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1st Global Conference
Fear: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Saturday 13th April 2019 – Sunday 14th April 2019
Bruges, Belgium

On a daily basis, alarmist news headlines trumpet details of impending doom and unfolding disasters. There are near-constant warnings about high-profile threats such as climate change, international terrorism, the rise of the far right, weapons of mass destruction, financial crisis, pandemics, hospital acquired infections, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. The more banal aspects of existence also appear fraught with danger: sun exposure, breastfeeding, fitness, screen time… the list goes on. Everything from the air we breathe (diesel particulates) to the foods we eat (carcinogenic, genetically modified) may be viewed with suspicion. But what purpose does this culture of fear actually serve?

As we venture further into the 21st Century, a sense of fear and feelings of anxiousness seem to betray a widespread public sense of moral uncertainty, powerlessness, helplessness, hopelessness and resignation. In particularly challenging times, a well-rehearsed, quickly recognisable  and loudly proclaimed ‘narrative of fear’ can offer a paradoxically reassuring means of understanding and responding to threat, whether real or imagined. The culture of fear does not arise independently; it is born of multiple social, cultural, religious and historical influences and those same influences determine how individuals respond to fear and anxiety.

This inclusive interdisciplinary conference aims to interrogate those influences and responses, and consider the agendas which may be driving a culture of fear. Are we living in end times? Are we right to be concerned? Or does fear have a strategic purpose? Are the biological advantages of fear (fight or flight) being undermined by cynical marketing ploys (buy rape alarms, padlocks, guns), political imperatives (leave the EU, build a wall, send them home) or ideological stances (misogyny, racism, religious hatred)? Does living in a perpetually heightened state of fear make action impossible? Where will it all end?

Against this backdrop, we will seek to explore the subject of fear from the full range of disciplinary, professional, vocational, practitioner and social perspectives with a view to forming a publication to engender further collaboration and discussion. The aim is to generate an inclusive dialogue involving researchers, practitioners, artists, activists, legal professionals, marketers, clinicians, social workers, volunteers, journalists, performers, policy makers and others with an interest in the field. Topics for discussion include, but are not restricted to:

  • The politics and economics of fear: the far right/loony left; neoliberalism; corruption; espionage; Brexit; financial crisis; austerity
  • Fear and violence: terrorism; serial killers; murder; assault; GBH; war; civil war, social unrest; protest; WMD; nuclear proliferation; assault; dirty bombs; biological weapons; school shooters; gun control
  • Fear, society and culture: chavs/hillbillies/hoodies/punks/goths; immigrants/asylum seekers; cults; satanic ritual; permissive vs. authoritarian society; institutional racism/sexism/ableism/religious hatred; power; religion; history
  • Fear, commerce and control: big business; fat cats; teflon banks and banking systems; Anonymous; marketing; cartels; monopolies; the Illuminati
  • Fear and the body: contagion; vaccines; sexuality; mental illness; trauma; body modifications
  • Fear and the environment: climate change/global warming/extreme weather events; fracking; pollution; sustainability; food crises; water accessibility
  • Fight or flight: panic; attack; inaction; safe spaces/no platform/trigger warnings; anxiety
  • Fear and Sex: rape; sexual assault; sexual harassment; domestic and partner violence; paedophiles; sexual hate crime
  • Fear and gender: LBGTQI+; menstruation; women’s rights; female sexuality; (toxic) masculinity; #metoo/#notallmen; Incels/MRA/feminazis
  • Fear and the family: same sex parents; single parents; broken homes; child safety; loss of control; feral kids; anti-vaccine movement
  • Crime vs fear of crime: home invasions; ID theft; human trafficking; child sexual exploitation; rape; modern slavery
  • Fear and modernity: technology; change; the rise of the robots; internet/dark web; Millennium Bug; cyber crime; survivalism/preppers/stockpiling; surveillance; privacy
  • Fear as entertainment: horror films; literature; media; social media; the ‘Lexicon of Doom’; competitive scaremongering.

We particularly welcome creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations, and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate.

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 9th November 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development 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 23rd November 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 1st March 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, 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 the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Fear Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Organising Chair: Dr Abby Bentham: abby@progressiveconnexions.net
Project Administrator: brugesfear@progressiveconnexions.net

Bruges 2019 Details and Information

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 9th November
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 23rd November 2018
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Tuesday 18th December 2018
Booking Form Submissions

Friday 4th January 2019
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Monday 4th February 2019
Final date for payment

Friday 22nd February 2019
Circulation of Revised Programme

Friday 8th March
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Friday 22nd March 2019
Final programme to printing
The conference is being held at the Hotel de' Medici
Potterierei 15, 8000 Brugge | Belgium
Phone +32 50 33 9833 Fax: +32 50 33 0764

 

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms. Standard Room - Singe Occupancy €119 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €125 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.

Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.

You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 14th December 2018 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Monday 4th February 2019.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format –
 at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos
Progressive Connexions 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 or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

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