CALL FOR PAPERS New perspectives and interventions: The state of play in cultural sociology and sociology of the arts

Symposium held by the European Sociological Association Sociology of Culture (RN07) and Sociology of the Arts (RN02) networks in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Department of Cultural Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” and the Bulgarian Sociological Association

This symposium invites academics and cultural practitioners from all career stages to explore new perspectives and interventions deriving from scholarship in cultural sociology and sociology of the arts. In considering the state of play in these disciplines, the symposium will address a range of questions including (but not limited to) the following: What are key theoretical and methodological developments in cultural sociology and sociology of the arts? What do these disciplines have to say about the crises of our times? How do cultural sociologists and sociologists of art interpret the ‘culture wars’? What interventions can these disciplines make in critiquing canons and hierarchies of value? Who are the users of the knowledge generated by these disciplines? Can artists and cultural practitioners benefit from this knowledge, and vice versa – how do arts and creativity contribute to the development of new sociological insights, and, more generally, to innovation in the (social) sciences? What is the role of cultural institutions in these exchanges? What kinds of beneficial impact to wider society might derive from this research? Are bottom-up cultural policies possible? How do the tensions between culture and administration play out in the 21st Century? What challenges do postgraduate students in these disciplinary fields face in pursuing a research career? In addressing these questions, the symposium will include panels that focus in particular on the following:

  • Theoretical developments in cultural sociology and sociology of the arts
  • Methodological innovations
  • Impact, i.e. what are the potential benefits of research in these disciplines to wider society?
  • Teaching, i.e. how do we teach cultural sociology/sociology of the arts? What do we include and omit? On what basis? How do/can we teach beyond universities?
  • • Interdisciplinary and institutional connections, e.g. the potential of collaboration with arts practitioners and those in arts institutions – museums, festivals, galleries, etc.; with cultural institutions, government departments, policy makers, cultural producers; and with other disciplines, e.g. psychology of arts; cultural anthropology, urban sociology, architecture; with science, e.g. medicine, climate science, computer science/engineering, sociologies of art and culture as sciences
  • The role of art in formulating new sociological perspectives (e.g. ‘thick description’ in literature, insights on the medicalization of life in visual art); the relationship between arts/culture and (social) science; sociological fiction and arts-based methods
  • Political engagement and interventions in times of crisis, e.g. the potential contribution of cultural sociology and sociology of the arts in stimulating social change; artivism and visual activism; critical responses to class, gender and racial inequalities; authoritarian populism and ‘culture wars’; austerity; the climate crisis; pandemics; conflict and war.

Important dates:

  • 28th March 2023. Deadline for abstract submissions
  • 21st March to 14th April 2023 – Review of submissions and communication of outcomes
  • 15th April 2023 –Registration opens
  • 19th May 2023 – Early bird registration deadline
  • 16th June 2023 – Registration deadline

The symposium fees have been calculated to enable the broadest possible participation:

  • Students: 20 Euros
  • ESA members: 40 Euros (early bird registration)
  • Non-ESA members: 50 Euros (early bird registration)
  • ESA members: 50 Euros
  • Non-ESA members: 60 Euros

While the organizers encourage participation in situ, there will be also opportunities to present remotely for those not able to attend the event.

Instructions: Send the abstract (up to 300 words) and title for your paper along with a brief biographical note (up to 200 words) to by 18:00 CET. Indicate whether you are an ESA member and if you belong to RN07 or RN02.