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Call for Workshop Participants - Emergence, Liminality and Transition

Emergence, Liminality and Transition:
Unconventional Approaches to Conflict and Peace

Dates: 22-24 April 2016
Venue: Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen
Time: 13:00 Friday - 13:00 Sunday

Abstract and programme:

There is a significant body of work examining conventional approaches to peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding which, while having variable impact, nonetheless has a global reach. Less conventional is analysis of the emergent and liminal nature of transitions to peace in contemporary societies. This two day workshop will explore these emergent sites and will bring together the interest in Irish affairs (both north and south) located in the ‘Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies’ (RIISS: www.abdn.ac.uk/riiss/), with that in peacebuilding and transition in the ‘Institute of Conflict, Transition, and Peace Studies’ (ICTPR: www.abdn.ac.uk/ictpr/).

Transition is one of the core research themes of the ICTPR. This workshop will specifically focus on the time, space and experience of transition and will tackle questions such as: who and what becomes the focus of attention in transitional times? How are resources distributed and when? Whose voices come to the forefront in such decisions, and why? When is the ‘time of transition’ considered ‘over’? These are some of the questions that motivate this workshop; we intend that the event will inspire an interdisciplinary and comparative examination of the time of ‘transition’ itself rather than (only) the experience of ‘peace’ or ‘conflict’ per se.

To open up an exploration of these and other questions, we want to focus on obscured voices, invisible actors, marginalised theories, disavowed methodologies and atypical sites of investigation. Our focus on the excluded and marginalized is not ‘just’ or ‘simply’ about ‘adding something interesting’ to the ‘main discussions’. Our more provocative suggestion is that a more sustained attention to the invisible, indiscernible, obscured and concealed has the potential to alter the terrain of knowledge and understanding – and ensuing action – in the violent topography of ‘peace and conflict’.

To foster these debates and establish a new network of thinkers and practitioners interested in initiating and forming new research agendas around these topics we invite abstracts from across the disciplines of the social sciences, arts, humanities, and law, as well as from activists and practitioners. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and e-mailed to the initial point of contact – Dr. Gearoid Millar (g.millar@abdn.ac.uk) – by December 18th. Papers are welcome on any topic related to the generaltheme, on any society/case study, and from any discipline. A limited number of bursaries for graduate students and early career researchers may be available. 


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