Culture and Resistance

Call for papers
Culture(s) and Resistance Today
19-21 June 2014
Nîmes University (France)

The 6th Cultural Geography, Anthropology, and Cultural Studies International Conference in Languedoc-Roussillon, organized by Catherine Bernié-Boissard, Claude Chastagner, Dominique Crozat and Laurent-Sébastien Fournier, will focus on culture(s) and resistance today. What is the nature of the connections between the various forms of culture and the various forms of resistance? Dialogues, oppositions, transformations? The conference will investigate anthropology (nature and culture), history (civilization and culture), geography (territories, identities, landscapes and cultures) as well as the contemporary representations given of these connections by various art forms.

The goal is to grasp the notion of resistance in its plurality and complexity. From a semantic perspective, one has to differentiate between close but distinct notions: rebellion, revolt, protest. Likewise, resistance must not be confused with its manifestations: riots, demonstrations, strikes, or Brazilian invasiaoes. Resistance is an individual or collective form of refusal that summons the mind as much as the body. It springs wherever there is oppression, in places of power or in everyday places: urban or rural environments, places of work, education, coercion. However, it always has a political dimension. Resistance can adopt material or immaterial forms. It can be characterized by words or gestures, or the absence thereof, by action or inaction, violence or non-violence. It is distinct from overworked discourse, the resigned acceptance of daily routine.

Resistance is also an ambiguous concept, based on a dual dialectics: between the resistant and the power he resists, but also between movement and conservation. Thus, in 1840, a conservative “Parti de la Résistance” was created in France to challenge the “Parti du mouvement”. Though some claim that a conception of resistance as reaction is no longer valid, the conference may address from a critical perspective the various forms of conservatisms, identity closure, refusals of modernity, and what determines them. It will also have to ask to what extent the forwarding of the past, ancient customs, and traditional values can be taken as a progressive and positive form of resistance. What impact such an understanding of resistance could have on the very notion of modernity? One could also examine the new methods used to control resistance. How is resistance prevented, checked, or bypassed, when it is understood as infringing upon the good management of territories?

Resistance can also be taken as a form of strong ethical involvement, against potentially threatening norms. The point is then to understand why specific groups, on specific territories have chosen to resist: to challenge evolutions of the social world, of modes of production, of territorial policies they consider threatening, to fight back exclusion or globalization, or on the contrary to prevent microcosmic projects (the NIMBY syndrome). Various concepts should be approached, such as autochtony, local identities, or infrapolitics, to the extent that they stand apart from traditional political practices. A reflection on the links that tie culture to resistance should also acknowledge the development of a social consciousness: consciousness in terms of class, or socially marginalized groups.

Eventually, the American counter culture of the ’60s offers a model of cultural resistance that became adopted in various contexts. Case studies could explore the contradictory appropriations of the notion, from its conception as a site of avant-gardes to its co-optation by conservative forces.

Papers can be delivered either in French or in English.

Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2013

Proposals (between 2000 and 4000 characters, 1 to 2 pages, in English or in French) must be sent in Times New Roman 12, 1.5 line spacing, in Word. They should feature first and last name, field, status, affiliation, and electronic address of the author, as well as 5 key words.

The document should be saved as: LASTNAME.firstname.doc, and sent to