Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 12:00am to Monday, April 3, 2017 - 12:00am

2nd Global Conference
Call for Participation 2017

Saturday 1st April – Monday 3rd April 2017
Lisbon, Portugal



As terrorism has seen a new rise in the past decades, organizations such as ISIS, Boko Haram and similar others are thriving on the fear that is increasingly gripping the world. Their way of spreading horror and gaining the obedience of controlled population is largely based on mass torture and killing. However, they are far from alone in this in this practice. Throughout history, torture has been used for a great variety of reasons, ranging from the twisted satisfaction of psychopathic criminals, to state and/or Church sanctioned means of punishing evil doers or extracting confessions; from violently resolving domestic disputes to means of protecting national security.

Depending on context, point of view and ideology, torture has been seen either as a barbaric, sub-human practice which needs to be prevented at all costs or as a necessary evil which helps maintain peace, law and order in society. Regardless of the different views on this violent set of practices, one thing remains clear: for the person on the receiving end, torture is deeply scarring on a physical and mental level, it has long lasting psychological effects and it usually takes a long time to recover from.

The Torture research stream offers a platform for inter-, cross- and multi-disciplinary dialogue involving participants from across the disciplinary spectrum. The event provides valuable opportunities for knowledge exchange between individuals with an interest and expertise in the topic, including policy and legal experts, representatives from NGOs and philanthropic organisations, activists, medical and clinical professionals, social workers and caregivers, educators, artists, business people, journalists, survivors and perpetrators of torture, historians, and researchers. It is intended that the deep inter-disciplinary engagement facilitated by the event will foster greater understanding of torture, awareness of its effects on survivors and society and action in the areas of prevention and care-giving.

While papers dealing with state torture are very welcome, we would also particularly encourage papers dealing with non-state torture. This may include, but is not limited to, torture - contemporary or historical - by religious institutions, communities, or armed groups, as well as non-state actors involved in state torture. Papers touching on parallels, differences, or connections between state and non-state torture are highly welcome as well.

Proposals are invited for presentations, workshops, panels, interactive round tables, performances, readings, screenings, or installations concerning the effects of torture on its survivors throughout history and in contemporary societies, from liberal democracies to totalitarian states.. Submissions may deal with aspects of torture, including but not limited to:

Defining Torture

Definitions, such as that contained in the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, and the debate around the usefulness and accuracy of definitions as a basis for formulating treaties and improving practice. Issues around torture and:
• Sex
• Race
• Sexual orientation
• Asylum seekers
• Children
• Persons with disabilities
• Animals
• War
• Genocide/ethnic cleansing

The Torture Survivor

Socio-demographic profiles of torture survivors; accounts, experiences and emotions of torture survivors; effects and efficiency of various methods of torture on survivors; long term health effects of torture on survivors; PTSD and the impact of having been tortured on one’s social and family life; psychological torture vs. physical torture; domestic abuse as a form of torture; rape, forced nudity and harassment as forms of sexual torture; torture in prisons, mental health facilities, military bases and other total institutions; the limits of state torture; torture against minors and its consequences; public torture as a form of punishment; the psychology and sociology of torture; the social stigma associated with having been tortured; Stockholm syndrome and cases of the tortured becoming torturers and of brainwashing through torture in dictatorial regimes (e.g. communist Romania’s Pitesti Phenomenon); ways to care for and heal the survivors of torture; torture prevention policies and actions; policies, state and civil measures for supporting the survivors of torture;Creative practice as means of coping with effects of torture; the documentation of effects such as by The Istanbul Protocol in 1999; work by organisations such as Amnesty International, The Red Cross and very many human rights organisations; discussion and documentation of psychological consequences such as the loss and regaining of trust, the hard task of forgiveness.


Norms and expectations within police, prison and army personnel; international relations, manifestations of political power within national states and ideological groups struggling to achieve statehood.

Issues of Practice

Interrogation and its legitimacy, setting boundaries in state practice, exposure of the way that torturers are psychologically prepared and trained, the sites of torture such as prisoner of war camps, state-run detention centres, prisons, within civilian communities against persecuted minorities and in areas of the world where genocide is being systematically practiced.

History of Ideas

Influence of the Enlightenment, humanitarian ideals, varying political ideologies, the rule of law; torture and cultural relativism, histories of torture’s use and effects.

Torture and the State

Powerful institutions within states; institutions such as the CIA and their reach, values and power within a society; debates over extraordinary rendition, accountability across borders, information sharing between bodies within states.

Prevention, Reduction and Accountability

Treaties such as OPCAT and problems with implementation and accountability; aspects of implementation of appropriate legal frameworks across borders; information sharing; the usefulness of independent inspection regimes in places of detention; installing penalties in places of detention and/or instilling cultures of prevention through training and support; linking progress to overseas aid; domestic and international criminal prosecutions and civil suits seeking remedies against torturers and/or governments; work by NGOs, charities and philanthropic organisations.


Medical, social and psychological effects of torture on perpetrators
Societies that condone or tolerate torture
Punishment, retribution and rehabilitation of perpetrators

Torture and Medicine

Medical experimentation and torture
Ethical applications of knowledge gained through torture
Participation by medical professionals in acts of torture (e.g. capital punishment)
Torture and mental health: psychological profiles on victims and perpetrators

Torture and Religion

Torture narratives in religious/spiritual traditions
Torture carried out in the name of religion
Religion and spirituality as path to rehabilitation

The Business of Torture

Technologies and producers that support torture
Companies that do business with perpetrators of torture
Companies that engage in torture
Technologies and producers that assist in preventing torture
Designing and administering spaces of torture
Boycotts and ethical responses to corporate support for torture

Torture and Tourism

Dark tourism and the commodification of torture sites
Pilgrimages to sites of torture
The appeal of torture museums and sites associated with torture

Torture and the Arts

The literature and memoirs of survivors, both historical and contemporaneous
Creative practice as means of coping with effects of torture
Depictions of/engagements with torture in art, music, television, film, literature, drama, poetry, video games, graphic novels, etc.

Torture and Pedagogy

Strategies for teaching age-appropriate lessons
Challenges and strategies for researchers
Using the right language to talk about the issues

Further details and information can be found at the conference website:

Details about our reviewing policy can be found here:

What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 28th October 2016.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th November 2016.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 3rd March 2017.

Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad 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: Torture Abstract Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

Organising Chairs:
Diana Medlicott:
Rob Fisher:

Conference Outcomes and Outputs
The conferences we organise form a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. The outcomes and ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from these is a dynamic response to the gatherings themselves. And as our meetings are attended by people from different backgrounds, professions and vocations, the range of desirable outcomes are potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

For detailed information on possible outcomes and outputs, please click here. (This will open a new window).

All accepted papers presented at the conference are eligible to be selected for publication in a hard copy paperback volume (the structure of which is to be determined post conference and subject to certain criteria). The selection and review process is outlined in the conference materials. Other publishing options may also become available. Potential editors will be chosen from interested conference delegates.

Additional possible outputs include: paperback volumes; journals; open volume on-line annuals; social media outputs (Facebook pages, blogs, wikis, Twitter and so on); collaboration platforms; reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers; declarations of principles; proposals for future meetings, workshops, courses and schools; proposals for personal and professional development opportunities (cultural cruises, summer schools, personal enrichment programmes, faculty development, mentoring programmes, consultancies); and other options you would like us to consider.

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.

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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