24 Jun 2005 - 25 Jun 2005All dayCRASSH

Description

CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX

The propensity to view the world in terms of binary divisions can be found repeatedly throughout history – in politics, society, religion, literature and art. Such an apparently ubiquitous tendency produces stereotypes that have a deep impact on private and public conversation. Stereotypes tend to make a meaningful public dialogue very difficult, and (especially where they become propaganda) sometimes impossible; but they can also facilitate conversation between individuals and groups who share a similar outlook, and hence create both private, inward-looking conversations and reinforce the binary divide. The ability to converse across stereotypes depends on a toleration of the other person/group, and conversation can break down when binary divides are uppermost and uncontested. Yet stereotyping can also bind people together in a sectional conversation between those who share an antipathy to an 'other'.

The conference will explore these themes. It will bring together a good deal of excellent, but currently rather unlinked work across the disciplines from the classical to the modern world, and across time, although there will be a particular focus on the period c.1450-c.1850. As befits the Conversation theme, we would hope the stress would be on discussion as much as paper-giving. The intended outcomes of the conference will be: a) a mapping of the conceptual terrain, informed by a number of different approaches to the topic b) discussion based on a number of case studies that will deepen and question those methodological approaches c) a deeper understanding of the ways in which stereotypes limit or shape conversations, both metaphorically and in practice d) identify strategies that exploit stereotypes creatively or limit and erode them.

Conveners:
Mark Knights (UEA and Visiting Fellow, CRASSH)
Clare Haynes (UEA)
 

CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN THE ARTS, SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk