Writing that Shapes the World: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Writing that Shapes the World: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 12:00am to Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:00am

Writing that Shapes the World:
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

1st Global Conference
Call for Participation 2017

Tuesday 4th April – Thursday 6th April 2017
Lisbon, Portugal


Writing has been part of human history for 5,000 years, give or take a few hundred. It developed independently in more than one part of the globe which speaks to its fundamental quality as a truly human capability. And it has shaped cultures, thought processes, knowledge, and how all of these get transmitted from one person, one generation, one era to the next. Writing in a very real sense is reflexive of, and instrumental in the continuance of culture.

Literate societies produce writings of a multitude of types. Ranging from shopping lists to philosophical tracts, from love letters to bills of rights, from poetry to news reports, computer code to hieroglyphics, and everything in between, the written word can be banal or profound. Throughout these 5,000 years, words of import and historical moments have often converged to create what we are calling ‘Writing that Shapes the World: yesterday, today, and tomorrow’ – and our event will feature presentations and discussions.

Our questions start here, and extend outward:

What makes a piece of writing powerful enough to shape the world?
What does ‘shaping the world’ mean, anyway?
What kinds of writing have shaped the world in some way, and to what end(s)?
How and why can it be possible that powerful writing includes examples of such varied types?
Is there something inherent in the process of writing itself that has the potential for power?
How does cultural acceptance of, analysis of, and appreciation for a particular writing genre or specific work shape how it is received and the power it might have?
How is all this changing with the advent of electronic / digital writing?
Has writing’s place in the hierarchy of culture-shaping processes changed – become more or less powerful – as its production and dissemination methods shift?
And more.

We invite proposals for presentations from a wide range of independent researchers, writers, researchers and scholars, readers, anthropologists, linguists, historians, philosophers, librarians, behaviorists, and so on. Essentially anyone with an interest in and a love for the way writing has shaped the world is welcome.

Possible categories include but are not limited to:

War and Peace, i.e., declarations of war, peace treaties, secret communiques, etc.
Nation-building, i.e., constitutions, bills of rights, proclamations, cultural myths, cultural conceptions of power… ex: Manifest Destiny in the U.S., Balfour Declaration in the Middle East, etc.
Theatre, i.e., enduring plays and their influence on public behavior, perception, language
Literature, i.e., religious tomes, best-sellers, popular fiction and how they shape perception, belief, attitudes
Travel literature
Surveys and maps
Land grants
Royal decrees
Scientific writing, especially health reports and their power to shape perceptions of parts of the world
Propaganda, especially political propaganda, or tourist literature
Historic preservation nominations – what gets chosen to be preserved
Computer code; it is essentially, at its core, responsible for our ability to write an email, create a website, power a satellite or rocket to the moon, stream the news, watch YouTube.


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: Writing that Shapes the World Abstract Submission

Where to Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

Organising Chairs:

Teresa Cutler-Broyles: teresa_cutler@comcast.net
Rob Fisher:  writingworld @inter-disciplinary.net

This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English. Selected papers will 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.

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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