen University, The Netherlands
Dana Popescu-Jourdy – Institut de Communication, Université “Lumiere” Lyon 2, France
Daniela Roventa-Frumusani – University of Bucharest, Romania; Director of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Communication
Maria de Sao Jose Corte-Real – Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova, Lisbon, Portugal
Helen Spencer-Oatey – Centre for Applied Linguistics, Warwick University, the U.K.
Anna Triandafyllidou – European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Maria Zaleska – University of Warsaw, Poland

Promoters of the Conference:

Cornelia Ilie, (University of Malmö, Sweden), Alberto Fornasari (University of Bari, Italy)

Organising Committee:

Linda Cassibba – Director Deparment of Educational Sciences, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari, Italy
Paola Zaccaria – President of the Degree Course in Communication Sciences, Full Professor of Anglo-American Literature , University of Bari, Italy
Luca Gallo – Full Professor of Comparative Education, Director of the Laboratory of Intercultural Education , University of Bari, Italy
Luisa Santelli Beccegato – (Former) Full Professor of Experimental Pedagogy, University of Bari, Italy
Beatrice Ligorio – Associate Professor of Educational Psychology ,University of Bari, Italy
Michele Baldassarre – Researcher of Experimental Pedagogy, University of Bari, Italy
Alberto Fornasari – Researcher of Experimental Pedagogy, University of Bari, Italy


The 2013 ESTIDIA conference will be hosted by the University of Bari “Aldo Moro”. University website: www.uniba.it ;www.fasf.uniba.it