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Call for paper : The Third International Congress of Cultural Studies

Call for papers : Third International Congress of Cultural Studies

28th and 29th of January, 2013, University of Aveiro

Submissions are now being accepted for the Third International Congress of Cultural Studies, which will take place on the 28th and 29th of January, 2013, at the Department of Language and Culture, University of Aveiro, in association with the Doctoral Programme in Cultural Studies, between the Universities of Aveiro and Minho (Portugal), the University of Deusto (Spain) and the University of Fortaleza (Brazil).  The deadline for submissions is December 7th, 2012.

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1.   Leisure Studies and Culture

The primary objective of this congress is to promote discussion regarding Idleness, Leisure and Free Time in Contemporary Culture. The importance of these reflections relates to the fact that work – which occupies a central position in the context of contemporary society – is a fundamental factor in the context of leisure studies, as work may almost exclude or devalue other forms of human pastimes. Due to the increase in theories related to social pastimes, the concepts of leisure studies and free time require investigation and should be explored in the context of contemporary culture.

Recent research in this area has found that nowadays, we are immersed in a paradoxical chaos – due to our complex daily routines, which involve a multitude of tasks which frequently overlap and appear endless, there emerges a desire to liberate ourselves from this accumulation of obligations in which we are submerged.

We must also consider that to possess free time is to experience full and autonomous time.  However, the modern values which we have inherited do not encourage individuals to believe that there exists time in which to “do nothing”, but rather promote the idea that a reduction in working hours – which would result in more free time – simultaneously creates problems in relation to the adequacy of our contribution to society.

The World Leisure and Recreation Association (WRLA) recognises leisure time as a human right, an area specific to the experience of the individual, in terms of their human liberty and according to their personal and social development, health and well-being. From this perspective, leisure is related to core human values and has significant meaning. Thus, idleness gains new dimensions and perspectives, whilst constituting a significant and (re)creative experience, and providing an outlet for personal development. Idleness can also prevent participation in negative leisure (self and hetero destructive leisure), which is particularly common in times of crisis.

Therefore, considering that, in the history of creation and the organisation of industrial society, work has been the activity that plays a central role in the organisation of social temporality, this Congress aims to debate the following issues:

  • Will idleness replace work as the activity which will occupy post-industrial technological societies?
  • Do we know what constitutes ‘idleness’?
  • Why do we feel guilty at the prospect of “doing nothing”?
  • Is our free time truly “free”, or is it merely a liberation from
  • obligations?
  • Is our leisure time compromised as a result of our choice, or has it been adversely affected due to our fast-paced society?

Thus, we invite all researchers with an interest in these possibilities, interpellations and perplexities to send their contributions, as the Congress aims to discuss the principal dimensions of Idleness in Contemporary Culture from multi and inter-disciplinary viewpoints.

2.  Organisation

The Third International Congress in Cultural Studies: Idleness, Leisure and Free Time in Contemporary Culture accepts three forms of presentations: Conferences, Round Table Discussions and Group Works


The Conference sessions will primarily offered by invitation to those who have published their scientific research in recognised national and international scientific journals.

Round Table Discussions

The Round Table Discussions will unite three presentations, each with a different perspective on a central, shared theme of investigation, which may be proposed by lecturers, researchers or professionals from fields central to the issues under consideration. The tables will be co-ordinated by one of the participants from each group. The co-ordinator of each group must be identifed in the proposal. The proposal must also include the complete texts of each presentation and the abstract (between 200-300 words) for the round table discussion.  The duration of the discussion should be 50 minutes in total. The deadline for submissions of round table discussion proposals, with complete texts, in Portuguese/Spanish and English, is November 30th, 2012.

Scientific Communications in Research Groups

The ‘Research Groups’ consist of brief accounts of scientific investigations, in groups of four to five participants.  Thus, complete Research Groups may be proposed (which must be indicated to co-ordinator involved), or individuals may send their contributions, which will be analysed and grouped by the Congress’ Organising Committee, which is this case, will be  suggested by the co-ordinator. The deadline for submission of proposals, with complete texts in Portuguese/Spanish and English is November 30th, 2012. Works may be presented by professionals, lecturers, or researchers in the field (including doctorate students). Each session must last no longer than 15minutes.

Each proposal for presentation in Research Groups must indicate one of the following themes under which their research may be categorized:

  • GT 1 –Reflections and Appropriations on the Concepts of Idleness, Leisure and Free Time;
  • GT 2 –Contemporary Cultures, Subjectivities and Social Time
  • GT 3 – Contemporary Acceleration and Lifestyles
  • GT 4 – Free Time, Identities and Subjectivities
  • GT 5 – Free Time and the Appropriation of Space: Rethinking the City as a Place to Live
  • GT 6 – Tourism: The free time between consumption and contemplation
  • GT 7 – Popular Culture, Celebrations and Leisure
  • GT 8 – Free Time and the Pleasures of Culinary Leisure Activities
  • GT 9- Idleness, Creativity, Arts and Books
  • GT 10- Free time and the Life Cycle

The minutes of the works presented at the Round Table Discussions and within the Research Groups will be available in CD format through the Congress organizers. A number of works may be selected for publication in a special edition of the Doctoral Programme’s Academic Journal in Cultural Studies – Estudos Culturais – Revista Lusófona published by the Universities of Aveiro and Minho.

The official languages of the congress are Portuguese, Spanish and English. However, congress participants may present their research in any language they wish. The Organizing Commission requests that all participants send an English version of their presentation which may be projected during the presentation, in order to reach the widest possible audience.