Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century The Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century Project

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 4:00am to Friday, July 17, 2015 - 9:00am

Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century
The Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century Project

Wednesday 15th July – Friday 17th July 2015
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:
Some of the Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century are nurtured by real events, whilst others are rooted in imaginary phenomena. The project will focus on contexts in which fears and anxieties are relevant: issues pertaining to media, psychology, sociology, political studies, ethics, religion, arts, literature etc. but also on contexts such as the economy, the healthcare or the standard of living, which are often the cradle of fears and anxieties. The organisers are primarily interested in those concrete aspects which underlie fears and anxieties, as well as in the pressingly contemporary dimension of these complex social emotions.

2014 was hectic and complex year: it saw the Ebola virus outbreak, a passenger plane allegedly shot out of the sky, terrorist attacks alongside civilian casualties in conflict zones throughout Europe, America, Africa and Asia, widespread concerns about surveillance and on-line security, the threats to society from the ‘strangers in our midst’ and the monsters within who threaten family and child safety. The net effect has been to create alarm, upset, fear, anxiety and insecurity in people across the world. This inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary conference seeks to explore the issues which lie at the interface of fears and anxieties which form the horizon of the uncertain world wherein we live and work, constantly disturbed by an atmosphere of concerns, alternatively fuelled by media reports and our private nightmares.

People live interdisciplinary lives, challenged by contemporary problems and narratives which lie at the heart of scary stories. In order to recognize and, subsequently, understand modern anxieties, we invite academics and professionals, practitioners, business and NGO, vocational and volunteer workers, engaged in their own areas of activity, to share with us their insights, skills and experiences. During the global interdisciplinary encounter, we intend to learn from each other, discovering together what is happening at the interface of fears and anxieties in the 21st century, pushing together the boundaries of knowledge and building pathways to a genuinely global understanding of these complex emotions within the fragile fabric of contemporary world. Inter- and trans-disciplinary presentations, papers, reports, case studies, works-in-progress, cultural comparisons, narratives, workshops are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

1.Anxieties and Phobias in the 21st Century
-fear of depression, neurosis, schizophrenia;
-fear of panic disorders; fear of mental illness; fear of insanity
-fear of addictions (alcoholism, drugs, work, the Internet)
-chronic stress in everyday life of 21st century;
-new mental diseases in the Internet Age;
-professions dealing with anxieties and phobias, psychotherapy and support;
-creating, experiencing, depicting mental health fears;
-representations of mental health fears.

2.Physical Health Fears
-fear of pandemics (Ebola, SARS, the flu);
-fear of newly emerging diseases, microbes, viruses etc.;
-diseases of affluence, diseases of poverty;
-fear of disabilities caused by illness or accidents; fear of pain and suffering;
-health fears in the Internet Age (cyberchondria, self-diagnosing, Dr
-professions dealing with health fears;
-creating, experiencing, depicting health fears;
-representations of health fears.

3.New Technology/Media Fears
-fear of computer addiction, compulsive social networking;
-psychofans and cyber stalking, cyberbullying, electronic harassment;
-creating, experiencing, depicting new media fears;
-professions dealing with new media fears;
-fear of the use of new technologies, surveillance, privacy, security.

4.Civil Society Fears
-fear of crime and violence; criminal groups; bystander effect and social
-fear of social pathologies; rat race in the 21st Century;
-fear of social exclusion; demographic crisis and its consequences;
-fear of adolescents, school-shootings; paedophilia, home violence etc.;
-fear of Others; fear of minorities and majorities;
-professions dealing with civil society fears;
-representations of civil society fears.

5.Eco and Environmental Fears
-fear of natural disasters and weather-related disasters;
-fear of climate change and global warming;
-fear of man-made disasters and transport disasters;
-fear of environment pollution; poisoned food and drink etc.;
-professions dealing with eco and environmental fears;
-creating, experiencing, reporting, representing eco and environmental fears.

6.Economic Fears
-fear of unemployment and of labour-related migration;
-fear of financial crises, inflation, price rise, cutting wages etc.;
-professions dealing with economic fears;
-creating, experiencing, reporting economic fears.

7.Political Fears
-fear of terrorism, nationalism, jingoism, xenophobia;
-fear of military conflicts; fear and trauma of genocide;
-fear of bioterrorism and of the use of chemical weapons;
-fear of neighbouring countries; fear of politicians;
-fear in post-communist countries;
-professions dealing with political fears;
-creating, experiencing, reporting, representing political fears.

8.Existential and Religious Fears
-fear of atheism; fear of fundamentalism;
-millenarian fears;
-professions dealing with existential and religious fears.

9.Aesthetic and Literary Fears
-fear in visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, cinema);
-fear in performing arts;
-fear in literature;
-fear appeals in the mass media.

 The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:
Proposals will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 13th March 2015. If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 22nd May 2015. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: F&A2 Proposal Submission

All abstracts will be at least double blind peer reviewed. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Magdalena Hodalska and Catalin Ghita: mandc@inter-disciplinary.net
Rob Fisher: fa2@inter-disciplinary.net

The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.


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