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XIV Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture - CULTURE AT WAR

Lisbon, Portugal
Organization: The Lisbon Consortium
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, World Literatures, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2024-06-24 to 2024-06-29 Abstract Due: 2024-02-29

XIV Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture
Lisbon, June 24 – 29, 2024
Deadline for submissions: February 29, 2024
We are living in times of war. Now, more than ever, war occupies a central role in both national and international affairs and pervades various spheres of our societies and cultures.


The 21st century has been marked by violence of different varieties and levels. Having started with a massive terrorist event, the attacks of September 11, 2001, the last two decades have witnessed many examples of aggression that have come to dominate both the media and public discussion. Acts of terrorism of various kinds, revolutions and wars, with the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East among the most recent, are illustrative of contemporary warfare, its characteristics, and challenges. While new military technology such as high-tech weapons and attack drones promote more remote, noncontact operations, the ever-present media strive for immediacy and proximity and thus contribute to a new and distinctive experience of war. Their continuous, play-by-play coverage promotes the illusion of a 360º view and allows audiences to follow the events in near-real time. However, their omnipresence has also turned them into desirable instruments of warfare. They not only inform about the war but also have the ability to mobilize for/against it. Furthermore, the rise of social media and its pivotal role in both documenting conflicts and generating and disseminating misinformation cannot be disregarded. As military conflicts unfold, a parallel war is also fought between communication mechanisms. It can even be argued, with Paul Virilio (War and Cinema, 1989), that war, or its experience, is becoming increasingly a product of visual media construction.


Wars are not circumscribed to military conflicts, though. Contention has become an intrinsic part of everyday life, leading to social and cultural movements that call out misguided practices, injustices, and violations of basic laws and rights. On the one hand, bottom-up mobilizations such as #MeToo, the gilets jaunes, or Fridays for Future, reveal a world in crisis, responding to systemic violence with dissent. On the other hand, the dismantling of structures of oppression by means of decolonizing processes clashes with the incapacity to effectively deal with past wrongdoings and the tendency to forget or avoid uncomfortable discussions. These movements may, at times, also represent a dynamic of destruction based on the collective readiness to criticize, denounce, hold accountable, and ultimately cancel what or who is considered to have behaved in an unacceptable way.


This culture of war, of diverging opinions and interests, extends also to the relationship between man and nature, and more specifically the ongoing environmental emergency. One rhetorical device used to stress the escalating effects of climate change is precisely the war metaphor (employed also in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic). The use of military language and the idea of a war against climate change, widely used in public speeches and in the media, is meant to spark a fighting spirit and incite action. There is, however, the risk of having the opposite effect if the enemy remains abstract, the message is not made understandable, and governments and individuals fail to take responsibility for the current situation.


The XIV Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture is dedicated to the study of the relationship between culture and war. Papers are welcome on the following topics, amongst others:

·       Culture and conflict 

·       Ancient and modern warfare 

·       Culture in modern warfare

·       War and the creation of modernity

·       The cultural construction of terror/terrorism

·       Rules of war and humanitarian law

·       The ethics of war

·       The forensics of war

·       Rituals of the fallen

·       Battlefields and landscapes of war

·       Media and war, media at war: (mis)communication, (mis)information, and fake news 

·       Representations of war 

·       Art and artists at war

·       Art and reparations

·       (De)Colonizing discourses and practices/asymmetric conflict

·       Conflict escalation and conflict resolution 

·       Cultural wars and language

·       Dialogue and tolerance/Soliloquy and intolerance 

·       Culture of violence 

·       Warrior culture: between heroes and villains 

·       War as metaphor 

·       Environmental emergency and war against climate change 

·       War-induced uncertainty and instability 

·       Epistemologies at war/theories at war


We encourage proposals coming from the fields of culture studies, film and the visual arts, literary and translation studies, history, anthropology, media, and psychology, among others.


Paper proposals

Proposals should be sent to lxsummerschool@gmail.com no later than February 29, 2024, and include paper title, abstract in English (max. 200 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning ongoing research.


Applicants will be informed of the results of their submissions by March 29, 2024.


Full papers submission

Presenters are required to send in full papers no later than May 31, 2024.


The papers will then be circulated amongst the participants. In the slot allotted to each participant (30’), only 10’ may be used for a brief summary of the research piece. The Summer School is a place for networked exchange of ideas, and organizers wish to have as much time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Therefore, in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.


Registration fees

Participants with paper – 300€ for the entire week (includes lectures, master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)

Participants without paper – 60€ per day (lunches and closing dinner not included)


Fee waivers

For The Lisbon Consortium students and CECC researchers, there is no registration fee.

For other UCP students, students from institutions affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies (ESSCS), members of the European PhD-Net in Literary and Cultural Studies, and members of the Critical Humanities Network the registration fee is 80€.


This edition of the Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture will function as the 2024 Critical Humanities Network Summer School.


Organizing Committee

Isabel Capeloa Gil
Peter Hanenberg
Alexandra Lopes
Adriana Martins
Diana Gonçalves
Paulo de Campos Pinto
Rita Faria
Annimari Juvonen

Assessment Committee

Peter Hanenberg
Alexandra Lopes
Adriana Martins
Diana Gonçalves
Paulo de Campos Pinto
Rita Faria
Ana Margarida Abrantes
Luísa Leal de Faria
Joana Moura
Rita Bueno Maia
Verena Lindemann Lino
Sofia Pinto
Luísa Santos



Annimari Juvonen