CFP Jan 17, 2014

Thinking with John Berger (Cardiff, 4-5 Sep 14)

Cardiff, Sep 4–05, 2014
Deadline: Mar 1, 2014

Professor Jeff Wallace

Thinking with John Berger
A 2-day conference at Cardiff Metropolitan University
Cardiff, Wales, UK
4-5 September 2014

Keynote speakers:
Professor Bruce Robbins (Columbia University)
Professor Peter de Bolla (University of Cambridge)

Call for papers

John Berger presents a uniquely diverse model of critical artistic and
intellectual work. He is, variously, artist (and a philosopher of
drawing); art critic/theorist; ‘art geographer’ (Edward Soja); novelist
(although preferring to call himself a storyteller); poet and
dramatist; film-maker; photographic collaborator; theorist of
migration; political activist in the domains of anti-capitalism and
human rights.

This conference
This conference at Cardiff Metropolitan University places a focus on
the transformative potential of Berger’s work for educational
practice. Berger may be said to have kept a distance from the
institutional lecture hall, seminar room or studio; yet his work,
through an interdisciplinarity seemingly without boundaries, continues
to impact upon a number of academic fields. In dedicating himself
to ‘the job of thinker and artist’ (Sally Potter), Berger seems also
consistently to have orientated himself towards the future and to
practice: he is, in the words of Sukhdev Sandhu, ‘in the best sense, a
teacherly writer and performer’ -- a teacherly method characterised,
that is, by the principles of collaboration and equality.

The conference therefore takes an exploratory approach to the question
of how we might, as educators, use, discuss, learn from and continue
to develop Berger’s thought. In what ways might that thought help to
transform curricula, pedagogy, and our work as writers, artists and
teachers? How pertinent is it, for example, to the growing
internationalisation of the academy and to questions of global
educational citizenship? Or how relevant as a critical resource within
the context of a new, corporate and marketised environment in
education? Might Berger’s ‘radical humanism’ (Tilda Swinton) help to
carve out alternative futures?

The conference will be held at the University’s Llandaff campus, close
to historic Llandaff village and cathedral, and a 30-minute walk
through parkland to Cardiff city centre. It is organised by Cardiff
School of Education, with the collaboration of Cardiff School of Art
and Design, and will coincide with the opening of a new centre for
CSAD at the Llandaff campus.

Call for Papers
Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited. The conference is open to
contributors from all subject areas and disciplines, though it is
anticipated that it will be of principal appeal to those interested in
Berger’s impact upon the following fields: literary studies; visual
arts; art history; philosophy; creative writing; film production and
education; performance; drawing; photography; cultural geography;
critical and cultural theory. Topics for papers will be organised into
panels, which might include or resemble, but are definitely not
restricted to, the following:

- Criticism beyond a hermeneutics of suspicion
- Storytelling and fiction in the C21
- Aesthetics and materialism
- Intellectual work today
- ‘Planetarity’, global citizenship, cosmopolitics
- Pedagogy in art history
- Developments in photography and education
- Combinations of theory and practice in writing
- Consequences and cultures of the ‘new poverty’ (John Berger)
- Spatial theory and ‘art geography’
- Radical cinema
- Spinoza and a new vitalism
- Drawing and writing

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length, and should be
sent to the conference email address:
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2014 (revision to previously published
Queries and correspondence regarding the conference should be addressed
to Professor Jeff Wallace at, or
call 00 44(0)29 2041 7102.
The conference website, with information regarding fees, accommodation
and logistics, is at
In the meantime, queries on these issues should be addressed to Huw
Jones or Donna O’Flaherty, conference administrators, at (tel 00 44 (0)29 2020 5754 or
00 44 (0) 29 2041 7078/6577)

CFP: Thinking with John Berger (Cardiff, 4-5 Sep 14). In:, Jan 17, 2014 (accessed Jul 18, 2024), <>.